Country Index: Denmark
WARS & TREATIESBATTLESBIOGRAPHIESWEAPONSCONCEPTS
Wars and Treaties
Copenhagen, peace of, 6 June 1660
Denmark, German invasion of, 9 April 1940
Kalmar War, 1611-1613
Knarod, peace of, January 1613
Livonian or First Northern War, 1558-1583
Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815)
Nordic Seven Years War, 1563-1570
Northern War, First (or Second), 1655-60
Northern War, Great (1700-1721)
Scanian War, 1675-79
Second World War (1939-1945)
Stettin, peace of, December 1570
Swedish Danish War, 1657-58
Swedish-Danish War, 1658-60
Thirty Years War (1618-48)
Travendal, Treaty of, 18 August 1700
Westphalia, Peace of, 24 October 1648
Älvsborg, siege of, to 4 September 1563
Bornholm, battle of, 30 May 1563
Copenhagen, battle of, 2 April 1801: Main Article
Copenhagen, battle of: The British Ships
Copenhagen, battle of: The Danish Ships
Copenhagen, battle of: Nelson's first letter to the Crown Prince
Copenhagen, battle of: Nelson's second letter to the Crown Prince
Femern, battle of, 24 April 1715
Fladstrand, battle of, 11 May 1712
Fladstrand, action off, 10 April 1717
Gotland, battle of, 11 September 1563
Gotland-Öland, battle of, 30-31 May 1564
Køge Bay, battle of, 4 October 1710
Lindesnaes, action off, 26-27 June 1714
Lund, battle of, 4/14 December 1676
Lutter (am Barenberge), battle of, 27 August 1626
Mared, battle of, 9 November 1563
Öländ, battle of, 12-13 August 1564
Warnemünde, action off, 12 July 1564
Weapons, Armies & Units
- OFFICIAL NAME: Kingdom of Denmark
- FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional monarchy
- CAPITAL: Copenhagen
- POPULATON: 5,809,502
- OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Danish
- MONEY: Krone
- AREA: 16,638 square miles (43,094 square kilometers)
Denmark is a country in northern Europe. It is made up of the Jutland Peninsula and more than 400 islands in the North Sea. It shares a border with Germany to the south. The country is almost two times the size of Massachusetts.
Denmark's terrain is mostly flat, with gently rolling hills. During the Ice Age, glaciers moved slowly across the landmass and shaped the country that exists today. Denmark has a long coastline with many lagoons, gulfs, and inlets. No part of Denmark is more than 32 miles (67 kilometers) from the sea.
Although Denmark is in northern Europe, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream make the climate mild.
Map created by National Geographic Maps
PEOPLE & CULTURE
The people of Denmark are known as Danes. They are Nordic Scandinavians, many of which are blond, blue-eyed, and tall. In the southern part of the country, some people have German ancestry.
Danes have one of the highest standards of living in the world. All Danish families receive over $1,500 each year for each child under 18 years old. About 85 percent of Danish people belong to the National Church of Denmark. The capital city of Copenhagen is home to more than 1 million people.
Open sandwiches called smørrebrød are a typical Danish lunch. These sandwiches are made of cold cuts, cheese, and spreads on a piece of dark, rye bread.
Danes often ride bicycles as a form of transportation.
Denmark was once covered with trees, but almost all of the original forest has been chopped down. The largest mammal living in Denmark today is the red deer. There are about 300 species of birds in Denmark. During the summer, many different butterfly species can be found in Denmark.
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. Queen Margrethe II celebrated 40 years on the throne in January 2012. Denmark has the longest unbroken line of rulers in Europe. Queen Margrethe II can trace her ancestry back to King Gorm in the tenth century.
Although the Queen is the head of state, the prime minister is the head of the government. Denmark's Parliament has a single chamber called the Folketing, made up of 179 elected members.
People have lived in Denmark since the Stone Age, but there is evidence that people lived there around 50,000 B.C. In the 9th to 11th centuries, Viking warriors from Denmark and other Scandinavian countries raided Europe. Most of Denmark's modern cities were founded after the Viking era.
