France to Build a Border Fence To Keep Out the Swines

Wild boar (Sus scrofa) herd with snow covered noses from feeding, Alam-Pedja Nature reserve, Estonia, February 2006

France has decided to build a fence over much of their border with Belgium in order to keep the wild pigs out that carry swine fever. This has become quite a worry since the disease is so hideous.

Classical swine fever is a contagious, often fatal, disease of pigs clinically characterized by high body temperature, lethargy, yellowish diarrhea, vomiting, and a purple skin discoloration of the ears, lower abdomen, and legs. It was first described in the early 19th century in the USA. Later, a condition in Europe termed “swine fever” was recognized to be the same disease.

Both names continue to be used, although in most of the world the disease is now called classical swine fever (CSF) to distinguish it from African swine fever (see African Swine Fever), which is a clinically indistinguishable disease but caused by an unrelated DNA virus.

From Yahoo News

Meurthe-et-Moselle is one of several regions covered by the surveillance zone established by the French authorities near the border.

France’s agriculture ministry, however, said the details of the fencing were yet to finalized.

The ministry was awaiting the conclusions of a feasibility study due in the coming days and also wanted to coordinate its action with Belgian and European Union officials, Loic Evain, deputy head of food at the ministry, said.

Western European countries have been trying to avert the spread of the disease, which is highly contagious among pigs but harmless to humans, after a growing number of cases in Eastern Europe.

China and other countries have been affected by the disease and in Belgium, several dozens of pigs have died from the disease.