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Dangerous Wild Boars Carry Deadly Pig Virus in Italy
By: William Tian
Tons of wild boars are causing chaos in Italy and a lot of pigs are dying. Throughout Italy, people are finding solutions to stop their spread.
The crazy boars have taken over Italy, disrupting traffic, invading the Vatican, cooling off in fountains, and even attacking people in neighborhoods. These pigs aren’t just harmless. They carry a deadly disease called African Swine Fever that humans are immune to, but that could decimate the domestic pig population. Its spread could affect 100,000 jobs. The virus has already spread to several other countries, like China, and Japan. These countries, fearing for their swine, have imposed to ban import on Italian Pork.
The boar population has recently ballooned due to high reproduction rates and a lack of predators. The plan in Rome to get rid of most of the boars is by creating a “red zone” near the city center where the boars will live. Then, you let the wild boar population get the virus, and the boar numbers will decrease. In the Piedmont region, their plan is for hunters to selectively kill the boars. So far, they have killed nearly 3,500.
As some boars get killed, others reproduce in the city’s nature reserves and parks. Boars like to travel together, like people. “The wild boar is not unlike us: smart, social, lives in groups, super adaptable, omnivorous: It’s an animal for all seasons, and habitats,” says Luigi Boitani, a zoologist at Sapienza University in Rome.
Many farmers protested the lack of response from the Italian Government. Once the virus reaches the farms, the farmers will have to selectively kill the pigs. Farmers gathered in the capital, wore boar masks, and crouched like boars, chanting “The boar needs to be stopped!”
Roberto Vecchio, head of a local anti-hunting league, says that shooting boars shouldn’t be the solution. “Killing them should only be a last resort,” Vecchio said. His bloodless solution should be that the boars should be sterilized and sent to another place to be free.