Italy bans hunting in regions hit by African swine fever

Outdoor activities banned in two north Italian regions due to swine fever.

Italy has banned hunting in areas of Piemonte and Liguria after the recent detection of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar in the two northern regions.

The highly contagious disease, fatal to pigs and wild hogs, is not transmitted to humans but can cause considerable financial losses to the farming sector.

In addition to hunting, the collection of mushrooms and truffles, fishing, trekking and mountain biking have been banned in the affected areas for the next six months.

The ban, issued by the ministries for health and agriculture, concerns the areas around 114 towns (78 in Piemonte and 36 in Liguria), reports news agency ANSA.

On Thursday the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported that China, Japan, Taiwan and Kuwait have blocked purchases of pork products from Italy, with restrictions introduced by neighbouring Switzerland.