Twenty-two thousand lorries cross the Danish border to collect piglets and finishers that have been sold abroad, every year, with the transport of these animals posing the risk of infectious diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF) and PEDv, entering the country.
Announced at the recent Herning Congress, The Danish Pig Centre (DPRC) has made the decision to invest in a new disinfection facility, in Padborg, at the country’s border with Germany. It is expected to be operational next year.
Lorries are currently quarantined for 48 hours after they are cleaned at the border. This time will be cut to 12 hours as a result of the new and improved method of disinfection, said the Centre.
Erik Larsen, chairman, DPRC, said: "Proper cleaning and disinfection are more important than time. Our investigations show that the cleaning process can be far better and more professional than it is today."
Larsen added: "There are a number of diseases, such as ASF and PEDv, which are present outside Denmark’s border and we must do everything we can to prevent them from reaching our country.
"Previously, government legislation required animal transporters to be disinfected at the border, but when the practice started to become less stringent, we assumed responsibility and established the Danish Transport Standard, with an extra safety wash when vehicles drive into Denmark. It is this requirement that we’re aiming to make more rigorous."
According to the DPRC "there is a significant risk" that PEDv could take root in Europe.
He added: "Swine fever has now been found less than a 10-hour drive from Denmark’s borders. Bacteria and viruses can be transferred via the lorries, which move in high-risk areas such as Poland, where we currently sell many piglets. Measures to prevent infection arriving in Denmark can be made more rigorous, which is what we’re doing now."