On April 26, 1986, an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (which was part of the Soviet Union at the time) released massive amounts of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.
Helped along by wind and rain, these particles quickly spread all across Europe, reaching as far west as Spain and France.
However, recent tests carried out by the government of Saxony (a German state that borders Poland and the Czech Republic), have raised some legitimate concerns as to just how healthy this boar meat is.
The problem stems from soil contamination. Many of the radioactive particles from Chernobyl ended up being absorbed into the German soil (as a result of the winds and rains).
This is particularly problematic for boars, who spend much of their day digging through the Earth and have a diet that consists primarily of foods which grow within the soil itself, such as mushrooms, truffles and other roots.
In one year, the program tested 752 boars. Of that number, a whopping 297 (around 40%) of the boars tested above the radiation limit.
The radiation problem is causing a number of issues. Besides prompting worries about how safe wild game is to eat, the radioactive boars are also causing economic problems as well.
Wild boars are capable of reaching immense sizes. This 7 foot, 500-pound hog was shot in Bertie County, North Carolina back in February (Courtesy of WITN)
Primary among these is the fact that the government has to pay the hunters every time one of their boars is destroyed for being over the radiation limit (they cover the disposal costs but don’t reimburse them for the lost revenues).
These costs add up to hundreds of thousands of euros every year, and there is no indication of that changing any time soon.
In fact, judging by the extremely high radiation levels being recorded right now, scientists believe that Germany’s radioactive boars could be around for at least another 50 years.