Belgium to cull wild boar to control ASF

The Belgian authorities are planning a cull of wild boar to prevent further spread of African swine fever (ASF).

A total of 114 dead wild boars have been diagnosed with ASF so far all of them have been located in the restriction zone in the Luxembourg region of the country, according to briefing from ForFarmers forwarded to the National Pig Association.

It is expected that the number will continue to rise with a total of 300 to 400 boars confirmed with ASF) in Belgium’s restricted zone. When this figure is stable then locally, the authorities intend to shoot the remaining wild boars in the restriction zone.

While the infected area, which is near the French border, is densely populated with wild boar, there were, fortunately, very few commercial pigs. Around 3,000 domestic and commercial pigs in the restriction zone have already been culled as the authorities strive to keep the virus out of commercial pigs as well as limiting the spread in wild boar.

Testing of dead wild boar continues, with samples is taken from their mouth, nose, spleen and bones and sent to Belgium’s central laboratory, Sciensano, for diagnosis.

After an initial sharp drop, on the back of export bans by non-EU countries, pig prices are now stable but still lower than before and lower than in surrounding countries.

Compensation is being paid to pig farmers in the restriction zone whose pigs have been culled, but not to other farmers.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.