Italy bans hunting in regions hit by swine fever

An order signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza and Agriculture Minister Stefano Patuanelli, affects 114 rural areas in the north-western regions of Piedmont and Liguria, where four wild boars were found to carry the disease, reported Reuters.

As well as the ban on hunting, it will also be forbidden to gather mushrooms and truffles, to fish, hike, cycle in the areas "and do any other activity (involving) direct or indirect contact with infected boars," says the order released by the ministers.

In an exception to the broad hunting ban, targeted hunting of wild boar will still be allowed in an effort to control their numbers and monitor the spread of swine fever.

The discovery of the disease in Italy could be a blow to its meat producers as governments often block imports of pork products from countries where the disease has been found as a way to prevent transmission.

The order, which takes immediate effect and will run for six months, "will allow our production activities to continue to operate safely, providing reassurances regarding our exports," the ministers said.

China and other pork buyers banned imports of German pork in September 2020 after the first case was confirmed in wild animals in Germany.