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German farmers want to kill 70% of wild boar amid African swine fever

Staff Writer |
The German Farmers’ Association have called for 70% of the country’s wild boar population to be culled in a strategy to halt disease escalation.

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In an interview with the Rheinische Post last week, deputy head of the German Farmers’ Association, Werner Schwarz, insisted that the close season on hunting wild boar needed to be lifted in order to ensure that huge numbers of wild boar could be killed.

The boar cull would take place as an attempt to control the spread of African swine fever (ASF), a disease that has had numerous cases confirmed in Central and Eastern Europe and over the past six months.

In 2017 alone, over ten countries worldwide identified ASF in both wild and domestic swine herds, including Poland and the Czech Republic - close neighbours of Germany.

In order to evade a possible outbreak on German soil, 70% of wild boar would need to be culled, including mothers and young boar, Schwarz said. He added that a cull is more humane than allowing animals to die naturally of the disease.

Schwarz could not confirm how many animals would be killed in such a wide-scale cull, but highlighted that Berlin alone has a wild boar population estimated to be between 3,000 and 8,000 individuals.

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