A fence intended to prevent wild boars from bringing African swine fever (ASF) into Denmark is getting pushback from critics who say the fence is a waste of money against a problem that doesn’t exist.
On Monday, Denmark completed the fence along the border with Germany to protect its nearly 5,000 pig farms that export 28 million pigs annually, according to the Danish Agriculture and Food Council in a DW.com article.
The 1.5-meter tall and half-meter deep fence runs from the Wadden Sea in the west to the Flensburg Fjord in the east. The fence construction cost Denmark around $12 million.
In addition to critics saying it’s a waste of resources, environmentalists are raising concerns about its impact on the ecosystem.
Environmental groups believe the fence construction disturbed the migration of wild animals and birds, some of which are protected by Danish and EU legislation, DW.com reports. Deer, wolves, otters, foxes, golden jackals and cranes are some of the other species that could be affected.
In addition, Denmark is part of the EU's border-free Schengen Zone. This means roads and railroads crossing the border won't be impacted by the fence and this leaves openings in the border where wild boar could get through. Also, in the east, wild boars can swim across the Flensburg Fjord to reach Denmark.
Critics think the biggest risk of ASF spreading is from trucks transporting infected swine or spreading contaminated food.
ASF is a deadly disease that affects pigs only and poses no risk to human health. However, it has had a tremendous impact on the global protein market. In Europe, it has been found in several countries including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. ASF has not been detected in Germany.
For more information on the spread of ASF, visit porkbusiness.com/ASF.
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