Friday, September 14, 2018

UK: DEFRA Preliminary Assessment Of ASF Reported In Belgium


As I mentioned earlier today in OIE Notification: African Swine Fever Jumps To Belgium, I was expecting a statement from the UK's DEFRA (, and one has very recently been posted on their website.
The UK's National Pig Association (NPA) has also issued a statement along with this advice
This from DEFRA:

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal and Plant Health Agency
Advice Services Team - International Disease Monitoring
Preliminary outbreak assessment
14 September 2018
Ref: VITT/1200 ASF in wild boar in Belgium
African swine fever in wild boar in Belgium
Disease report
The Belgian Authorities have reported two cases of ASF in wild boar (see map) in the Luxembourg region, close to the border with France. According to the two disease reports, this involved four wild boar altogether, and samples were tested by PCR. Three of the adult wild boar found dead were in a state of decomposition; the third animal was a young weakened animal which was shot dead. This marks the first identification of ASF in wild boar or domestic pigs in Western Europe in several years. The source of virus incursion has not been confirmed, and investigations are continuing.
The European Commission has confirmed that interim protective measures under 2002/60/EC Article 15 are in place, delineated by the border with Luxembourg and France, but further measures will be discussed at the Standing Committee on Plant, Animals, Food and Feed meeting next week.

Situation assessment
At present, there is no further information on how disease has been introduced into this area. It is not believed to have been through movement of wild boar as there are no known cases in close proximity to this area of Belgium. Given the distance between other confirmed cases of ASF in wild boar, it is most likely that infection has been introduced by movement of fomites or infected meat products from ASF- infected areas, in other words, human mediated.
The last ASF outbreaks in Belgium were in 1985 when twelve farms tested positive as a result of contact with contaminated pig meat from Spain (Biront et al., 1987).
These cases reported in wild boar are concerning as there are large numbers of wild boar in this area, crossing EU borders, which is forested. Eradication will be a challenge to be met through close collaboration and information sharing between those Member States at risk.


As a result, the risk level, which was increased to MEDIUM on a temporary basis two weeks ago, will now remain in place. The risk of exposure to the pig population in the UK is still dependent on the level of biosecurity on pig premises and is still considered to be LOW, although the situation is being kept under review.
It is important to highlight that all products of porcine origin (including wild boar), unless processed in a certain way, is a high risk commodity from affected areas. These products include fresh or frozen pig meat, salamis and hams, skins and bristles, germinal products, live animals, hunting trophies and any equipment which has had contact with an affected animal or the environment where they are found.
Pig keepers and veterinarians should remind themselves of the clinical signs for ASF and images and descriptions of clinical signs and pathology of ASF are provided on this link:
We will continue to closely monitor the situation.

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