Denmark builds anti-swine border fence to protect from swine fever
Denmark wants to keep the boars out with a wall
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — The BBC reports that Denmark is building a border fence to help protect Danish pigs against the deadly African swine fever.
Denmark has started construction on a 70-kilometer long fence along its border with Germany, in an effort to control the migration of wild boars that may be infected with African swine fever.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, the disease is caused by the DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family. Symptoms include high fever, redness on the ears, abdomen and legs, and diarrhea. In serious cases, it can cause death within 6 to 13 days.
The Guardian reports that Denmark's electrified fence will be 1.5 meter tall, and at least 50 centimeters deep to stop boar from burrowing under.
According to the BBC, there will be 20 gaps at border crossings and waterways, one gate every kilometer with steps elsewhere for humans, and 20-centimeter openings every 100 meters for small animals.
Though African swine fever has not yet been seen in Denmark, the country has over 12 million pigs across 3,000 farms, and pork exports are worth billions of dollars annually.
Critics say the fence is not a practical solution, citing gaps at roads due to the EU's open border scheme, and to wild boar populations that can swim across bodies of water.
In Germany, the effectiveness of such a structure is also being questioned, since research has shown that the biggest risk of spreading the disease is through contaminated equipment and food.
The Danish government is reportedly spending $12 million on the fence, which is expected to be completed later this year.
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