Denmark builds fence to keep wild boar out of country

Denmark plans to build a fence along its border with Germany in a bid to keep out wild boar.

Danish officials fear wild boar could spread African swine fever to the country’s hog barns with devasting effects.

Denmark has about 3,000 pig farms with 12 million pigs. The industry is rated among the top in the world in terms of breeding, quality, food safety, animal welfare and traceability.

Pork exports are worth the equivalent of about C$6 billion to the Danish economy.

Even though there is no African swine fever in Germany, Denmark is taking no chances and insists the 70-kilometre fence, costing about $6.1 million, is excellent value.

It is planned to stand 1.5 metres tall and 50 centimetres below ground level so the pigs cannot dig under it.

The Danish government has also introduced 24 hour surveillance for wild boar and intensified control of wild boar on public and private land. Fines have been hiked for various offences, including improperly cleaned or disinfected animal transport vehicles, and signs have been erected at motorway rest areas warning against throwing away food waste.

A high density of Denmark’s pig farms are located close to the German border.

Some critics say the fence will not be effective because the virus is mainly spread by people during the transport of animals and infected food.

African swine fever has been detected in the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary as well as a few cases in Belgium.

The fence is due for completion in autumn.

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