Denmark to begin work on border fence to combat African swine fever

Construction began on Monday (January 28) of an almost 50-mile long wild boar fence along the Danish-German border.
Danish exports of pigs and pork were in 2016 worth a total of about 30 billion kroner (S$6.2 billion).
Danish exports of pigs and pork were in 2016 worth a total of about 30 billion kroner (S$6.2 billion).PHOTO: AFP

COPENHAGEN (DPA) - Denmark was due to begin construction on Monday (Jan 28) of a 70-kilometre fence on the border with Germany as part of efforts to combat the spread of African swine fever through wild boar.

The 1.5-metre high fence, which will run along the entire border between the two countries, is due to be completed by the end of the year.

African swine fever has been reported in some Eastern European countries, though no cases have been confirmed in Germany.

The fever is not dangerous to humans, but is almost always fatal in pigs. There is no vaccine.

Danish exports of pigs and pork were in 2016 worth a total of about 30 billion kroner (S$6.2 billion).

According to the Danish government, if the virus were to spread to Danish stocks, all exports to non-EU countries would have to be stopped. The country exported pork worth 11 billion kroner to non-EU countries in 2016.

African swine fever has so far been detected in the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Cases in wild boar were also detected in Belgium last autumn. According to Germany's Friedrich Loeffler Institute, there is a high risk of the disease spreading to Germany.

 

Some German lawmakers have criticised the border fence, claiming the virus is spread primarily by people during the transport of animals and infected food.