African swine fever: an additional 7,000 ha of forest declared off limits

African swine fever: an additional 7,000 ha of forest declared off limits
© Belga

New measures have been taken by Wallonia against African swine fever following the discovery of new boars infected with the virus in Rachecourt (Aubange).

All movement has been banned in an additional 7,000 hectares of forest in the south of Luxembourg Province.

“It’s not the end of the story of African swine fever,” Wallonia’s minister in charge of the issue, René Collin, said at a press conference in Libramont on Thursday, listing a series of measures he had just taken following the discovery of the new infected carcasses.

"A series of cases of boars testing positive for the virus were found recently around Rachecourt,” he said. “It’s a new, relatively important, outbreak. That led me, on this Thursday 27 June, to issue a new decree on movement in the forest.”

"Due to the births that have occurred this spring and to guarantee a maximum of calm, and avoid the spread of the virus while not disturbing the boar populations, and while facilitating the search for carcasses, I’ve decided to ban all movement in 7,000 additional hectares, in an area between Virton, Aubange and Stockem, and a second area north of Stockem, Etalle and Tintigny," Collin announced. Systematic search operations for carcasses will be conducted in these areas.

The new decree enters into effect on Monday 1 July and will remain effective until at least 14 September. It limits movement in the forest to the triangle between Arlon, Etalle and Virton. That area had been the scene of the original swine fever outbreak in autumn last, but no new cases have been detected there this year. The movement ban means only 11,100ha remain accessible in the middle of the prohibited area.

In terms of hunting, the goal is “zero boars” by 31 December 2019, the minister confirmed.

The Brussels Times

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