Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Poland and Lithuania want fence on the border with Belarus


Poland has requested the European Union to provide funds for the construction of a 420-kilometer-long fence along the countrys entire border with Belarus, according to media reports.

The fence would prevent wild boars from crossing the border to Poland and spreading the African swine fever virus.
In addition, Warsaw has asked the EU to help fund the construction of special vehicle disinfection facilities and animal health monitoring at Polish hog farms.

The European Commission appears to be skeptical about the border fence proposal, saying that the projects feasibility needs to be examined first. At the same time, it has signaled its readiness to cover up to 75 percent of the cost of building vehicle disinfection facilities and introducing regular health checks at hog farms. One vehicle disinfection facility would cost around $90,000 and at least 16 facilities are planned, Polish news websites said.

Earlier this month, the Lithuanian government announced plans to build a fence along the Belarusian border in an effort to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease. It asked the European Commission for a grant of 13.5 million for preventive measures.

Belarus first-ever officially registered case of the virus was reported in the Iwye district, Hrodna region, in June. Cases of the virus were later confirmed at a state-owned hog farm close to Vitsyebsk.

Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine have since banned pork imports from Belarus. Russia still imports pork from the Brest, Homyel, Mahilyow and Minsk regions.