Denmark began construction on a 50-mile fence along its border with Germany on Monday in an effort to control the migration of wild pigs from Germany into Denmark. The fear of African swine fever (ASF) spreading to Germany’s wild pig population has Denmark concerned about this deadly disease entering its commercial pig industry that produces about 28 million pigs a year.
Some opponents are questioning this $12-million fence, claiming the construction of the fence is political in nature. Some say it won’t keep wild pigs out as pigs living near the water could swim from one country to another.
However, Denmark’s Minister for Environment and Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, said the government was determined "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."
When completed later this year, the border fence will stand 5 feet tall and be at least 20 inches deep to stop wild pigs from burrowing under the fence. The fence will have gaps at border crossing points and waterways. The proposed fence will be low enough for deer to jump over, and contain small openings every 100 yards to allow smaller mammals like foxes, hares and otters to pass through.
In addition, Denmark is easing hunting restrictions and allowing wild boar hunts at all times, while stepping up fines for livestock transport that has not been properly disinfected.