Regional control plans for wildlife have already been operational for several years in all the provinces of Emilia-Romagna. Of particular interest are those aimed at the depopulation of wild boars, whose widespread diffusion not only causes damage to crops, but is a critical point for the spread of the African swine fever (PSA) virus, but there is also high attention regarding fossorial animals such as foxes and nourish that dig burrows in the banks of rivers and canals. To achieve these objectives, the Region, with its own resolution, has made resources of 1,1 million euros available to the Provinces, the body responsible for implementing the plans, divided as follows: 600 thousand euros for 2023 and 500 thousand euros for next year. This aim had already been pursued in previous years, with a first agreement valid for 2021 and 2022 which had made a total of one million euros available to support the implementation of control plans for fossorial species.
Railway safety and beyond
The numerical containment of fossorial species is closely linked to the maintenance of waterways, for the prevention of flooding and subsidence and for road and railway safety. As regards wild boars, funding for the Provinces represents a novelty introduced starting from 2023, to respond to the provisions of the regional plan of urgent interventions to reduce the risks of spreading ASF. The distribution of funds in the provinces follows two different criteria. For fossorial species, funding is based on the length of the rivers plus the length of the canals with banks at least one meter high. For wild boars, 80% of the resources are allocated to the provinces of Piacenza and Parma (closer to the PSA risk areas) while the remaining 20% goes to the provinces of Reggio-Emilia and Modena. Control actions on wild boars must take place as a priority in the restriction zones, in neighboring areas and in the districts identified as priorities by the Plan for the management, control and eradication of African swine fever (PRIU).
Resources by province in 2023
For interventions on fossorial species, in Piacenza, resources of over 117 thousand euros are expected for 13 kilometers of rivers and canals; in Parma, interventions in the 371 kilometers of waterways will have contributions of almost 42 thousand euros; the same amount of 42 thousand euros also in Reggio Emilia for 372 kilometres. Modena has around 354 thousand euros available for 40 kilometres; the metropolitan city of Bologna, where rivers and canals run for 506 kilometres, is entitled to 57 thousand euros; resources worth 431 euros go to Ferrara for 48.600 kilometres; Ravenna has contributions for over 338 thousand euros for 38 kilometres. Finally, in the province of Forlì-Cesena the allocation for interventions in the 128 kilometers of waterways and canals amounts to 14.400 euros, while in Rimini the financing for 44 kilometers is approximately 5 thousand euros. As regards the measures to contain wild boars, the resources are distributed as follows: Piacenza is entitled to 103.300 euros, Parma 136.680, Reggio Emilia 27.580 and Modena 32.420.
Expenses for the purchase of materials necessary for capturing animals are allowed; for the disposal of carcasses; for the agreements that the Provinces stipulate with subjects involved in the implementation of control plans, such as Civil Protection, reclamation consortia, professionals; for specific services and expenses of personnel employed in control activities. For the payment of contributions, by the first months of 2024 the Provinces and the Metropolitan City of Bologna will have to send the Region the report on the activities carried out and the expenses incurred (source: Emilia Romagna Region).