President Andrzej Duda signed the act called “lex Ardanowski”, which is intended to facilitate the fight against African swine fever, among others. by killing wild boars in areas where the virus was found and imprisoning people involved in preventing the shooting.
According to the ecological organization WWF, the new regulations will cause a lot of damage to the natural environment. – There are a number of things in the act on the fight against ASF that greatly interfere with our civil rights. This includes: imposing imprisonment for obstructing hunting, which is an absolutely inadequate punishment – Katarzyna Karpa-Świderek, spokeswoman for WWF Polska, tells the Newseria Biznes news agency. – There are also other issues, because according to this act it will be possible, for example, to close crossings over motorways. The wild boar is not the only animal that lives in the ecosystem. If we close ecological corridors, other animals will also suffer, including those that are protected, e.g. lynx, wolf, roe deer.
The act signed by the president, which is to enter into force the day after its publication in the Journal of Laws, grants hunters greater rights to shoot wild boars and provides for prison sentences for people who try to prevent hunting. The Senate accepted the Sejm version without amendments, although only by a majority of one vote, because the provisions were supported by PSL. According to the new regulations, hunters will be able to shoot during the day and at night, using silencers that will prevent animals from being warned about danger. Additionally, people “walking in the forest” during a hunt may be considered as disturbing the shooting and sentenced to up to a year in prison. According to WWF, the emphasis and resources allocated in the act were incorrect. The state wants to spend a total of PLN 133 million to fight the virus.
– We spend a disproportionate amount of money on culling compared to how much we spend on biosecurity. And this is not culling, but biosecurity, i.e. securing the farm so that the virus from the environment does not get into pigs, actually works and is a method against ASF – argues Katarzyna Karpa-Świderek. – Instead of solving the problem, this act creates further problems and polarizes society, and even penalizes certain behaviors that seem far from being punishable by imprisonment.
Up to PLN 650 for a shot wild boar
For wild boars obtained during hunting and delivered to a collection point or plant, the district veterinarian will pay the lessee or the manager of the hunting district or the director of the national park PLN 650 gross for female wild boars and adult female wild boars and PLN 300 gross for other wild boars. Meanwhile, according to scientists, hunters who come into contact with sick animals are a frequent source of infections in pig farms, because wild boars do not have direct contact with farm animals.
– This bill is against wildlife and will not improve its condition. The way it was handled was far from a good legislative process in which the voices of scientists and society, including non-governmental organizations, are listened to, argues the WWF spokeswoman. – This is one of the very important allegations. You cannot make a law that will affect so many people and will affect nature in Poland without listening to those who know nature, i.e. scientists, biologists, zoologists, but also non-governmental organizations dealing with environmental protection. This is extremely dangerous and such situations always take revenge.
Poland has been fighting the ASF virus for the sixth year. In January 2019, the Polish Academy of Sciences published its position in which it stated that reducing the wild boar population should be only one of the actions aimed at stopping the spread of ASF, because only about 5 percent. previously shot wild boars had contact with this virus. The situation is different with dead wild boars, where the percentage was 80%.