China says battling swine fever is "complex and challenging"

Henrietta Strickland
September 16, 2018

The most recent cases in Europe could be linked to food thrown away by people who had travelled from zones where the disease is present, Belgium's food safety agency said in its statement. France, the neighbour has also stepped up their preventive measures to stop the spread of the infection to their farms.

The European Commission said it will deploy a team of experts this weekend to coordinate with Belgian authorities over the swine fever cases and the EU health commissioner will meet ministers of Belgian regions Wallonia and Flanders on Monday.

"We know that ASF can be spread through contaminated human food, so it is important to remain vigilant and discourage all farm workers from discarding human food into fields or areas where pigs or wild boar could get access". African swine fever can lead to severe hemorrhagic or bleeding among the affected pigs that usually leads to death of the animals.

It warned: "If the disease were to reach the United Kingdom it would have a devastating effect on our export market and would also mean the humane culling of pigs on infected premises to prevent further spread". "Biosecurity in pig farms is essential and the FASFC ensures that it is permanently properly insured". No cases have been detected there so far.

Battling the spread of African swine fever in China is "very complex and challenging", the country's agriculture ministry said after chairing a meeting of over a dozen major government bodies.

The confirmation of the presence of this virus, which affects only pigs and wild boars, on the common walloon Etalle, about ten kilometers from the French border, "is a progression unheard of disease which requires a response to the height of the economic stakes are considerable for the agri-food value chains the French", wrote the ministry of Agriculture in a press release.

Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert asked that some activities such as hunting be restricted and called for enhanced surveillance of livestock and wildlife in four administrative departments (counties) bordering Belgium. The disease was first reported in Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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