Acta Vet. Brno 2022, 91: 87-97

Radiocaesium in wild boars in Novohradské (Gratzen) Mountains

František Kouba1, Kateřina Vernerová2, Miloslav Šoch2, Vladimír Hanzal3, Lucie Filásová1, Zbyněk Semerád4, František Svoboda4, Jan Rosmus5

1Regional Veterinary Administration of the State Veterinary Administration for South Bohemian Region, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
2University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Faculty of Agriculture, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
3Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Praha, Czech Republic
4State Veterinary Administration, Praha, Czech Republic
5State Veterinary Institute Praha, Czech Republic

Received February 10, 2021
Accepted October 15, 2021

The monitoring of radiocaesium in the ecosystems of particular areas in the Czech Republic is necessary even decades following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. We report an evaluation of the radioactive contamination of the meat of wild boars hunted in the Novohradské (Gratzen) Mountains in the period of December 2012 to December 2019. Radionuclide 137Cs is surveyed for food safety as a source of food chain contamination and a possible risk for human health. Overall, 654 samples of game meat from wild boars were analysed for 137Cs activity. The 137Cs legal limit of 600 Bq·kg-1 was exceeded in 238 samples (36.4%) of hunted wild boar meat. Statistical analysis showed that 137Cs activities measured in wild boar muscle in March reached lower values compared to the period from June till November (P < 0.05). Higher values were reported in September (P < 0.05) as well as in August (P < 0.01) compared to December. A significant season-based 137Cs level was found (P < 0.000). Higher 137Cs activities in wild boar in the winter season (November to April) are related to decreasing access to a naturally occurring diet with a lower 137Cs content. The keepers of the wild boar in this area were ordered to comply with obligatory emergency veterinary precautions set by the Regional Veterinary Administration to analyse all hunted game meat for radiocaesium. All wild boars with an above-limit 137Cs value had to be excluded from the food chain by hunting ground keepers and disposed of safely.


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