While hundreds of animals could be infected with swine flu in several European countries, Denmark is building a fence on its border with Germany to stem the spread of the disease.
Denmark wants to remain a virgin land of any strain of African swine fever and uses the major means to achieve this. On 28 January, Copenhagen launched the construction of a 70-kilometer palisade along its border with Germany to prevent potentially dangerous wild boars from entering the country, according to information reported by AFP. . This anti-swine wall is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019.
Breaking the infectious chain to minimize the risk of spread
“The palisade and the accentuation of our efforts to hunt wild boars will break the infectious chain to minimize the risk of spread of African swine fever in Denmark,” said the same day in a statement the Minister of Environment and Health. Food, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, asserting that there were “11 billion good reasons to do everything to prevent” the disease from reaching the Scandinavian country.
In France, the state has called on the army to lend a hand to hunters
The stakes are high for Danish farmers – one of the leading exporters of European pork products – who slaughter a total of 28 million pigs a year in about 5,000 farms. A contagion of African swine fever would put an end to exports to third countries for the Nordic countries. A shortfall that would be considerable: exports of these products represent 5% of total exports from Denmark – in 2016, they amounted to four billion euros, according to AFP.
Although no case has yet been recorded in Germany, the Belgian authorities detected a sick animal in September. The latter then set up a buffer zone to try to isolate the infected pigs. As a result, France has called on the army to reinforce hunters to kill several hundred animals in a white area on the border with Belgium. A fence is also being installed.
A strictly animal viral haemorrhagic disease, African swine fever, native to Africa as its name suggests, appeared in Eastern Europe five years ago and has gradually advanced to the west of the continent.