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were united as the Union of Kalmar by Queen Margrethe in the late 14th century. Although Sweden broke away from the Union in 1523, Norway was ruled by Denmark until 1814.
During World War II, the governments of Germany and Denmark agreed that they would not attack each other, but Germany made a surprise attack on Denmark in 1940. Although the country was able to keep its own government at first, Germany took over in 1943.
Presence of animal welfare legislation
This goal explores animal protection laws in relation to various categories of animals, namely: farm animals, animals in captivity, companion animals, working animals and animals used for entertainment, animals used for scientific research and wild animals.
Protecting animals used in farming
At the EU level, the 1976 European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes lays out general conditions for all the species of animals kept for the production of food, wool, skin, fur or for other farming purposes. Article 3 mandates that ‘animals shall be housed and provided with food, water and care […] appropriate to their physiological and ethological needs’. Article 4 protects the freedom of movement of animals and Article 5 regulates the lighting, temperature, humidity, air circulation, ventilation and other environmental conditions.
Based on this European Convention, Council Directive 98/58/EC gives general rules for the protection of animals of all species kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes, including fish, reptiles of amphibians. Article 2 mandates that all animals whose welfare depends on frequent human attention shall be inspected at least once a day. Article 7 protects the animals’ freedom of movement, and Article 10 requires that breeding procedures (natural or artificial) likely to cause suffering or injury must not be practised, though there are exceptions to this. Article 21 further states that no animal shall be kept for farming purposes unless it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype or phenotype, that it can be kept without detrimental effect on its health or welfare.
The general anti-cruelty provisions of the Animal Welfare Law 2018 apply to this category of animals.
General legislation relating to farm animals is contained in the Protection of Animals Act and in Act No. 1 of 2nd January 2019 relating to the keeping of animals. The Protection of Animals Act (Article 3) requires that rooms or areas where animals are kept are designed in such a way that the animal’s needs are met and that they have freedom of movement for eating, drinking and resting, and protection from the elements. The Minister for Environment and Food is given express powers to make secondary legislation on issues including housing (Article 4), implementation of European Union legislation (Article 4(a)), transport (Article 12) slaughter (Article 13.2) and surgical mutilations (Article 14.3). The Act relating to the keeping of animals ensure that animals are kept in a responsible manner and in such a way that the food safety, human and animal health and production are taken into account.
Secondary legislation addresses specific species and covers rearing, transport and slaughter of farm animals, such as Executive Order No. 707 of 18 July 2000 on Minimum Standards for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes. Legislation specifically dealing with farm animals has largely been introduced in order to comply with European Union requirements, although in some instances animal welfare legislation goes beyond European Union requirements (for example, in relation to minimum standards for pig rearing: The Act on Outdoor Keeping of Pigs from 2001 and consolidated by Order No. 51 of 11th January 2017 enriched cages for laying hens (Article 24): Executive Order No. 881 of 28th June 2016 on the Protection of Laying Hens and some aspects of calf husbandry¬: Executive Order No. 35 of 11th January 2016 on the Protection of Calves The Act on the indoor keeping of gilts, dry sows and pregnant sows from 1998 and consolidated by Order No. 49 of 1st November 2017 The Act on indoor keeping of weaner pigs, breeding and slaughter pigs from 2000 and consolidated by Order No. 56 of 11th January 2017).
Rearing – pigs
At the EU level, welfare provisions for pigs are laid out in Council Directive 2008/120/EC. Among animal welfare provisions, Article 3 prohibits the tethering of sows or gilt (female pig after puberty and before farrowing). The ban of individual sow stalls was decided in 2001 and a phase-out period of 12 years was allowed to adapt to the new systems. From 1st January 2013, sows will have to be kept in groups rather than in individual stalls. According to Act No. 49 of November 1, 2017, concerning the Indoor keeping of Pregnant Sows or Gilts, Sows from weaning until day 28 of gestation must be kept in group housing. This requirement applies to all buildings that have been built after January 1, 2015. For buildings built before January 1, 2015 this requirement is in effect from January 1, 2035. Hence, stalls may still be used for the first 28 days of gestation, and one week before the expected time of birth (Article 3.4).
