The president of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana, has signed an ordinance containing provisions for the prevention and control of African Swine Fever (ASF), a non-communicable viral disease affecting pigs and wild boars. Currently no case of ASF has directly affected Lombardy but, especially in the province of Pavia, attention is very high. This is because it is the closest territory to the infected areas of Piedmont. The proximity to the latest positive wild boar discoveries in Piedmont has led to the enlargement of the restricted area which, according to the community regulations issued at the beginning of June, will also include portions of the Oltrepò Pavese.
All countermeasures are in place
Although the province of Pavia is an area with little pig breeding, it is essential to implement all the necessary measures to minimize the risk of the disease entering the Lombard Po valley, where about 5 million pigs are reared. Which, in addition to representing one of the main supply chains for the regional agricultural economy, feed many of the most famous Italian DOP specialties. The pig herd in our region accounts for more than 50% of the entire national sector. And, in the event of the spread of ASF, a direct health risk for our animal husbandry would therefore arise in the lowland area. With consequent heavy economic damage. Which is estimated at around 60 million euros per month. The deed signed by the president incorporates the indications contained in the recent European regulations and in the ordinance issued at the end of May by the Extraordinary Commissioner of the PSA, Vicenzo Caputo. The ordinance contains new provisions that regulate not only active and passive health surveillance but also outdoor human activities, including hunting and wildlife management.
The salient points of the ordinance
In the Municipalities in the province of Pavia dell'Oltrepò affected by the ordinance, a series of activities to control the wild boar population will be strengthened and expanded, including:
strengthening of the active search for wild boar carcasses through specialized companies and civil protection personnel, to encourage testing of ASF positivity before disposal;
strengthening of wild boar wildlife control activities which will take place through selective killings and with the use of capture cages, coordinated by the provincial police of Pavia, with the prohibition of moving the meat outside the area and that of self-consumption.
Even nocturnal killings
Actions aimed at killing will also take place in night and vehicle actions at least three times a week, making use of professionals in the sector. These actions strengthen what the Lombardy Region has done so far through various measures, including incentives for the reduction of the density of wild boars and the recent resolution which makes 2,2 million euros available to finance fences for pig farms in Lombardy as a work of prevention (Source MORENO GUSSONI FOR LOMBARDIANETIZIE).