The Russian government is planning to exterminate wild boars in an attempt to combat an African swine virus which is denying Russian pork products access to the Chinese market.
Russia’s Agriculture Ministry and Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will carry out these plans.
On Sept. 7, President Vladimir Putin ordered ministers to deal with the problem. “You asked me to talk to Chinese colleagues about opening the Chinese market for us. But there are problems we need to solve,” he said at a Cabinet meeting.
The African swine virus is harmless to humans but deadly to animals. It came to Russia from Georgia in 2007 and has since been registered in 42 Russian regions.
Ecologists condemn the extermination plans. Experts say the wild boars have nothing to do with the spread of the disease.
“They somehow decided that wild boars are the root of all evil. But the main reason for the spreading of the virus is the incorrect transportation of agricultural products: live pigs, skins and fat,” Vladimir Krever, Russian coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund, told the Kommersant newspaper.