By: Brad Chen
After causing chaos in Rome for the past few decades, the wild boars that have inhabited the area will most likely be entirely wiped out due to the threat that they pose to the Italian livestock industry.
After a boar tested positive for African swine fever in Piedmont, Italy, many have been concerned that these boars could spread the virus. Humans have no need to worry, as the virus is harmless to humans, but it is devastating to pigs raised as livestock, as it has a 98% mortality rate so far.
In March, a new government task force was created to help eradicate the virus. Their plan was to diminish the number of boars in Italy.
“I don’t see the eradication of the disease as a possibility unless you bring about a strong reduction of the [boar] population,” says Angelo Ferrari who was assigned to the task force. The problem is that there are just too many boars to deal with as there are just not enough predators to limit the boars’ population growth.
The task force is now assigning hunters to kill boars in specific regions, and they have also set up countless traps in and around Rome.
There is a lot at stake: many farmers’ lives and a $20 billion industry depend on the livelihood of the livestock.