Did soldiers bring African swine fever to Belgium?

The corpses of three wild boar have been found in the grounds of an army camp near to the town of Arlon in Luxembourg Province. Two of the dead boar were found to be infected with African swine fever. The Francophone public broadcaster RTBF first broke the news that has since been confirmed by Belgian Defence Ministry sources.

One of the infected wild boar found at the camp is believed to have been one of the first to have become infected in the recent outbreak of African swine fever. This could indicate that the African swine flu virus was brought to Belgium by soldiers that had returned here from military exercises in the Baltic States.  

The dead boars were found at the Lagland Camp just outside Arlon. One of the dead animals was found on 21 September and was in an advanced state of discomposure.

According to RTBF, this would indicate that boar had been dead for between two and four weeks. This would make it one of the first wild boar to have become infected with African swine flu in the recent outbreak here in Belgium.

Belgian or Eastern European soldiers?

The discovery of the infected wild boar at the army camp provides a new theory about the source of the infection. Initially, it was thought that lorry drivers or workers from Eastern Europe had brought the virus to Belgium.  

However, now there is a possibility that it could have been brought here by soldiers. Recently, Polish and Czech soldiers have stage at the Lagland Camp. However, it is also possible that the virus was brought here by Belgian soldiers that had taken part in military exercises in the Baltic States.    

Whatever is the case the Defence Department has reassured VRT News that it has taken the measures necessary to contain the virus.

44 wild boar have died of African swine fever

The first wild boar that died in the recent outbreak of swine fever were found over a month ago in Luxembourg province. It was the first case of swine flu in Belgium since 1985. Since then a total of 53 wild boar have  been found to have died of swine flu.

The virus is not dangerous to humans, but as it is highly infectious among pigs and boar it poses a threat to pig farming. Consequently strict measures are in force in an effort to contain the virus.   

Top stories