Authorities in Poland are planning to put down more than 200,000 wild boars – almost the entirety of its population in the country – in an attempt to curb swine fever.
Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, the Polish Agriculture Minister, said the move was an essential response to limit the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in domestic pigs, as the strain has hurt pork exports in the country, Mirror reported.
Boars are prominent carriers of ASF, which can cause pigs to sweat so much blood it ends up killing them. Also, the virus survives for as long as two years, even when the carrier is put down.
Local media reported that scientists had told the government that the extermination of the boars would not be an absolute win against the virus, but have instead asked for stricter sanitary and surveillance measures in pig farms.
According to statistics, about 168,000 boars were put down from April to November in 2018. With the current wild boar population estimated at about 229,000, more than 90% of the population will be dead if the plan proceeds.