Germany is showing that it is ready to take drastic measures to prevent the African swine fever, rapidly spreading across eastern Europe, from entering into its borders with a decree that urges hunters to hunt and kill its wild boar population.
African swine fever is harmless to humans and most animals, but if pigs come in contact with the virus the situation most certainly turns deadly within a matter of 10 days.
turns deadly within a matter of 10 days
As Germany continues to invest in its fast-growing pork export industry to countries like China, a mass plague in its pig population could create a massive financial hit. So with no vaccine available to prevent such a catastrophe, the German government decided to target the fever’s known carrier — the wild boar.
Hunters have been given free reign to hunt down the country’s vast wild boar population, year-round, to stop the disease. But the encouragement of such a mass killing has been met with some expected criticism.
Animal rights group PETA is fighting back, calling out the German cabinet for putting its economic interests above the welfare of animals.
PETA is fighting back
PETA is arguing that by allowing hunting of wild boar in what would typically be the off-season, it “will cause great animal suffering because the young are dependent on their mother during the rearing phase”.
Should the virus make its way into Germany — reports of infected wild boars have hit as close as Poland — the German government has a series of protective measures at the ready to keep it at bay, including quarantines and disinfection procedures.