ASF in over 10% of wild boars

Irish Examiner - Farming - - COVER STORY -

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

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