Belgian ASF outbreak prompts debate over wild boar numbers
8th Nov 2018 / By Alistair Driver
The spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Belgium has prompted debate about how to manage the country's rising wild boar population.
A total of 159 dead wild boars have been diagnosed with ASF, according to the latest briefing forwarded to the NPA from ForFarmers' Andrew Knowles. All of the affected wild boar have been located in the ASF restriction zone and the virus has not been detected in domestic or commercial pigs. All domestic and commercial pigs inside the restriction zone, close to the French border, have been culled.
With the situation seemingly under control, attention is switching to the rising number of wild boar in Belgium. In north west Belgium, close to the restriction zone, there are a lot of commercial farms but also large numbers of wild boar, meaning there there could be major implications for the sector if the virus reaches the region.
Belgian farming representatives have called for a cull to reduce the numbers of wild boar in recognition of this wider animal disease risk.
In terms of the market, the difference between prices in Belgium and other countries is reducing, while exports of Belgium pigs and pig meat are on the rise following the imposition of export bans by a number of countries after the virus was discovered in September.