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Denmark to build a wall to keep African Swine Fever out

23rd Mar 2018 / By Alistair Driver

Denmark and has announced plans to build a 43.5 mile fence on its border with Germany to keep out wild boar that may be carrying African swine fever.

wild boarAlthough no cases of ASF have yet been detected in Denmark, there are concerns the virus could pose a risk to the country’s large pork industry.

The spread of the disease in eastern Europe is causing significant problems as there is currently no vaccine against it.

Denmark's Minister for Food and the Environment Esben Lunde Larsen said the country did not want to take any risks.

“If African swine fever virus broke out in Denmark, all exports to third countries would immediately stop,” Mr Larsen said, according sources in denmark.

Denmark’s pig exports amount to 33 billion Danish krone (£3.85bn) per year. An outbreak of the disease in Denmark would shut down the entire industry.

The disease currently exists in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and has recently moved closer to Denmark, according to the government.

The risk of ASF reaching the UK is still officially stated as 'low', but the NPA has pointed out that this does not take into account the devastating impact an outbreak would have on the UK pig sector. 

Chief executive Zoe Davies is urging Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) to control the growing population of wild boar in the Forest of Dean 'before it is too late'. 

"If the virus reached the UK and got into our feral pig population, it would become virtually impossible to prove disease freedom and it would be many years before we could resume exports, which would have a devastating effect on the UK pig industry.”