Hunting law amended to help curb swine fever

In order to ease decimating the number of wild boar and curb an outbreak of African swine fever in Latvia, the parliament on Thursday passed amendments to the Hunting Law giving hunters more liberties on where they're allowed to hunt, reported BNS newswire.

The legislative amendments will allow hunting in territories where it wasn't previously. 

The European Commission expects the EU wild boar population to be reduced to 0.5 animals per square kilometer. The measures will offset risks to hunting resources, the swine farming industry and fodder transportation. Hunters are being paid for each sow they kill.

Latvian Radio reported Thursday the figure to be €100 for every wild boar sow, and in the week after the payment was instated more than 100 hunted animals have been presented for the reward to the Food and Veterinary Service.

Under the amendments, ASF prevention measures will be continued until the density of the wild boar population is reduced to one boar per 200 hectares, but not beyond March 31, 2020. The new law allows hunting wild boar in 200-1,000 hectare areas, including forests and farmlands, areas smaller than 200 hectares, as well as other locations where hunting had been banned.

The amendments will take effect on the next day after their promulgation.

African swine fever is an extremely dangerous and contagious virus infection affecting pigs. If an infected pig is found in a farm, all pigs in the particular farm have to be culled, which means big losses for farmers.

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