"Long live the boar" or "Stop the massacre", were some of the protest slogans of environmentalists in Poland, who this week have mobilized against the government's plans to exterminate the population of wild boars in the country, the goal of prevent the contagion of African swine fever. The Polish government of the ultra-conservative party of law and justice has ordered a massive series of hunts this weekend to sacrifice most of the 200,000 wild boars in the country. The PZL hunter association has confirmed that there have been 168,000 copies since April. The flu has affected at least 3,200 wild boars in the eastern part of the country: the first infection occurred in 2014 through neighboring Belarus.
Animalist groups and many experts consider the measure to be ineffective and even counterproductive. They claim that the animals will be dispersed and that they can carry the virus – which is deadly to pigs but does not affect people – in areas of the western part of the country that have not been affected so far. In addition to ethical considerations, environmentalists warn that animals play an important role in the ecosystem, because when they discharge ground aerogen and facilitate seed germination, feeding of small rodents and the development of larvae .
African influence spreads also through insects and dung of dead animals and processed meat. There is no remedy or vaccine and critics with the government say that more effective biosecurity measures, such as the sterilization of materials on farms.
Poland is one of the leading exporters of pork products (2017 exports to the EU have risen to 1 billion euro) and the epidemic could have a serious impact on the economy of the country. This is why African influence has become a major political problem, especially when farmers and breeders are one of the main electoral bases of ultra-conservatives that govern the country. "It's a political problem," he explained yesterday The Guardian the biologist Mikołaj Golachowski-. Biosafety is the only answer, but it is difficult and expensive. A populist government seeks the vote of farmers ".
The government has urged hunters to go to the mountains this weekend to accelerate extermination, and environmental groups have responded to the roads and networks. Thousands of Poles have photographed a boar on their Facebook profile and over 300,000 have signed an online petition addressed to the government to stop hunting.
The one in Poland is not the only European government that is taking extreme measures against African influence. A few months ago, Denmark, where the people of the Danish People's Party has a strong influence on the government, led to the construction of a 1.5 meter high fence that will cover almost all of its border with Germany. First detected in Romania and Poland, African swine fever has recently arrived in Belgium and keeps the entire continent on alert.