First case of ASF in Belgium since 1985

Belgium has confirmed the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF). This is the first reported case of illness in Belgium since 1985.
Most recently, ASF was detected on farms in Eastern Europe and China. Now, the highly contagious disease could also threaten the large pig populations of Western Europe.
The Belgian Food Safety Agency announced yesterday that ASF was discovered in the Etalle district near the French border, after the death of several wild boars aroused the suspicion of a viral infection.
France responded quickly to the news from Belgium. The Ministry of Agriculture announced increased surveillance in four counties adjacent to Belgium and additional measures to protect pig farms and slaughterhouses.
The spread of the virus has already led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of pigs in Eastern Europe. China, the world's largest pork producer, has culled animals on several farms and banned the transport of animals and food to pigs in the affected provinces after several cases of ASF.
The EU is the second largest pork producer in the world after China and the largest exporter, with most of the pork industry concentrated in Germany, Denmark, France and Spain.

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