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Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the regenerating-bacon dept.
An anonymous reader writes 28 years after the Chernobyl accident, tests have found that more than one in three Saxony boars give off such high levels of radiation that they are unfit for consumption. In 2009 almost €425,000 ($555,000) was paid out to hunters in compensation for wild boar meat that was too contaminated to be sold. "It doesn't cover the loss from game sales, but at least it covers the cost of disposal," says Steffen Richter, the head of the Saxon State Hunters Association.
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Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Wild boar are thought to be particularly affected because they root through the soil for food, and feed on mushrooms and underground truffles that store radiation. Many mushrooms from the affected areas are also believed to be unfit for human consumption. "

    That's pretty interesting. Chernobyl was a long time ago.

    • by Ihlosi (895663) on Monday September 01, 2014 @01:48PM (#47801699)
      Chernobyl was a long time ago.

      It was only about one half-life (Cs-137) ago.

      Also, Cs-137 gets washed to lower soil layers very slowly (a few millimeters per year).

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        It seems odd that the pigs are too irradiated to eat but seem to thrive and breed just fine.

        • Nothing odd about it. Their females are fertile when less than a ear old, their males two years after birth. Long term effects of radiation are felt later.

        • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday September 01, 2014 @02:26PM (#47801967)

          It seems odd that the pigs are too irradiated to eat but seem to thrive and breed just fine.

          Most people these days prefer to live a good deal longer than their earliest possible breeding time.

          • by amiga3D (567632)

            You can't tell that from the actions of most teenagers.

        • by JosKarith (757063)
          Look up the DDT concentration pyramid - it doesn't take large doses in the creatures in the lower stages of the pyramid to build up to toxic levels in the apex predators - which would be us in this case.
      • by ilguido (1704434)
        Cesium radiated boars were found in northwestern Italy last year(Google translated article [google.it]), and Chernobyl was blamed. However I still wonder what the cesium levels were before Chernobyl: perhaps it's just that boars are like bananas and tobacco.
    • by Applehu Akbar (2968043) on Monday September 01, 2014 @02:21PM (#47801929)

      Mushrooms can be used to bioconcentrate metals. Some species prefer cesium:
      http://www.herbmuseum.ca/conte... [herbmuseum.ca]

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday September 01, 2014 @01:59PM (#47801787)
    Since a lot of hog hunts are done at night, the slight glow should make the boars a lot easier to see
    • by Ihlosi (895663)
      Since a lot of hog hunts are done at night, the slight glow should make the boars a lot easier to see

      If you shoot a hog that's radioactive enough to give it a visible glow, you will lose your hunting license, face fines and possibly jail time, since using unnatural light sources while hunting is prohibited.

      (This is Germany, what did you expect?)

  • Excellent for radioactive boars, bloodsuckers and chimeras.

  • by mdsolar (1045926)
    There has got to be a spam joke here someplace: In SOVIET Russia boars spam you.?.?
  • by aepervius (535155) on Monday September 01, 2014 @02:27PM (#47801973)
    What are we speaking of ? 2 time the normal acceopted level (aka, really low but still declared unfit under the linear model , but way less than living in a granite mountain ?), or are we speaking very high ? Also what is the isotope here ? The linked article certainly is as uninformative as it gets.
    • Found it (Score:5, Informative)

      by aepervius (535155) on Monday September 01, 2014 @02:34PM (#47802017)
      1) germany apparently forbid anything above 700 bq/Kg , whereas otehr country do it at 3000 Bq/Kg.

      2) Average contamination in 2009 was 7000 Bq/Kg in the highiest contaminated area.

      I wish the article could have told that.
      • by brambus (3457531)

        Average contamination in 2009 was 7000 Bq/Kg in the highiest contaminated area.

        60% of the time, it works every time [youtube.com] :)

      • by mjwx (966435)

        1) germany apparently forbid anything above 700 bq/Kg , whereas otehr country do it at 3000 Bq/Kg.

        2) Average contamination in 2009 was 7000 Bq/Kg in the highiest contaminated area.

        I wish the article could have told that.

        The isotope is C137.

  • The world blew up in a thousand atomic fireballs. The first blast was set off by five terrorists. It took two million years... for some of the radioactive clouds to allow some sun in. By then, only a handful of porcine survived. The rest of the pigs had changed into hideous mutants. These mutant species floundered in the bad areas... radioactive lands that never allowed them to become boars again... and made each birth a new disaster. http://www.springfieldspringfi... [springfiel...ield.co.uk]
  • Reports are coming in of a girl riding on the back of a giant wolf, apparently hunting large boar with a spear.

  • I scanned all of the comments and nobody had grabbed onto a fundamental problem in the summary. Why is the government of Germany reimbursing hunters for radioactive meat, when the chernobyl happened 30 years ago in another country? How does this make Germany cut checks? Do they also cut a check if a boar is dieseased or otherwise doesn't meet health codes?

    my motto: if a food doesn't meet health standards, then you can't sell it. I'm not going to wipe your bottom for you and buy your contaminated boars.
    • Radioactive materials concentrate up the food chain so I suppose this is one way to let nature clean it up for you.

      Radioactive Germans probably costs more to the national health service than buying the meat. Meat that only makes you sick, probably doesn't cost much; however, cancer is expensive.

      Perhaps it is a conspiracy, we don't want some Blond Haired, Blue eyed, big nosed man with a german accent calling himself PiggyMan! I'm sure the Muppets have a job for him...

      • OK, let's assume there are social benefits to preventing radioactive meat. this is the reasoning behind the food codes. The question I asked, why is the german government cutting checks? why don't they just make it illegal to sell the meat?
  • Becquerel is a measure of activity and does not tell you anything about the nature of the radiation. It is a stupid measurement. Rem or Sievert would be more useful.

    Radioactivity is often expressed in becquerels per unit of volume or weight, to express how much radioactive material is contained in a sample. But the unit of volume or weight is not fixed, so we may see becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg), becquerels per litre (Bq/l), becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3), or becquerels per cubic centimetre (Bq/cm3)

    • by Ihlosi (895663)
      Becquerel is a measure of activity and does not tell you anything about the nature of the radiation.

      The "nature" of the radiation is known - it's the decay of Cs-137.

      rem or Sv, on the other hand, are inappropriate units for specifying how radioactive a sample of material is, since rem or Sv numbers can, strictly speaking, only been determined after living tissue was exposed to radiation.

  • I want a radio-active wild boar shirt!
  • Radioactive wild boars roam Germany. I'm calling it as the first sign of the Apolcalypse!

  • The 700 Bg/ Kg seems awefully low.

    Here in Australia you can wander into any local supermarket and buy "Lite Salt" wich is 50% Potassium Chloride. These typically have a mass of 170 gm and consequently an activity of 4000 Bg. So by German standards that is 23529 Bg/Kg and hence way above the legal limit.

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