France calls for measures after African swine fever found in Belgium

African swine fever

African swine fever

In China, the world's largest pork producer, new cases of the disease have been detected almost every day over vast distances, prompting the government to take strict protective measures including a ban on the use of food waste as pig feed.

Denmark has planned to build fences along Germany borders to prevent entry of African swine fever.

The fight against the disease is not a public health issue but an animal and economic health issue.

Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture and Food, has asked the authorities in the regions bordering Belgium - Ardennes, Meuse, Moselle and Meurthe and Moselle - to implement the "strengthened action plan specific to this disease", under the coordination of DGAL (General Directorate of Food) to prevent the introduction of the virus into France.

"The latest contaminations in Europe could be the effect of introducing leftover food left behind by travelers from infected areas".

The outbreak has caused alarm in neighbouring France, with the ministry of agriculture issuing a statement saying it represents "a new progression of the disease..."

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However, no pig farms have yet been infected in the country. Romania is Europe's second-largest pig farm.

The agency added: "The situation is taken very seriously by the various authorities and levels of power in Belgium and the measures are carefully put in place and monitored, given the potential impact for the livestock and hunting sectors".

"A national task force was set up in early 2018 in this context".

Belgium's food safety agency on Thursday said that African swine fever (ASF) had been detected in the Etalle district near the French border, after the death of several wild boars raised suspicions that the virus was present.

China has confirmed two new outbreaks of African swine fever in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and central China's Henan Province, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said Friday. It does not affect humans or other animal species.

"We need all pig producers, farmers as well as members of the public to pull together to tighten defences and to keep this disease out".

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