Ten percent of Mahilyow region\'s wild boar population killed within weeks as precaution against spread of African swine fever

 

As many as 1,100 wild boars, or 10 percent of the species' population in the Mahilyow region, were shot and killed within weeks as authorities work to prevent the spread of African swine fever.

The highly contagious virus was not found in any of the killed animals.

Local government officials have denied plans to eliminate the region's entire population of wild boar, but acknowledged that all wild boars inhabiting the districts located closest to the Vitsyebsk region, which has been hit by the disease, will be killed.

Representatives of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences have defended the measure as a necessary precaution.

Meanwhile, some agricultural companies in the Mahilyow region have started closing down small hog farms where strict veterinary controls cannot be secured, selling the hogs to local residents at low prices.

"These companies have sold their hogs dirt cheap," a resident of the Shklow district told BelaPAN. "I myself keep some 10 hogs. I have a large family and you know how hard it is to live off one's wages alone."