Dozens of people protested on Saturday in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture. These are people who are against the mass shooting of wild boars announced by the ministry.
As the foundation and coalition “Let them live!” Announced in a press release, Saturday’s happening in front of the Ministry of Agriculture is “a protest against the announced next mass, cruel and senseless extermination of wild boars, which are to be carried out by Polish hunters in the coming months.” The shooting of animals is to be a way to fight the ASF disease, called African swine fever.
“The goal is the maximum reduction of the species from the landscape of Polish forests, the ministry does not hide it at all. The government wants to do it by appointing an additional death squadron: over 1000 professional hunters. This massacre in forests is expected in January, February and March!” – wrote the activists.
“It’s stupidity and a crime”
On Saturday, several dozen people gathered in front of the ministry building. The protesters brought cardboard boars with them, as well as banners with the slogans: “stop the slaughter”, “hands off the boars”. In turn, in front of the Ministry gate, a teddy boar was laid on a stretcher. The happening was secured by a dozen or so policemen.
In an interview with a TVN24 reporter, Prof. Andrzej Elżanowski, zoologist and bioethicist, member of the Polish Society of Ethics, called government plans for wild boars “stupidity and crime”. – It has been known for a long time that mass killing is not a way to eradicate ASF. Sanctions and the implementation of biosecurity are a sine qua non condition for eradicating ASF. None of the previous governments has been able to implement this. Governments are hostage to those who demand the extermination of wild boars – said prof. Elżanowski.
He added that without introducing the biosecurity discipline, as well as disciplining the farmers themselves, “there is no chance of reducing ASF”. – The effect is that wild boars will be massacred in a stupid and inhumane way, and ASF will continue to spread – said the scientist.
Ineffective fight against ASF
Activists say that the announcement of a mass shooting of wild boar indicates that “the government has not learned and does not want to draw any conclusions from the so far ineffective, full of errors and chaos fight against ASF”.
“It is due to the massive hunting of wild boar, which has been going on for several years, with the notorious breach of biosecurity rules by hunters and the neglect of other methods of counteracting the epidemic by the government – adequate support for pig farm biosecurity and an effective program of searching for wild boars killed with ASF” – believe the opponents of the shooting.
They indicate that Poland has been the record holder in Europe for the last three years in terms of the number of new ASF cases. “The number of epidemic outbreaks in pig farms is also increasing dramatically – from 48 in 2019, 103 in 2020, to 124 in 2021, placing us in second place after Romania” – activists enumerate.
According to the data of the Polish Hunting Association, as early as at the beginning of 2016, there were 241,000 wild boars in Poland, in 2020, after several years of mass shooting, hunters showed only 66,000.
Main photo source: TVN24