Article 8 mandates inspections of pigs’ rearing conditions and Article 12 provides that Member States may apply, within their territories, stricter provisions for the protection of pigs than the ones laid down in this Directive.
Chapter I of the Annex of the Directive provides that ‘all procedures intended as an intervention carried out for other than therapeutic or diagnostic purposes or for the identification of the pigs in accordance with relevant legislation and resulting in damage to or the loss of a sensitive part of the body, or the alteration of bone structure, shall be prohibited’. However, there are exemptions to this general prohibition for:
- teeth grinding or clipping (before 7 days old)
- castration of male pigs by other means than tearing of tissues
- nose-ripping only when the animals are kept in outdoor husbandry systems and in compliance with national legislation.
According to Executive Order No. 1402 of 27 November 2018 on Tail Docking and Castration of Animals, a person trained in tail-docking, with appropriate means and under hygienic conditions, is allowed to tail-dock a piglet without the use of anaesthetic within its first 2-4 days of life. If the tail-docking takes place after the first 4 days of life, the animal must be given prolonged analgesia.
According to Executive Order No. 1402 of 27 November 2018 on Tail Docking and Castration of Animals, a person trained in castration, with appropriate means and under hygienic conditions, is allowed to castrate a piglet without the use of anaesthetic within its first 2-7 days of life if the animal is given prolonged pain treatment. If the castration takes place after the first 7 days of life, the animal must be given prolonged analgesia.
According to Executive Order No. 17 of 7th January 2016 on the Protection of Pigs teeth grinding/clipping must not be carried out routinely ‘but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows’ teats or to other pigs’ ears or tails have occurred’. But if there is evidence that injuries to sows’ teats or to other pigs’ ears or tails have occurred then teeth grinding can be done within the first four days of a piglet’s life (Article 34).
Chapter II mandates that no piglets shall be weaned from the sow at less than 28 days of age, though piglets may be weaned up to seven days earlier if they are moved into ‘specialised housings.’ This also applies for the Executive Order No. 17 of 7th January 2016 on the Protection of Pigs (Article 35).
Denmark falls under the EU 2013 commitment to ban sow stalls: pregnant sows must be kept in groups instead of individual stalls. One week before the expected farrowing, sows are moved to the farrowing crates where they are kept until weaning of their piglets. The farrowing crates have an attached crate from which their piglets can nurse. Denmark does not outlaw such farrowing crates but is innovating with the free farrowing system (SWAP F-pen) which affords more space than a conventional farrowing crate.
Executive Act No. 51 of 11th January 2017 on Outdoor Keeping of Pigs lays out further provisions for pigs kept outdoors (e.g. access to water and food in Chapter 5, requirements for the cabins in Chapter 2 etc.).
Rearing – broiler chickens
At the EU level, welfare provisions for broiler chickens are laid out in Council Directive 2007/43/EC. Notably, Article 3.2 requires that the maximum stocking density is 33kg/m2. However, Article 3.3 allows for derogation to this general rule: a derogation to allow an increase above 33kg/m2 up to 39kg/m2 can be given when additional documented details for each house are kept and the house achieves certain climatic parameters. In addition, the documentation accompanying the flock at the slaughterhouse shall include the daily mortality rate and the cumulative daily mortality rate. A further increase above 39kg/m2 up to 42kg/m2 is allowed where, in addition to the conditions mentioned in the previous point being met, monitoring by the authorities confirms records of low mortality rates and good management practices.
Article 4.2 requires that the training courses for people dealing with chickens focus on ‘welfare aspects.’ Article 7 requires inspections to be carried out.
