Swine fever emergency
During the session of Regional Hunting Faunistic Consultation of 29 May, in the presence of Councilor Gianluca Gallo, of the Director of the Agriculture sector Dott. Giacomo Giovinazzo, of dott. Rocco Stranieri and Dr. Giorgio Piraino Head of Veterinary Health, the following document was filed, with which the AA. VV. recognized regional authorities (FEDERCACCIA, ANLC, ENALCACCIA, ARCICACCIA, ANUU, ITALCACCIA, EPS), further stimulate the intervention of the Region in the matter of emergency PSA, asking for greater clarity and close collaboration with the Health Authorities in charge:
Service provision no. 240295 of 26 May 2023 of the Department n. 10 – Agriculture, Agri-food Resources and Forestry, Service n. 5 - of the Calabria Region, concerning the Implementation of the PRIU, for the control and eradication of ASF in wild boar, requests the collaboration of the AA.TT.CC. and hunters to search for carcasses and depopulate the area affected by the emergency. We need clarity on this point since the fundamental depopulation operations carried out before the really infected area is exactly circumscribed, i.e. only after having carried out the search for the carcasses especially in the strip of the metropolitan area of Reggio Calabria close to the provinces of Vibo Valentia and Catanzaro, could involve the risk of the unforeseen slaughter of infected animals and, therefore, it is considered a priority that precise operational indications are quickly given to the AA.TT.CC. on how to divide the territory for research purposes by involving hunters and defining the areas of competence. At the same time it is necessary to identify and equip appropriate "Collection Centres" that can receive and manage the carcasses subject to depopulation activities.
Disposal of carcasses
On the merits, it is considered essential that the Health Authorities in charge play an active role in the training of voluntary personnel in the search for carcasses and in the methods of managing them, in agreement with the AA.TT.CC., however assuming direct responsibility for the disposal of "positive and/or dubious" carcasses (even of slaughtered animals). Furthermore, a new and more extensive phase of training of the voluntary personnel necessary to effectively cover a very vast and difficult to explore territory, which involves all the hunters available, especially as it is not possible in this phase to resort to the use of dogs, must be launched quickly. In this regard, it should be emphasized that knowledge of the territory and of the habits of the species is the consolidated heritage of wild boar hunting teams and therefore immediate specific training is needed to face these onerous but indispensable tasks, it was in fact the wild boar hunters who found the first infected carcasses. Considering the current delimitation of the infected area, which also affects the Aspromonte National Park, it is emphasized that the planned interventions must be urgently planned and coordinated also in all the other protected areas, including Parco delle Serre and Sila, where, moreover, the species is more abundant, but of which there is no trace in this first Implementing provision of the PRIU.
The role of training
The AA.VV. finally, they reiterate their willingness to cooperate fully to deal with this serious health emergency that has hit Calabria, but draw attention to the need for the competent bodies to coordinate according to priority levels and also effectively carry out the role of training and coordination of volunteering. The safeguarding of the agri-food sector and the pig farming sector, which is relevant in our Region, remains a priority and central. To the Calabrian President/Health Commissioner Hon. Occhiuto, Councilor Gianluca Gallo and his managers, we reiterate the compelling need to amend its Ordinance no. 1 in order to fully implement the contents of the Ordinance n. 2 of the National Commissioner Dr. Vincenzo Caputo, who did not ban other forms of hunting in the infected area, furthermore underlining the different approach of the very recent Ordinance of the President of the Campania Region concerning the delimitation of the infected area, where harmoniously with the national one in transposing it contents, there is no "preventive" ban on other forms of hunting activity, but the focus is on the actions to be taken to counter the serious pandemic.
Finally, we invite the President/Commissioner himself to intervene with the governing bodies of the Calabrian protected areas so that, without delay, the measures envisaged by the PRIU are applied in order to adequately deal with the emergency precisely in those places which, given their conservation nature, they constitute reservoirs for the species and, consequently, potential outbreaks of ASF. At the conclusion of the session of the Regional Wildlife Consultation, Councilor Gallo, positively accepting the requests of the hunting world, took charge of all the issues highlighted in the aforementioned document and of what was also requested by other components of the agricultural world. Subsequently, with a note dated 30.5.2023 having prot. 245366, the competent sector immediately took action to provide the first guidelines to start passive surveillance and carcass search activities in the territories of the two AA.TT.CC of Reggio Calabria, anticipating that the other territorial hunting areas will soon be involved. The Associations have also requested a meeting of the Consulta in close proximity for the preparation of the hunting calendar. Finally, it was agreed that it should become a permanent task force to make experiences and skills available to all competent institutions, in order to face this emergency. We appeal to all Hunters to lend their utmost collaboration in carrying out this delicate activity and we are confident that, with everyone's collaboration, the common objectives set can be achieved as soon as possible (source: FIDC).