Mass wild boar cull in Lithuania as African swine fever strikes
Lithuania said Monday it plans a mass cull of its wild boars due to an outbreak of African swine fever after neighbours banned pork import from the Baltic EU state.
"The goal is to leave up to 10 percent of the current 60,000-strong (wild boar) population to prevent the virus from spreading," said Jurgita Savickaite, spokeswoman for the Food and Veterinary Service.
Non-EU neighbours Russia and Belarus banned pork products from Lithuania that are not processed thermally after the virus was detected in the country last week, she told AFP.
Lithuania's government is expected on Wednesday to officially declare a state of emergency in regions bordering Belarus, which it claims was the source of the virus.
All wild boars hunted in these regions—all close to EU neighbour Poland —will be incinerated if tests show they carry the virus, which is harmless to humans but lethal to pigs and has no known cure.
Lithuania also imposed a temporary ban on the shipping of live pigs out of the affected areas, fearing the virus could spread to local farms.
Interior Minister Dailis Alfonsas Barakauskas said the government will also turn to the EU Commission asking to finance a fence along Belarus' border to prevent the movement of boars.
© 2014 AFP