Biosecurity and transboundary animal diseases: Council conclusions
The conclusions highlight the risks posed by the human factor and the role of communication and awareness campaigns in mitigating those risks.
At a practical level, biosecurity is generally understood as the management and physical measures designed to reduce the risk of transboundary animal diseases (TADs). More broadly, it is a strategic and holistic approach to managing relevant risks. A high level of biosecurity is essential for the protection of EU territory against the introduction and spread of animal diseases, many of which may have devastating consequences not only for the agriculture sector but society as a whole.
In its conclusions, the Council strongly emphasises the key role of biosecurity in facing current threats such as African swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease, and stresses the importance of the involvement and cooperation of all relevant sectors and actors, including not only farmers and other animal keepers but also, for example, transporters and hunters.
To this end, the Council calls on member states and the European Commission to ensure sufficient biosecurity capacity and adequate financial resources both at national and EU level.
The conclusions also highlight the risks posed by the human factor and the role of communication and awareness campaigns in mitigating those risks.
Brazil increases pig slaughterings
11.27 million pigs have been slaughtered in the first trimester of 2019.
According to the data published by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IGBE), in the first trimester of 2019, a total of 11.27 million pigs have been slaughtered, this representing an increase by 1.6% with respect to the previous trimester, when 11.19 million pigs were slaughtered, and by 5.2% with respect to the same period in 2018 (10.72 million).
The accumulated weight of the carcasses was 989,100 tonnes in the first trimester of 2019: an increase by 1.9% in comparison with the previous trimester (980,760 tonnes), and by 3.6% with regard to the same period in 2018 (954,602 tonnes).
Belgium: more steps towards the reduction of wild boar population
The goal is to completely eliminate wild boars from the African Swine Fever affected areas before the end of 2019.
The intention of the Walloon government is to reduce the wild boar population by 50% before March 1st, 2020. This goal seems achievable, because the wild boar population has already been reduced by 30%. In the area affected by African swine fever (110,000 hectares between Herbeumont and Aubange), it is expected to eradicate wild boars completely to avoid any risk of spreading of the virus.
Last June 6th, the Walloon government expanded the measures aimed at the eradication, implementing them into the new hunting season, that starts on July 1st. This agreement foresees 3 changes:
- The hunters will be able to ask for exceptions regarding the prohibition of hunting, in the nucleus and the buffer areas, species other than wild boars.
- The elimination of wild boars will be carried out by forest rangers and some authorised hunters.
- The surveillance in the nucleus and buffer areas will be strengthened: the aim is to eliminate wild boars completely from these areas before the end of 2019. In order to reach this goal, the authorised hunters are obliged to carry out as many drives as needed (at least two monthly drives in their area) between September 1st and December 31st, 2019. If as of November 1st the Nature and Forests Department (NFD) considers that the results are poor, it will be authorised to organise official drives in that territory.
These very drastic measures contrast with the decision made by the Walloon Minister of Agriculture, Mr René Collin, of reopening to the public some zones of the nucleus and buffer areas since last April 6th.