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3 December 2020

European Commission declares Belgium ASF-free

On 20 November 2020, the European Commission declared Belgium free of ASF. The ASF-free status is expected to be published soon on the OIE website.

Brussels, 20 November 2020 – In September 2018, ASF was found in wild boar in Belgium’s southern-most province, Luxembourg. Immediately, a wide range of measures were put in place to prevent the disease from spreading into other regions or into Belgium’s large domestic pig population. These measures, and the decisive actions taken by the local authorities, were effective.

It is a relief for the Belgian pork suppliers that the EC has declared Belgium ASF-free.
– Joris Coenen, Manager Belgian Meat Office

Joris Coenen, Manager Belgian Meat Office: “The OIE’s imminent confirmation of our ASF-free status will be the next and last step in this episode. We’ll provide importing countries with all information necessary so that they can update their importation regulations accordingly. That way, people all over the world can soon enjoy delicious Belgian pork again.”

On 20 November, the EC withdrew the regulated status of the ASF-infected regions in Belgium, thereby declaring Belgium ASF-free. Domestic pigs were never affected.

Declaring the affected zones ASF-free has occurred a little over one year after the last traces of ASF were found in the wild boar population. To take that decision, the EC considered the effectiveness of the overall measures being applied in Belgium. Those measures were in accordance with European legislation and in line with the risk mitigation measures for AFS set out in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organization for Animal Health (the OIE Code).

Even though the disease is now eradicated, strict surveillance and control measures remain in place.

The ASF-free status is an essential step for importers worldwide to resume importing pork from Belgium.

A file to declare the ASF-free status has also been submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). This file is under evaluation, but in view of the favourable epidemiological situation of the disease, the confirmation of the ASF-free status should soon be published on the OIE website.

The ASF-free status is an essential step for importers worldwide to resume importing pork from Belgium. Each year, Belgian pork companies supply over 1 million tonnes, or almost 5% of the European production. The Belgian pork suppliers are known for the quality of their pork and the high level of service they offer.


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