Annex I to this Directive provides detailed conditions with regards to the drinkers, feeding, litter, ventilation, heating, noise and light requirements. Annex I also mandates that inspections shall be carried out twice a day. Similar to the wording of the Council Directive 2008/120/EC for pigs, all surgical interventions ‘carried out for reasons other than therapeutic or diagnostic purposes which result in damage to or the loss of a sensitive part of the body or the alteration of bone structure shall be prohibited’. However, two exemptions exist to this prohibition:
- beak trimming, which may be carried out when other measures to prevent feather pecking and cannibalism are exhausted. Beak trimming shall be carried out by qualified staff on chickens that are less than 10-days-old.
- castration of chickens, which shall only be carried out under veterinary supervision by personnel who have received a specific training.
In Article 11.2 (Executive Order No. 135 of 14th February 2014 on the slaughter and killing of animals ) it is specified that uniformity of broilers must be ensured to increase the effectiveness of the anaesthetic, which can be discussed whether it is specified enough and to what extent it is regulated/adhered.
Executive Order No. 54 of 11th of January 2017 provides regulations on keeping of broilers. All breeds are accepted. Normally, in five weeks, a broiler in the Danish meat industry will go from weighing 45 g to weighing 2 kg. However, the governmental Welfare Label "Bedre Dyrevelfærd" indicates that broilers must be a slow-growing breed. To obtain the label (no matter how many hearts), the breed should grow 25% slower than the broilers reared in the conventional production.
Rearing – egg-laying hens
At the EU level, welfare provisions for egg-laying hens are laid out in Council Directive 1999/74/EC. Non-enriched cage systems have been prohibited since 1st January 2012 (Article 5.2). Two cage systems are now in use:
- enriched cages where laying hens have at least 750 cm² of cage area per hen
- alternative systems where the stocking density does not exceed nine egg-laying hens per m² usable area, with at least one nest for every seven hens and adequate perches.
In both systems, all hens must have a nest, perching space, litter to allow pecking and scratching and unrestricted access to a feed trough.
Article 8 mandates inspections of the systems of rearing for egg-laying hens.
The Annex to the Directive specifies that all hens must be inspected by the owner or the person responsible for the hens at least once a day (Article 1). Sound level must be minimised (Article 2) and light levels shall allow hens to show ‘normal levels of activity’. Article 8 prohibits all mutilations except beak trimming, provided it is carried out on egg-laying hens less than 10 days old.
In Denmark, Executive Order No. 881 of 28th June 2016 on the Protec¬tion of Laying Hens regulates the design of the facilities (temperature, uninterrupted dark period of one-third of the day, cleaning of the room etc.) as well as provisions more directly related to animal welfare (noise levels must be kept as low as possible, Article 8). Beak trimming is authorised for chickens who are less than 10 days old (Article 10). All chickens must be inspected at least once a day (Article 12). The Order allows to have enriched cages for egg-laying hens. The cage requirements are described in Article 24. Here it is stated that it is only legal to keep 10 hens in the cage (Article 24.5). Moreover, broilers must have access to a nest as well as bedding in sufficient quantities to meet the egg-layers needs to peck, scrape and dust bathe. Light, medium and heavy breeds are all allowed. When kept in enriched cages, there is a difference in how big the cages need to be, where the heavy breed needs more space (Article 24.6). The requirements for space allowance for hens in alternative systems go beyond the requirements in the Directive.
Rearing – dairy cattle and calves
There is no EU legislation dedicated to dairy cattle.
Council Directive 2009/119/EC lays down the minimum standards for the protection of calves. Article 3 prohibits the use of confined individual pens after the age of eight weeks, except if required by a veterinarian. Individual pens must have perforated walls, allowing the calves to have direct visual and tactile contact. Article 3 further sets out minimum dimensions for individual pens and for calves kept in group. Inspections of facilities should be carried out (Article 7). Annex I of the Directive lays down specific conditions for the rearing of calves. Notably, calves must not be kept permanently in darkness: Member States make provisions for ‘appropriate natural or artificial lighting’. Moreover, all housed calves must be inspected by the owner or the person responsible for the animals at least twice daily and calves kept outside must be inspected at least once daily. The accommodation for calves must allow them to lie down, rest, stand up and groom for themselves without difficulty. Importantly, calves must not be tethered, with the exception of group-housed calves which may be tethered for periods of not more than one hour at the time of feeding milk or milk substitute.
