Radioactive Boar Incidents on the Rise
German government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar have quadrupled since 2007.
Government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive boar have quadrupled since 2007.
It would be hard to beat that! One imagines that this is the nanny state gone awry. But no!
It’s no secret that Germany has a wild boar problem. Stories of marauding pigs hit the headlines with startling regularity: Ten days ago, a wild boar attacked a wheelchair-bound man in a park in Berlin; in early July, a pack of almost two dozen of the animals repeatedly marched into the eastern German town of Eisenach, frightening residents and keeping police busy; and on Friday morning, a German highway was closed for hours after 10 wild boar broke through a fence and waltzed onto the road.
Even worse, though, almost a quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in Ukraine, a good chunk of Germany’s wild boar population remains slightly radioactive — and the phenomenon has been costing the German government an increasing amount of money in recent years.
According to the Environment Ministry in Berlin, almost €425,000 ($555,000) was paid out to hunters in 2009 in compensation for wild boar meat that was too contaminated by radiation to be sold for consumption. That total is more than four times higher than compensation payments made in 2007.
The reason for the climbing payments, of course, has more to do with Germany’s skyrocketing wild boar population than with an increase in radioactive contamination. “In the last couple of years, wild boar have rapidly multiplied,” a spokesman from the Environment Ministry confirmed to SPIEGEL ONLINE. “Not only is there more corn being farmed, but warmer winters have also contributed to a boar boom.”
Those boars aren’t going to kill themselves! And they need killing. But who’s going to do it if they can’t eat or sell the meat?