A Trumpish idea?
A new “wall” has seen the light of day in Denmark. Along the Danish-German border a 70 km long fence is being built these days – so it´s a fence, not a wall.
Reason why? Wild boar. Officially there are no herds (or sounder) of wild boar in Denmark. There are however farms breeding boar, where some animals escape and live happily in the woods – until they are shot. Escaped wild boars must be shot. All due to the risk of African swine fever. Denmark is one of the World´s largest exporter of pork – exports exceed more than 11 billion DKK each year. (That´s more than 1.6 B US $ – 1.4 B € or 1.2 B £).
African swine fever has been found in other European countries, a breakout costs enourmous sums of money. All animals must be put down and the farms must be decontaminated. Quarantine and export breakdown are the results.The risk is taken care of in Denmark internally. You see a boar – you shoot it and report to the authorities. They will test the blood and spleen for swine fever. If it´s negative – your´e good. If positive, all hell breaks loose. In Germany however, there are herds of wild boar. Since we in Denmark are so anxoius not to get any infected animals near our farms, the government has decided to put up a fence along the border. The works began yesterday and will finish sometime in autumn.
But are wild boar such a risk? Yes, they definately are. According to what I found on the internet, boars are the largest source of infection in European countries affected. African swine fever is insanely contageous and can contamin for a long time. The virus can survive in blood, raw meat, bedding, kitchen leftovers and animal faeces for up to nine months or even longer. Even processed meat can carry virus, thus feeding pigs with kitchen leftovers has been strictly prohibited for many years now. All trucks carrying pigs and other farm animals from one farm to another or to the abbatoir, are desinfected all the time.A large source to infections are ticks, preying on all animals and humans too, they are an uncontrollable and unmanageable risk.
The fence is the same type which is used on boar farms to keep the pigs inside the fencing. 1.5m in height and 50 cm in depth. Where the fence will be erected through a lake or stream it can be only 50 cm in height depending on water depth. There will be made around 20 openings of 20 x 20 cm in the fence allowing other animals to pass the border as they are (almost) used to.As you can see from the above video from Germany, boars are excellent swimmers. They are quick and disappear into the thicket with no hesitation. Now the work has begun, we must wait and see if it will have any efftect once it is erected. Boars are strong, are known to breach fencing and can dig their way under a fence. There have already been demonstrations against the fence. A lot of “animal friends” have sworn to take down the fence and hunters are also not to keen on this fysical border between Denmark and Germany. Hunters I personally know, say they are hope for natural herds/sounders in Denmark for their hunting and they don´t care about the huge export business. Experts are divided, they are either pro the fence or stating it is the most ridiculous waste of money ever… To me the whole idea of trying to keep unwanted animals out, seems quite insane. The passages will allow small animals carrying the disease to Denmark and the ticks noone can control. To me, the only solution is to keep hunting them. Maybe our politicians are too inspired by Trumps insane wall ideas … N.B African swine fever is not contageous to humans or any other farm animals.