wild boar in Rome found with African swine fever

City of Rome bans picnics as it battles wild boar incursions

By Region Central Italy Environment News

The city acts to contain the wild boar population after African swine fever detected in body of dead animal. Picnics have been banned and bins fenced off.

There has been a recent increase in attacks by boar on people in the northern neighbourhoods of Rome. Combined with the detection of African swine fever in a deceased animal, the city has finally acted.

Picnics have been banned and bins fenced off in a large swathe of northern Rome. Health authorities moved to contain the wild boar population. According to the farmers’ association Coldiretti, there are around 23,000 boar in and around the city.

African swine fever in boar in Rome

Feeding or approaching the animals has also been forbidden. People who have walked through farmland or nature reserves in the affected areas have been told to disinfect their shoes.

African swine fever, which is fatal to pigs and wild boar but harmless to humans, was detected in the body of a dead boar in the Insugherata nature reserve on Thursday.

It was the first time a case had been reported in the centre of Italy. The disease was found in wild boar in the northern Piedmont region in January. That prompted the government to appoint a special commissioner to impose measures to eradicate the illness.

North of Rome affected

The affected anti-boar “red zones” in Rome are located in the north and north-west of the Italian capital. This includes an area close to Vatican City.

About 23,000 wild boar live in and around Rome, according to estimates from Coldiretti, the farmers’ association. The animals are often seen in parks, walking down the road or searching for food, mostly in the north of the city.

The Italian health minister, Roberto Speranza, said the situation would receive “maximum attention”. Andrea Costa, a health ministry undersecretary, said the government was also discussing a “slaughtering plan” to reduce the wild boar population.

“I respect the sensitivities of animal rights activists and environmentalists, but we are facing an emergency and it must be addressed with emergency measures,” he told the state broadcaster, Rai.

Leave a Reply