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Fencing to prevent wild boar crossing the Danish-German border to protect Danish pig exports against African swine fever

Wild boar fencing along the Danish-German border will help prevent African swine fever from spreading to Danish pig herds and will support efforts to eliminate wild boars.

Published 22. March 2018

Target groups:

The Danish government has proposed a number of initiatives to prevent African swine fever from reaching Denmark. 

One of the initiatives is to set up wild boar fencing along the Danish-German border. Fines will also be increased considerably for breaching regulations and exacerbating the risk of bringing African swine fever to Denmark. Breaches may include failure to clean properly vehicles used to transport animals, illegal food imports or illegal feeding with food waste. 

"I don’t want to risk anything. We risk jeopardising annual exports of DKK 11 bn. (EUR 1.5 bn.). 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," said the Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen. 

An outbreak of African swine fever in wild boars or in a pig production in Denmark would shut down all exports to third countries for a period. Danish pig exports to third countries amount to an annual DKK 11 bn. Exports to other EU Member States would not be affected, with the exception of exports from the infected area in Denmark. Total Danish pig exports to all countries are DKK 33 bn. annually.

Establishment of a new almost 70-km-long fence along the Danish-German border to help support the eradication of wild boars will require new legislation. The fence is expected to be 1.5 m tall, and it will be dug 50 cm into the ground. The gravel road will be used for maintaining the fence. Cattle grids or gates will be established along footpaths crossing the Danish-German border, whereas it will still be possible to drive by road across the border in accordance with the Schengen Agreement.

Danish hunters have been given new options to hunt the nocturnal wild boars. Similarly, an information campaign about the risks of African swine fever has been launched for pig farmers, hobby farmers and owners of pet pigs. Another campaign has been launched to make sure that haulage companies comply with the rules on cleaning and sanitising lorries after transporting biungulate animals. 

Therefore, in December 2017, Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, encouraged the European Commission to intensify the fight against African swine fever. Among other things, he proposed that the European Union set up an international group of experts to evaluate and develop the eradication strategy. 

Further information:
Malene Kristensen, Press Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Food, tel. +45 22 13 08 34, email: