COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The number of wild boars in Denmark has fallen since a 70-kilometer (43.4-mile) fence was erected along the German border to protect the valuable Danish pork industry.
The fence was put up last year in an attempt to prevent wild swine crossing from Germany and breeding with farm pigs or possibly passing disease. However, there had been concerns that it would not work because the fence had gaps in it where it crossed roads and rivers.
Since then, however, the number of wild pigs in Denmark has fallen from 35-40 to fewer than 25, even though some piglets have been born in recent months, officials said Monday.
Inge Gillesberg of the Danish Nature Agency said that she could not say whether the fence had stopped the boars from crossing but the agency’s cameras along the border had not seen many doing so.
Denmark is the only EU country where pigs outnumber people, with 215 pigs to every 100 residents.
Approx. 90% of Denmark’s pork production is exported and exports account for almost half of all agricultural exports and for more than 5 percent of the country’s total exports, according to official figures. Danish pig meat is exported to more than 140 countries, with the largest markets being Germany, Britain, Poland, China, Japan, Italy, Russia and Sweden.
No cases of African swine fever have yet been reported in Denmark, or in Germany, though they have been in some neighboring countries.