Mid-September, new ASF outbreaks among wild boars were reported in Belgium. Belgian authorities recently decided to cull 4,000 domestic pigs in the area where the contaminated wild boars were discovered. (South part of Belgium (20 km away from the obrder of Luxembourg and France).
These 4,000 pigs are healthy, but the Belgian government prefers to resort to euthanasia as a precautionary measure in the area where the contaminated wild boars were found. With this measure, they hope to stop the disease from spreading and save the Belgian livestock, as well as 15,000 jobs. Some countries have already decided to stop importing Belgian pork. The government hopes to reassure pork importing countries by “cleaning” the contaminated area. An investigation is in process to find the original source of the Belgian contamination.
This disease is not contagious for humans.
The African swine fever virus is very contagious for wild boars and domestic pigs. There are different types of virulence. For the peracute and acute form (both highly virulent), the mortality rate is close to 100% in 20 days.
Infection is usually caused by direct contact with an infected pig or by the ingestion of garbage containing unprocessed infected pig meat or pig meat products. Biting flies and ticks, contaminated premises, vehicles, equipment or clothing can also spread the virus to susceptible animals.
There is no treatment or vaccine for ASF.
For more information about ASF: please watch the video from EFSA (European Food Safety Authority)