Executive Order No. 35 of 11th January 2016 on the Protection of Calves specifies that calves over eight weeks cannot be kept in individual boxes, unless required by a veterinarian (Article 3). As the European Union (Article 3.1(a)), Danish law states that calves who are housed individually must be allowed to have direct visual and tactile contact (Article 5.2).
Executive Order No. 79 of 23rd January 2017 on the Protection of Dairy Cattle and their Offspring allows for the use of electric fencing around fields and pathways for cattle kept on grass (Article 3). At least one annual hoof inspection must be carried out by a veterinarian or hoof pruner who is not responsible for or working on the farm (Article 6).
Tethering of dairy cattle was firstly stated to be phased out by 2022. However, in 2016, the phasing-out was postponed from 2022 to 2027.
Danish regulation goes beyond the European Union requirements with regards to the keeping of calves where they have slightly enhanced space allowance and stricter requirements for fibrous food. Furthermore, the Danish legislation takes the calves suckling needs into account, which the European regulations do not mention. Article 19 states that calves suckling needs must be met in connection with the milk ingestion (through soother buckets, soothers or an artificial teat in the bucket where the milk is allocated).
At the EU level, welfare provisions for animal transport are laid out in Council Regulation EC 1/2005. This Regulation defines the responsibilities of all actors involved in the transport chain of live animals entering or leaving the EU. Article 3 (General Conditions) provides that ‘no person shall transport animals or cause animals to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering to them’. Article 7 forbids long journeys (i.e. exceeding 8 hours) unless the means of transport has been inspected and approved under Article 18.1.
Competent Authority has produced guidelines on 21 December 2006 on the European Union Regulation 1/2005. There are also domestic orders providing further details, such as Executive Order No. 1729 of 21st December 2006 on the Protection of Animals during Transport and Executive Order No. 1471 of 8th December 2015 on Train¬ing in the Transportation of Animals.
According to Executive Order No. 1471 of 8th December 2015 , Danish transporters must be authorised and trained by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration if animals are to be transported more than 65 km in connection with an economic activity. There are also requirements regarding documentation and competency of those involved in transport. Article 4 mandates that any person who handles animals in relation to transport must have carry out part one of the education in transport of animals (the basic training). Article 4.2 provides that any person responsible for transport with animals (driving or drive companions) must complete part two of the education (competency certificate). However, there is no requirement for authorisation or education if the transport is carried out by farmers, of their own animals, in their own means of transport for a distance less than 50 km, and there is no requirement to have authorisation nor to have passed an education as animal carrier if one handle animals during transportation that does not exceed 65 km.
At the EU level, welfare provisions for animals at the time of slaughter are laid out in Council Directive EC No 1099/2009. Article 3 states that animals shall be spared any ‘avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations’. Article 4 mandates that animals must be stunned prior to being slaughtered, and the loss of consciousness and sensibility shall be maintained until the death of the animal. Article 5 specifies that workers should check whether animals do not present any signs of consciousness in the period between the end of the stunning process and death. Annex I to this Directive lists all the stunning methods possible. Annex II sets out the requirements regarding the layout, construction and equipment of slaughterhouses.
In 2018, following a favourable opinion of the European Food Safety Authority on low atmospheric pressure system for the stunning of broiler chickens, Annexes I and II to Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 have been amended by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/723 to approve the stunning of broiler chickens through asphyxia due to low atmospheric pressure.
The Danish Government has implemented European Union requirements and has gone beyond these in removing the exemption for religious rites to take place without prior stunning (Article 9). Since 2014, no slaughter may take place without stunning, where various conditions and requirements (Article 10 and 11) need to be complied prior the slaughter.
The wording of Council Directive 98/58/EC is quite general and does not consider species-specific needs, by comparison to the other Directives.
Danish legislation on the protection of farm animals goes beyond the minimum standards required by the European Union in many areas.
