Picnics banned in Rome in effort to combat wild boar incursions

Picnics banned in Rome in effort to combat wild boar incursions

Picnics have been banned and bins fenced off in a large swathe of northern Rome as health authorities move to contain the wild boar population after African swine fever was detected in a deceased animal.

Feeding or approaching the animals has also been forbidden, while people who have walked through farmland or nature reserves in the affected areas have been told to disinfect their shoes.

African swine fever, which is fatal to pigs and wild boar but harmless to humans, was detected in the body of a dead boar in the Insugherata nature reserve on Thursday.

It was the first time a case had been reported in the centre of Italy after the disease was found in wild boar in the northern Piedmont region in January, prompting the government to appoint a special commissioner to impose measures to eradicate the illness.

The affected anti-boar “red zones” in Rome are located in the north and north-west of the Italian capital, including an area close to Vatican City.

Lead Image: Wild boar foraging for food in Rome in September. About 23,000 of the animals in and around the city, according to the farmers’ association Colidretti. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters.

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