African Swine Fever (ASF) has cost the Belgian pig industry close to half a billion euro, according to recent calculations.
Each month which passes with interrupted exports costs the Belgian pig industry about €22.42 million, Managing Director of FEBEV, Federation of Belgian Meat, Michael Gore, lamented in De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad on Monday.
Belgium should, in theory, be able to resume pork exports to countries that had closed their doors – mostly Asian – as of August 2020 if no new cases of ASF are detected. It is expected that the crisis would have cost the industry between €447 and €584 million in the sector.
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According to Gore, Belgian pork is unfairly stigmatized, "while the virus has infected wild boar (in Wallonia) and the disease has not spread to the pig sector, thanks to measures taken by the region, AFSCA and by the industry," he noted.
FEBEV requests an urgent and transparent approach to decimate the wild boars stock in Flanders because the spread of ASF in the northern part of the country would be a disaster scenario.
Gore also demands political incentive to get the industry back on track and enable rapid lifting of embargoes.
The Brussels Times