In a bid to protect its pork industry, on January 29th Denmark began building a fence along its border with Germany to keep out wild boar infected with the African swine fever virus. The 70-kilometre (45-mile) fence is a precautionary measure and expected to be completed in the autumn.
Environment and Food Minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said, "The fence and our increased efforts to hunt wild boar will break the chain of infection so there is less risk of African swine fever spreading to Denmark."
The virus is not harmful to humans but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boar that almost always ends in death within days.
It was first spotted in Poland in 2014 when infected wild boar entered from neighbouring Belarus. Belgium reported its first case in September near the borders with Luxembourg and France, prompting it to carry out a preventive pig slaughter and set up an exclusion zone. No cases have been reported in Germany.
Denmark is one of Europe's main pork exporters, raising 28 million pigs per year in some 5,000 farms. Pork accounted for 5% of Danish exports, or 30 billion kroner (four billion euros, $4.5 billion) in 2016.