Micovsky: State to Deploy Troops to Hunt Boars if Hunters Don’t Step Up

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stock photo by TASR/AP

Bratislava, July 29 (TASR) – The situation regarding the African swine fever virus (ASFV) in Slovakia is severe, which is why the Agriculture Ministry will adopt robust measures, Agriculture Minister Jan Micovsky (OLaNO) stated at a briefing on Wednesday, noting that tens of thousands of pigs are in danger.

The ministry is asking hunters to meet their quotas for wild boar hunting, or even to exceed them. If the hunting of wild boars isn’t stepped up, the state will deploy the armed forces to deal with the numerous population of the animal, the minister warned.

General manager of the ministry’s forestry and wood-processing department Michal Tomcik stated that the ministry will encourage hunters to switch up to higher gears, namely by doubling the financial reward for presenting kill samples. Conversely, should hunters let up and not meet their quotas, the ministry might fine or impose sanctions on them.

“At the same time, I call on those members of the public who rear pigs privately, and these holdings often aren’t even registered, to carry out slaughters, but we don’t intend to act like the police,” stated Micovsky, adding that if anyone loses pigs to ASFV, they won’t receive any compensation. The ministry is also set to intensify checks and inspections of holdings and farms as well as the transport of these animals.

“Slovakia is mainly threatened from the east, north and south, namely from Ukraine, Poland, from where the disease is closing in on the German and Czech borders in particular at an unbelievable speed, and from Hungary, which is causing us a lot of problems at the moment,” stated State Veterinary and Food Administration (SPVS) head Jozef Bires.

According to the minister, Slovakia’s self-sufficiency in pork production is very low, as it doesn’t even exceed 46 percent.

Cases of the virus have already been registered in six districts in eastern and southern Slovakia