EU OKs Poland's wild boar slaughter to fight swine disease

In this photo taken March 25, 2018, wild boar are seen roaming near houses in Lomianki county on Warsaw outskirts.Tens of thousands of Poles are protesting a government plan to hold a massive slaughter of wild boars as a way to stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever among farm pigs. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Union's executive body is supporting Poland's slaughter of wild boars as a way of protecting farm pigs and meat production from the deadly African swine fever.

The government's decision to shoot some 200,000 wild boars this hunting season has drawn wide public protests but veterinary and Polish environment officials insist it's an approved method.

Massive boar hunts are planned for remaining weekends this month.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission, Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said Friday in Brussels that properly done, the shooting of wild boars, which spread the virus, is one of the ways of stopping the disease.

The disease, which is spreading in eastern Poland, threatens Europe's pork industry.

Poland Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski noted that Germany killed over 800,000 wild boars last year as a precaution.

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