A forty-three mile fence has been constructed by Denemark along the border with Germany. It covers the entire length of their border. It is designed to stop wild boar in Germany crossing the border and breeding with farm pigs in Denmark. The Danish export twenty-eight million pigs annually from their five thousand pig farms. It is a very important part of their exports. They feared that the wild boar would introduce African swine fever into their livestock and harm their industry.
The fence is 1.5 metres tall and half a metre deep and it cost €11 million. Critics say it’s a waste of money because the problem doesn’t exist and environmentalist don’t like it either because of the environmental impact. And liberal-minded people in Denmark don’t like it either because it reflects a right wing attitude towards keeping migrants out of the country. It is symbolic in that sense.
Environmentalists say that it will disturb the migration of wild animals and birds some of which are protected under Denmark’s legislation and EU legislation. Golden jackals, foxes, otters, wolves, deer and cranes are species that may be negatively impacted by the fence.
One problem is that wild boar are good swimmers and they could cross between Denmark and Germany by swimming across the Flensburg Fjord. Detractors say that it is a political decision and that the fence got votes in parliament because of the right-wing element. They said it won’t keep the boar out of Germany but the symbolic element of it appeals to the right-wingers.
Swine fever has never been detected in Germany. One perhaps unexpected outcome is that the population of wild boar in Denmark has dropped from 40 to 25 (before the fence went up) according to The Times. This is because the wild boar of Germany are no longer breeding with the pigs in Denmark creating, I presume, hybrids. That may be something which pleases the advocates of the fence because if there are less wild boar there is a reduced chance of boar travelling from Denmark to Germany.