Bulgaria scraps Turkish foot-and-mouth fence plan
SOFIA - Agence France-Presse
AP photoBulgaria's government said Wednesday it had scrapped plans for a barbed-wire fence along its border with Turkey that had been intended to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease among animals.
The government in Sofia cited "financial reasons" for the decision after the initial estimate for the cost of the proposed 210-kilometre (130-mile) barrier quadrupled to 28 million leva (14.3 million euros, $18.7 million).
European Union member Bulgaria had announced the plans in April 2011 after several outbreaks of foot-and-mouth near the border, forcing the slaughter of some 1,500 livestock, with authorities saying the virus spread from Turkey.
Foot-and-mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals, including sheep, goats and deer. It is rarely transmitted to humans but spreads easily between animals, causing them pain and often killing young animals.
A barrier was in place during the Cold War along Turkey's and then-communist Bulgaria's common border, and was removed after 1990 except for one stretch of some 30 kilometres.