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Germany Grapples With Chernobyl's Radioactive Boars

Government compensates hunters for unsellable meat
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2014 6:40 AM CDT
Germany Grapples With Chernobyl's Radioactive Boars
In this Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010 file photo, wild boars stroll in a forest in Eglharting near Munich, southern Germany.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

(Newser) – The effects of Chernobyl are still being felt 700 miles and nearly three decades away—in the form of radioactive boars. Wild boars' meat is considered a delicacy, the Telegraph notes, but a third of those animals wandering Saxony, eastern Germany, exhibit radioactivity levels beyond the EU's legal limits, NBC News reports. To be fair, those limits are "very strict," says a local official. "You should not expect that wild boars in the southern Vogtland region are now glowing in the dark." Indeed, eating 29 pounds' worth of the radioactive creatures would result in radioactivity exposure equivalent to that of a transatlantic plane ride.

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But the continuing issue is costing the government a fair bit of money. Hunters are required to test the meat they collect, and when it doesn't meet the official standards, the government spends "hundreds of thousands of euros" to compensate them for their work, the Telegraph reports. "It doesn't cover the loss from game sales, but at least it covers the cost of disposal," says a hunting organization rep. Rainy, windy weather helped bring radioactive particles from Chernobyl to western Europe, the Telegraph reports, affecting the boars' mushroom diet. Radioactive or not, boars have been making their presence felt in Germany—even in Berlin. (Read more Germany stories.)

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