Why Denmark is fencing off its border with Germany

The border fence
The border fence Photo credit: Getty

Denmark has begun construction on an enormous fence along its German border, to try and control migration of wild boar.

African swine fever has been discovered in two deceased wild boar in Belgium, and there are fears the disease could threaten Denmark's huge pork industry.

Pork-product exports bring close to $4.6 billion dollars in revenue to Denmark every year

African swine fever is harmless to humans, but fatal to pigs within days. There is no cure, and no vaccine reports the BBC.

Denmark produces 28 million years pigs a year, and if the disease spreads it could lose almost $1.7 billion in exports.

The Minister for Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen told the BBC the government was determined "to do everything we can to prevent African swine fever reaching Denmark. And now we can finally get started on erecting our wild boar fence."

Construction is scheduled for completion later this year, and once it's finished the fence will be five feet tall, and 50 centimetres deep to stop pigs from burrowing under. And it'll be electrified.

It will run for close to 70 kilometres, with gaps at border crossing points and waterways. Steps and gates will allow for humans to cross over it, and 20 centimetre openings will let small animals move through the fence.

As well as the fence, Denmark has relaxed its hunting restrictions to allow boar hunting "around the clock" reports BBC. Fines for improperly disinfected livestock have also been increased.

A single case of swine fever can have disastrous consequences. The BBC reports that in 2014, a farm in Lithuania was hit by the disease.

 As a result, they were forced to cull the entire livestock; 20,000 pigs. Lithuania has been containing the disease ever since the initial outbreak,

Newshub. 

 

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