World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) Confirms: Belgium has regained its ASF-free status

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – Media OutReach – 29 December 2020 – On 21 December 2020, the World
Organisation of Animal
Health (OIE) confirmed the ASF-free status
in all suidae of Belgium, which had been removed
since September 2018
due to the
outbreak of ASF
in the wild
boar population. Prior to the
OIE publication, Belgium’s FASFC (Federal Agency
for the Safety
of the Food Chain) provided the OIE with all necessary data which proved that Belgium has been ASF-free
for more than one year: a necessary condition to claiming the status of being ASF-free. Throughout this entire period, Belgium was successful in
keeping its domestic herd of pigs ASF-free.

Official declaration by the OIE

DECISIVE AND CONSISTENT ACTIONS
HAVE LED TO THE
ERADICATION OF ASF IN THE
WILD
BOAR POPULATION

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From
the start of the outbreak in September 2018,
Belgium’s strategy was
to eradicate ASF
(African Swine Fever)
in the wild boar
population. A wide
variety of measures
and actions were
taken. Fencing, forests
closed to the
public, intensive search and destroy programme, hunting and trapping–all proved to be key success
factors in achieving this goal.

 

In
just one year, no new positive cases were detected. In total 5,422 wild boars
were examined for ASF, of
which 833 were confirmed positive for ASF. The last
positive case confirmed on a fresh
wild boar carcass
dates from 11 August 2019.

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MOST IMPORTANT:

DOMESTIC
HERD WAS KEPT SAFE AND ASF-FREE AT ALL TIMES

Belgium is one of Europe’s
key pork producers, exporting more than two-thirds of its pork production. To protect
this important sector,
it was crucial to prevent
the disease from
infecting the domestic herd.

 

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On top of the comprehensive bio-security rules that were already
in place, extra measures were implemented. This means, amongst
other things, that
every sick pig must be tested for ASF, regardless of the symptoms. To date, the number of samplings, all negative, amounts
to more than 22,000–and still counting.

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VIA CONTINUOUS MONITORING AND CONTROL, ALERTNESS REMAINS HIGH

Despite
the regained ASF-free status, Belgium will keep monitoring for animal diseases
in the future, both
in the domestic
herd as well
as in the wild population. The surveillance and control measures remain in force
for the time being.

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EUROPEAN LAW HAD ALREADY REINSTATED BELGIUM’S
ASF-FREE STATUS

The OIE publication follows
the decision by the European
Commission on 20 November 2020 to abolish
the regulated zones that were put in place
after the outbreak of the virus
in wild boar.

BELGIAN PORK WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE AGAIN,
WORLDWIDE

Over the last few decades, Belgium
has exported pork to more than 70 countries. As Belgium communicates transparently with
its trading partners around the world,
importing countries will
soon be provided
with all information necessary to allow trade to resume.

“It is a relief to the Belgian pork suppliers that the OIE has published Belgium’s ASF-free status. Importing countries will be provided with all information necessary so that they can lift ASF-related restrictions.

Excellent news for importers!”

Contact your Belgian pork supplier

Full information about Belgian pork can be found on: europeanpork.eu | artofmeat.eu | belgianmeat.com

Or contact Belgian Meat Office.

About Belgian Meat Office

Belgian Meat Office coordinates pork and beef export activities. The meat export agency was founded in 2003 under the
Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) umbrella.

World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) Confirms: Belgium has regained its ASF-free status

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