African Swine Fever outbreak suspected in Belgium

European authorities are understood to be investigating a suspected African Swine Fever outbreak in Belgium.

If tests prove positive for the virus, the news would represent another massive geographic jump for African Swine Fever.

The disease has already been confirmed in several European countries including Hungary and the Czech Republic most westerly.

Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Hungary have also been affected.

Situation in Europe

In total, more than 740 outbreaks of the disease have been confirmed across Europe and Russia over July and August.

It comes just 10 days after British officials raised the country’s risk of exposure to the virus through imports raised to ‘medium’.

Advice to UK pig keepers

In its latest assessment, Defra advised British pig keepers to ensure visitors to their farms have not had recent contact with pigs and pig premises in the affected regions.

Anybody returning from the affected EU countries should avoid contact with domestic pigs, whether commercial holdings or smallholdings, areas with feral pigs or wild boar until they are confident they have no contaminated clothing, footwear or equipment.

More to follow.