The Italian government has imposed strict measures to tackle the soaring numbers of wild boar wreaking havoc in the country’s capital, Rome. Authorities have banned outdoor picnics and taped off rubbish bins in some areas of the city in an attempt to crack down on the invading pigs.
Across a large area of northern Rome, picnics have been prohibited and rubbish bins cordoned off as health authorities try to curb the wild boar population in the capital. It comes after African swine fever was detected in the bodies of three dead pigs.
Authorities have also forbidden people to feed or approach the wild boar. Anyone who has walked through nature reserves or farmland in the area concerned has been advised to disinfect their footwear.
Wild boar are commonly found in the area surrounding Italy’s capital, but in recent months they have been seen in much bigger numbers in the city as they forage for food. Particularly in the north of the city, there have been multiple sightings of groups of pigs wandering the street and rummaging through piles of rubbish. The animals have been ransacking bins that are overflowing with rubbish as the city struggles to manage its waste collection issues.
In some northern neighborhoods, a nightly curfew has been introduced to protect residents from wild boar attacks. The measure comes after one woman was pushed to the ground by a boar and suffered minor injuries while putting out her rubbish in the evening.
The situation is becoming more serious with the identification of African swine fever in some of the carcasses. While the disease is harmless to humans, it can be fatal for pigs and wild boar.
With the discovery of the highly contagious disease in the animals found in the Insugherata Nature Reserve, an 800-hectare natural park to the north of the city, several areas of northern Rome have been declared “red zones” by health authorities.
Last week, health ministry undersecretary Andrea Costa announced that a “large-scale cull” would be imperative across Italy to reduce the increasing wild boar population.