FINLAND - The Finnish Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and the Finnish Wildlife Agency have scheduled enhanced boar hunting.
According to the wildlife centre's investigation, Finland currently has between approximately 1,000 and 1,300 wild boar in the country.
The estimate is based on counts and surveys conducted in November. Most wild boar are there in South-Eastern Finland (400) and East Uusimaa (over 500).
The goal of the hunt in the winter is to reduce the wild boar population by at least half.
Two months ago banned the Ministry feeding of free-range wild boar in the terrain. This is in order not to attract wild boars from Russia to Finland.
The ban is lifted by Agriculture and Forestry Decree from 5 December. The aim is to use nutrition to help in the intensified hunt and stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever as wild boar from the Russian side may carry on.
The deadly African swine fever (ASF) is spreading rapidly among wild boar in the Baltic countries.
New cases reported each week. The disease has spread since 2007 from the Caucasus through Russia and Belarus to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
In Estonia has so far been reported 37 cases, two of them in the northeastern part of the country, which is alarming for Finland. Against the disease is not no vaccine or medication. The disease is not contagious to humans.
There is no precise information on the spread of African swine fever in Russia, but disease cases have been reported in homebred pigs in the Leningrad region and Karelia in recent years. In these areas, there is no systematic disease surveillance of wild boar. There are always boar across the border from Russia.
"African swine fever has never been found in Finland. If the disease spreads here is the consequence massive safeguards and export restrictions. That is why the authorities and the hunters know it is best to stop the spread," said Secretary Jaana Husu-Kallio of Agriculture and Forestry.
Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.
ThePigSite News Desk