Three years from now, of the 75,000 wild boars present in the Lazio region, just over 25,000 would remain. This is the decision taken by the Zingaretti junta to contain and curb swine fever.
With the Priu – the three-year regional plan of urgent interventions for the management, control and eradication of African swine fever – which has just been launched, the aim is to double the culls carried out in the 2021-22 season, thus drastically reducing the number of specimens, mainly in the areas of Rome, Viterbo and Rieti, or those that would register a greater density of ungulates.
A decision taken in defiance of the indications of Ispra, the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, which underlined that the spread of swine fever has no relationship or link with the number of animals, also because the wild boar populations infected closest to Italy live several hundred kilometers away.
The problem of wild boars Lazio opens the hunt
The appearance in January of the infection in wild boar on the border between Piedmont and Liguria, from where it then spread up to the capital, would in fact be due to the unaware introduction of the virus by man. The choice of the Lazio Region, however, is not a surprise. In fact, there has been talk of culling for some time.
In May, the Undersecretary for Health, Andrea Costa, evaluated the killing of wild boars to remedy an epidemic that is affecting not only Lazio, but also other Italian regions. Recently, then, to solve the problem with “pragmatism and a sense of responsibility”, he had also mentioned the proposal for a decree for the extension or lengthening of the hunting period from three to five months.
Here too, Ispra denies the usefulness of such a provision. According to the Institute, in fact, it would rather be necessary to interrupt any hunting activity because otherwise there would be the risk of soliciting the movement of potentially infected wild boars, as well as unintentionally spreading the virus through footwear, clothing and equipment.
The reduction in the number of wild boars, according to the Lazio Region Health Councilor, Alessio D’Amato, “Is a theme of public health, safety in the food chain, urban decorum and safety in mobility”. Certainly there is an ongoing emergency that must be contained, but the decisions taken have made animal rights activists, associations and those who, in the Capitol, repeatedly urged the Region to intervene on the issue, turn their noses up.
The Capitoline councilor M5S, Daniele Diaco, in fact, he maintains that the approved plan is “of an unprecedented cruelty”. And he urges: “They have wanted to do it for some time, but swine fever has given them the definitive casus belli: the slaughter of wild boars will be doubled. Avoidable deaths, if only Zingaretti had activated a serious and sustainable wildlife management plan, as we have asked him to do for years “.
The alternative, among other things, again according to Diaco, would be the ban by the health minister, Roberto Speranza, to test a vaccine against swine fever. Meanwhile, Oipa is also attacking the Region. According to the international animal protection organization, in fact, the regional plan would be “an execrable and short-sighted provision, which prefers hunting, blood, to any ethical solution. One fires on living beings without even listening to science “.
In the meantime, there are 32 positive cases, of which 29 in the area of the Insugherata Reserve, two in the Labaro and one in the province of Rieti.
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