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Denmark to build fence to keep out African swine fever

Danish officials have announced plans to build a 44-mile fence on its border with Germany to prevent African swine fever (ASF) from reaching the country’s pig herd.

The country’s government hopes a 1.5m-high fence will keep out disease-carrying wild boar, which have been responsible for the spread of ASF across eastern Europe.

While the disease hasn’t been detected in Denmark, officials are concerned about the impact it could have on the country’s pork industry, which is worth $5.6bn annually.

Esben Lunde Larsen, the country’s minister for food and environment, said the country was not prepared to take any risks.

“We risk jeopardising annual exports of DKK 11 billion ($1.8 billion),” he said. “An African swine fever 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 boars from Denmark,” he added.

The fence is part of a package of measures the Danish government has announced to prevent ASF from reaching the country’s pig herd.

It also plans to increase fines for breaching biosecurity regulations and exacerbating the risk of bringing the disease into the country.

Breaches may include failure to clean animal transport vehicles properly, illegal food imports, or illegally feeding pigs with food waste.

As part of the government’s measures, an information campaign about the risks of African swine fever for pig farmers, hobby farmers and owners of pet pigs has been launched.

Another second campaign to make sure that haulage companies comply with the rules on cleaning and sanitizing vehicles after transporting animals has also been unveiled, while hunting restrictions on wild boar have been lifted.

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