Brussels acknowledges that a cull is an effective way to combat highly contagious African swine fever, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The virus has spread aggressively, while the wild boar population has grown in an uncontrolled way, IAR cited an EU official whom it did not name as saying.
Protests have erupted in Poland in recent days over government plans for a cull of boars in some areas of the country.
Social media users have been inserting memes featuring boars on their profiles in protest at the plans.
Threat to EU meat exports?
Polish private radio broadcaster RMF FM cited a European Commission official as saying that failure to stop the spread of African swine fever could put the EU’s meat exports at risk.
Poland is an important supplier of pork, which comprises 58 percent of the EU’s total meat exports, RMF FM added.
Poland’s environment minister, Henryk Kowalczyk, told public broadcaster Polish Radio on Friday that the number of boars shot this hunting season would be below 200,000, lower than in previous years.
According to Polish Radio’s IAR news agency, Polish hunters shot over 200,000 boars in the 2010/2011, 2012/2013 and the 2013/2014 seasons.
Meanwhile, Poland’s state news agency PAP has reported that German hunters shot a record 836,865 boars in 2017/2018, 42 percent up on the previous hunting season.
No outbreaks of African swine fever have been detected in Germany so far, PAP added.
African swine fever does not affect humans but can be deadly to pigs.