With regards to pigs, it is positive that the ban on sow stalls has entered into force since 2013. However, this ban is limited since stalls are still allowed to be use for the first 28 days of gestations, and shortly before giving birth until 2035 for buildings built before January 2015.
The many exemptions provided in Chapter I of the Annex of Council Directive 2008/120/EC allows for piglet mutilations to be performed without anaesthetics. The use of anaesthetic is only mandated for castration, occurring on a piglet at least 7-days-old. Piglet mutilations are extremely cruel, and these exemptions represent a legal loophole allowing for the inhumane treatment of farm animals. Castration is practiced to prevent the development of undesirable sexual or aggressive behaviour, and to avoid the development of ‘boar taint, which gives pork meat a distinctive taste and odour. The European Commission acknowledges on its website that castration has become ‘a significant animal welfare concern in recent years,’ inflicting pain ‘even on very young pigs’. A working group, made of representatives of European farmers, meat industry, retailers, scientists, veterinarians and animal welfare NGOs, met in 2010 and developed the European Declaration on Alternatives to Surgical Castration of Pigs. Two key decisions were taken through this Declaration: the surgical castration of pigs, if carried out, shall be performed with prolonged analgesia and/or anaesthesia with methods mutually recognised. A trained person in castrating piglets with appropriate means and under hygienic conditions is allowed to castrate piglets within the animal’s 2-7 days of life, if the animal is given prolonged analgesia. Prolonged analgesia is a legal requirement. Secondly, the surgical castration of pigs should be abandoned by 1st January 2018. Over 30 stakeholders (animal welfare NGOs, industry practitioners etc.) signed this voluntary agreement.
In 2015, Denmark hosted the International Conference on Pig Welfare, which brought together international experts and representatives from various animal welfare organisations. Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany presented a joint statement on pig welfare in Europe, urging the EU Commission to adapt current Council Directive 2008/120/EC on pig legislation. The three countries proposed to amend legislation on three issues key to animal welfare: tail-docking for piglets, piglets’ castration without anaesthesia and the close confinement of sows after weaning.
In 2018, Danish pig producers announced their intention to invest 230 million DKK (39 million euros) in research on animal welfare, quality and sustainable production. The focus areas are more gentle castration for piglets and looser sows' Funds came from the pig producers themselves and the research is carried out by the consultancy SEGES in close collaboration with universities.
Denmark has implemented a new government animal-welfare label “Bedre Dyrevelfærd” (Better Animal Welfare) which contains three hearts which are coloured to indicate improvements in animal welfare for the pig. The label, which is a voluntary scheme, is covering pork, chicken, cattle and calf meat and furthermore the milk production.
The EU commission has found that tail docking is common in Denmark, where 98.5% of the Danish piglets are tail docked. Not only the routine tail docking, but also the effort against it meets criticism because pig producers, veterinarians and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration each in their own way contribute to the 98.5%. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration do not do enough to ensure that the ban on routine tail docking is complied. The EU commission instructs therefore Denmark to enforce this better, so that in the future Denmark will comply with the EU directive on the protection of pigs. It is not legal for farmers to tail dock routinely, therefore there must be evidence for the need to tail dock. Hence, it was introduced in Danish legislation in November 2018 that the evidence must consist of written documentation of tail biting. Based on the result from the risk assessment the farmer then has to make an action plan either how to improve inadequate environmental conditions or management system. If the conditions are fine, then the action plan must be on how to stop tail docking.
