The Danish government has proposed to construct wild boar fencing along the Danish-German border, eventually to keep out African Swine Fever.
It is one of a range of ideas in order to keep Denmark and its swine industry free from African Swine Fever (ASF). Other proposals include the elimination of wild boar. In addition, fines will also be increased considerably for breaching regulations and exacerbating the risk of bringing ASF to Denmark. Breaches may include failure to clean properly vehicles used to transport animals, illegal food imports or illegal feeding with food waste.
Potential shut-down of pig and pork exports
Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish minister for Environment and Food, stated in a press release: “I don’t want to risk anything. We risk jeopardising annual exports of DKK 11 billion (€ 1.5 billion). An ASF outbreak in Denmark would shut down all exports to third countries immediately. A fence will keep potentially infected wild boars from crossing the border and make it easier for hunters to eradicate wild boar from Denmark.”
An ASF outbreak in wild boar or in a pig facility in Denmark would shut down all exports to third countries for a while. Danish pig exports to third countries amount to an annual DKK 11 billion. Exports to other EU member states would not be affected, with the exception of exports from the infected area in Denmark. Total Danish pig exports to all countries amount to DKK 33 billion (€ 4.4 billion) per year, according to the press release.
70 km long fence at the border
Establishment of a new, almost 70km long fence at the Danish-German border to help support the eradication of wild boar will require new legislation. The fence is expected to be 1.5m tall, and it will be dug 50cm into the ground. The gravel road will be used for maintaining the fence.
The Danish government would like to prevent ASF to travel into Denmark through wild boar. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
Cattle grids or gates will be established along footpaths crossing the Danish-German border, whereas it will still be possible to drive by road across the border in accordance with the Schengen Agreement.
Hunting wild boar
Danish hunters have been given new options to hunt the wild boar which are active at night. Similarly, an information campaign about the risks of ASF has been launched for pig farmers, hobby farmers and owners of pet pigs. Another campaign has been launched to make sure that haulage companies comply with the rules on cleaning and sanitising lorries after transporting biungulate animals.
Therefore, in December 2017, Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, encouraged the European Commission to intensify the fight against ASF. Among other things, he proposed that the European Union set up an international group of experts to evaluate and develop the eradication strategy.