The total number of dead wild boar due to African Swine Fever (ASF) in Northern Italy has risen to 52. In the meantime, the first steps have been made to construct wild boar fences alongside various motorways in the area.
The authorities have now found 29 ASF positive carcasses in the province of Alessandria in the Piemonte region, and 23 positive carcasses in the province of Genoa in the Liguria region, according to the most recent count of the IZSUM institute. All in all, the growth constitutes a rise of a couple of carcasses per week, but the growth does not appear to be exponential so far.
Similarly, when plotted on the map, the cases do not seem to spread very strongly geographically, but are found within a known zone, a relatively hilly area measuring 27km from east to west and 30km north to south. So far, no domestic pigs have been found infected.
In order to get the outbreaks under control, the Italian authorities have decided to create wild boar barriers parallel to the motorways A7 and A26, both running from north to south. That way, the emergency zone could be fenced off – a project when finished that will include 116km of wild boar barrier.
According to the plan, the total fencing will have to be ready by the end of the summer of 2022. 400 workers are needed to complete the fence, and construction will cost € 12 million. Between the cities Masone and Ovada, the first steps have been made for the construction, according to the Genovese newspaper Il Secolo XIX.
It all forms part of a plan to start shooting a large number of wild boar in this area. Italian newspaper La Stampa reported that hunters and dogs will have to carry out this task of eradicating roughly 80% of the wild boar population. In order to do so, in the control area it is expected that hunting at night will also be applied with the use of thermal imaging cameras.