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Poland wants troops, police to shoot boars with swine fever

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s agriculture minister on Wednesday proposed that army and police personnel should be allowed to shoot wild boars infected with African swine fever, to help fight the disease that has been found in the west of the country after it seemed contained in the east.

Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski said proposed new legislation would also punish anyone obstructing the preventive killing of the animals, such as environmentalists.

The disease appeared in Poland’s east last year, believed to have been brought from neighbouring Ukraine. Affected areas were fenced off at first but the disease spread and some 180,000 wild boar have been shot to contain it. The move was condemned by environmentalists, who tried to block it.

The disease was found last week in a dead boar in a western region where there are also many pig farms, some 110 kilometres (68 miles) from the German border. The area is being fenced off, but massive shootings are necessary, Ardanowski argued on state Polish Radio 1.

He said he will submit the draft law to parliament in coming weeks for swift processing. It was not clear when it could take effect, if approved.

The Associated Press