Denmark to build wild boar fence on German border

Wild boars can spread African swine fever. (Reuters pic)

COPENHAGEN: Denmark said Thursday it will build a 70-kilometre (43.5 miles) fence on its German border to keep out wild boars that can carry the deadly infection African swine fever to farm pigs and threaten the country’s large pork industry.

While no cases have yet been detected in Denmark, the spread of the disease in Eastern Europe is causing concern in the country whose pig exports amount to 33 billion kroner (RM21.4 billion) per year.

The virus is harmless to humans and other animals, but for wild boars and farm pigs, the disease is deadly in almost all cases within 10 days. There is no vaccine against it.

An outbreak of the disease in Denmark would shut down all exports to non-EU countries for a period, while only exports from the affected area in Denmark would be blocked from being exported to other EU member states, the government said.

The disease exists in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and has recently moved closer to Denmark, according to the government.

Thursday’s agreement between the ruling party Venstre and its ally Danish People’s Party, which combined holds a parliament majority, also includes larger fines for illegal food imports and failures to clean animal transportation vehicles properly.

Hunters have also this week been given new options to hunt the nocturnal animals at night time.

Germany issued a decree last month to allow hunters to shoot wild boars year-round to stop the animals.