ASF in over 10% of wild boars
The wild boar is the innocent victim of the highly virulent African Swine Fever V genotype II strain virus threatening the EU’s multi-billion euro pig industry.
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), this virus is very resistant to inactivation in the environment, for example, persisting for several months in frozen or uncooked meat.
EFSA experts have calculated the disease spreads geographically one to two kilometres per month in wild boar populations in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.
In 2015, they found the virus in 215 out of 38,000 wild boars killed by hunters in the four countries.
In wild boars found dead, the virus was in 432 out of 4,065. Estonians say wolves are pushing into human settlements because African Swine Fever has decimated the wild boar population on which wolves preyed.
Now, Denmark is about to start a campaign to eradicate its estimated 50-100 adult wild boars.
It may be easier said than done. According to EFSA, hunting and trapping has never achieved a drastic reduction in the wild boar population in Europe.
The animals respond by dispersing to other areas, and rebuilding populations
But increased hunting, especially for females, can reduce populations (all age classes of females are highly reproductive).
Wild boar numbers soared across Europe in recent decades.
There have been frequent reports of human encounter