Construction begins on wild boar fence
Work has commenced on the wild boar fence along the Danish-German border. The fence is expected to be completed by the autumn.
Machines are ready to begin erecting the almost 70-kilometre-long wild boar fence along the Danish-German border. Work will begin in Padborg and is expected to last until the autumn of 2019.
During the first two months, six stretches of the fence, each measuring one kilometer in length, will be erected in Aabenraa and Tønder Municipalities. This will make it possible to fine-tune the construction technique ahead of full-scale construction of the fence.
“We have 11 billion good reasons 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. The fence and our increased efforts to hunt wild boar will break the chain of infection so there is less risk of African swine fever spreading to Denmark,” said Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, Minister for Environment and Food.
In March 2018, the Government and the Danish People's Party agreed on a number of initiatives aimed at preventing the spread of African swine fever. In addition to the fence, new hunting times have been introduced, allowing wild boar hunts around the clock, as well as intensified efforts to hunt wild boar on state-owned and private land. Furthermore, fines for transgressions have been raised, for example if an animal transport has not been properly cleaned or disinfected. Signs have also been erected at rest stops along Danish highways informing people of the risk of spreading African swine fever through food waste in nature.
Spokespersons behind the initiatives are pleased that construction has begun on the fence.
“The wild boar fence is a cornerstone in preventing African swine fever from spreading to Denmark. The fence will make it easier for hunters to eradicate wild boars from Denmark, and it will keep potentially infected wild boars from crossing the boarder," said Lise Bech, agriculture and food spokesperson for the Danish People's Party (DF).
“I’m pleased that we’re now ready to begin erecting the 70-kilometre-long fence. It’s a good basis for ensuring that our efforts to prevent the spread of African swine fever are successful,” said Carsten Bach, food and agriculture spokesperson for Liberal Alliance (LA).
“It’s great that the wild boar fence is going up. We can see African swine fever moving closer and closer to Denmark, making the threat very real. Even though African swine fever is harmless to people, we have to protect our pork exports,” said Orla Østerby, agriculture spokesperson for the Conservative People's Party of Denmark (K).
“We in Denmark's Liberal Party are taking responsibility for the situation. We’re taking action to protect Denmark from African swine fever. It’s common sense to do everything we can to reduce the risk of infection. The wild boar fence is not the only initiative we’re taking. Information campaigns and guidelines are two other important initiatives,” said Anne Matthiesen, Denmark’s Liberal Party (V).
In 2016, Danish pork-industry exports amounted to about DKK 30 billion: DKK 19 billion to other EU countries and DKK 11 billion to countries outside the EU. If an outbreak of African swine fever were to occur, exports to non-EU countries would have to shut down. African swine fever is harmless to humans and all animals other than wild boars and domestic pigs.
- The wild boar fence will be a strong steel-mat fence, 1.5 metres high and extending 50 cm underground. On stretches along border waterways and trenches, the height of the fence can be reduced to achieve a moat-like effect in front of the fence.
- There will be permanent openings in the fence at Schengen border crossing points and areas where waterways intersect. In total, there will be 20 permanent openings for waterways and Schengen border crossing points along the 70-kilometre fence.
- The fence will include gates and cattle grids at other crossing points along the border. There will be at least 1 gate per kilometre. Steps will be placed between the gates, so it will be possible to climb over the fence.
- There will be a 20x20 cm opening every 100 metres to allow smaller animals to pass through the fence.
Facts: Initiatives to combat African swine fever
The Government and the Danish People's Party have agreed to spend DKK 123.9 million on increased efforts to combat African swine fever, of which DKK 30 million will be provided by industry as co-financing.
Initiatives to eradicate wild boar from the Danish countryside:
- Erecting a wild boar fence along the Danish-German border.
- The Statutory Order on damage caused by game has been altered to make it easier for hunters to control wild boars. Increased monitoring of the wild boar population and free examination for livestock diseases of wild boar shot in Denmark.
- Increased initiatives to control wild boars on state-owned and private lands.
- Technical upgrade of the Schweiss register.
- Stronger collaboration with Danish Hunters' Association.
- Hunting agreements on areas of state-owned land where there are wild boar now require that hunters shoot the wild boar.
- Law on increasing the level of fines for violations of the law that exacerbate the risk of transmission of African swine fever and other serious livestock diseases.
- Improving veterinary services.
- Erecting signs at roadside rest areas.
- Intensification of information campaign on prevention of infection and food waste.
- Advice to free-range farms on the risk of transmission from food waste.
For more information:
Jakob Volf, Press Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Food, tel. +45 91 33 47 94, email: Obfuscated Email
Bent Rasmussen, forester at the Danish Nature Agency, tel. +45 22 59 38 05, email: Obfuscated Email