China says battling swine fever is 'complex and challenging'

Stephane Travert leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris France

ASFV is native to Africa and has been present for several years in Eastern European countries, both in domestic pigs and wild boars.

There is no vaccination or cure, and when it was discovered at Europe's second-largest farm in Romania at the end of last month, authorities culled about 140,000 pigs.

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

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.

"Belgium is still free from the disease in terms of pig farms", it said.

A statement issued by Belgium's Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) stressed the fight against the disease was not a public health issue but rather an animal and economic health issue.

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

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It added: "Biosecurity in pig farms is essential and the FASFC ensures that it is permanently properly insured".

The task force held a meeting to create guidelines that could help hunters and local municipalities better cope with the situation in case the virus makes its way into South Korea. "The different levels of power will continue to work closely together to maximize the effectiveness of prevention and control measures".

Belgium confirmed on Friday that African swine fever had reached western Europe after two boars died in the Etalle region near the French border.

However, to palliate the current virus from spreading, the SPW is preparing further measures to, inter alia, avoid the dispersal of wild boars from the infected zone as well as the provisions relating to hunting.

Government officials will be beefing up efforts to prevent the influx of African swine fever virus from China, where a recent outbreak of the virus was reported.

Belgium's food safety agency, AFSCA, said it had identified two wild boars carrying the disease around the southern village of Étalle, Belgium. They are thus trying to stop the spread of this infection across pig farms.

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