EC supports plan of wild boar cull in Poland: media

According to the unofficial reports, The European Commission supports the plan of Polish authorities to cull wild boars due to the African Swine Fever (ASF) threat.

Minister denies reports of mass wild boar cull

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“This is an important step towards limiting very aggressive spreading of the ASF virus in Poland and other EU countries to protect farmers and consumers,” an anonymous representative of the European Commission told Polish private RMF FM radio.

“If we do not stop development of ASF in Poland, the whole EU will be endangered with blockade of pork trade with non-EU partners,” the source of RMF FM added.

The export of pork is 58 percent of the whole meat export from the EU and Poland is one of the most important producers.

Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, a spokeswoman of the European Commission, said on Friday that the EC sees fighting ASF as a priority and this virus is a threat to the whole European pork market.

"The cull can be used to reduce the population of wild boars, provided that it is being conducted in a proper way and in a proper place," Ms Itkonen said.

Polish MEPs have different opinions about this issue. Dariusz Rosati, representing Civic Platform and European People’s Party, asked the European Commission whether it wants to draw consequences from Polish authorities, which, “threatened the stability of the specie and its influence on ecology.”

MEP Bolesław Piecha of Law and Justice and European Conservatives and Reformists said that there is no other way to deal with ASF. “There is no vaccine or any method of treatment. The only possible way is depopulation of sick and endangered animals,” he said.

The news of the government’s plan to fight the spread of African Swine Fever by culling wild boars emerged early this month. The action is to take place on three weekends, starting January 12.

In a letter to the Polish hunting associations, the Deputy Ministry of Environment appealed to the hunters to “maximally decrease the population of wild boars” in order to fight the spread of the ASF.

On Monday, the Polish Environment Minister Henryk Kowalczyk told Polish public radio that he will issue a document, preventing hunters from culling pregnant sows, as well as those with cubs.