In 2013, the European Commission called on Denmark, via a letter of formal notice to require the Government, to take action to implement the requirements of Directive 2008/120 regarding housing of pregnant sows. In 2014, the Government then stated that they had a goal that 10% of all farrowing sows should be kept in loose pens (26,000 pens) by 2020. It is estimated that 13,304 loose pens can be reach, which corresponds to 51.2% of the goal being achieved. At the same time, this will mean that 5.1% of the total number of pens in DK would be loose pens for farrowing sows. Subsidies from the Ministry of Environment and Food is offered to farmers who wants to convert to loose-housing pens. In 2018, 18 million DKK were set aside to the project, whereas in 2019 10 million DKK are set aside. However, there are apparent barriers to improvement in this area, therefore it is hoped that further progress can be made. For example, the relatively low number of realised loose-housing pens (only 5.1% out of the total goal of 10%) is due to limited numbers of applications and moreover high cancellation rates. Additionally, animal welfare projects usually result in long transition periods. As an example, it was decided that sows must be loose in the mating and control sections, which should be implemented before 2035. The requirement was decided in 2015, which results in a transition period of 20 years, which the government believed to be a realistic timeline that both takes animal welfare and the care of the pig producers’ finance into account. Hence, vested interests have a significant role in the practice of animal welfare improvements for animals used in farming.
According to an agreement to improve pig welfare signed between the government and industry organisations in 2014, it was established that 51% of sows suffer from ulcer. No specific reduction target is mentioned. Screening for ulcers should only be carried out if more than 50% of the sows in a production facility suffer from severe ulcers. Furthermore, the screening is left with the industry itself. This shows how widespread ulcers are in pig farming and that the industry and state accept that every second sow in Danish production suffers from severe ulcer. The cut-off limit that includes a herd in the screening was determined based on an assessment by the Danish Veterinary Association, The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. The latest evaluation of the agreement was in 2019.
With regards to broiler chickens, Council Directive 2007/43/EC represents the first legal instrument in which ‘welfare indicators’ were included as a means of scientific assessment. It is positive that the Directive goes into details about the environment of rearing of chickens (i.e. drinkers, feeding, litter, ventilation and heating, noise, light requirements). The Directive also provides a maximum stocking density, however, by allowing derogations to be made, the Directive enables large-scale, industrial farming practices to be developed in the EU. In such crowded conditions, the Five Freedoms of broiler chickens cannot be fulfilled. In addition, it the exemptions for beak trimming and chicken castration enables this practice to be carried out without anaesthetics.
With regards to egg-laying hens, the 2012 ban on the use of battery cage systems was an important step to improve the welfare of egg-laying hens. By comparison to battery cages, enriched cages provide 20% more space to each hen (the equivalent of an A4 paper with a postcard). Enriched cages have nest boxes, litter, perch space and some scratching materials, and house up to 10 hens. Though the current two systems in use (enriched cages and alternative systems) represent incremental improvements to the life of hens, the EU still allows for hens to be raised in cages. When reared in cages, the Five Freedoms of egg-laying hens are necessarily compromised.
In September 2018, a European Citizen Initiative (ECI) entitled ‘End the Cage Age’ was launched, supported by a coalition of animal welfare NGOs, among which World Animal Protection. The ECI invites the European Commission to propose legislation to prohibit the use of:
- cages for laying hens, rabbits, pullets, broiler breeders, layer breeders, quail, ducks and geese
- farrowing crates for sows
- sow stalls, where not already prohibited
- individual calf pens, where not already prohibited
As of September 2019, since over 1 million verified signatures have been collected from EU citizens, the European Commission will be invited to propose the above-mentioned legislation.
With regards to dairy cattle and calves, it is regrettable that there is no EU legislation protecting the welfare-specific needs of dairy cattle. It is positive that calves must not be tethered, though this should be a full ban. Moreover, EU legislation allows for the isolation of calves under eight weeks old. The isolation of calves is detrimental to their welfare and the provision that calves in isolation need to have direct visual and tactile contact with other calves is not sufficient to satisfy their need for social interactions.
With regards to animal transport, it is positive that the Council Regulation EC 1/2005 recognises in its preamble that, ‘for reasons of animal welfare the transport of animals over long journeys, including animals for slaughter, should be limited as far as possible’. However, the exception of Article 7, allowing the transport of animals for over 8 hours, is detrimental to animal welfare. In fact, long live animal transport is known to cause stress. Moreover, many breaches of Council Regulation EC 1/2005 have been reported, including the transport of unfit animals, exceeding stocking densities, requirements on feed, water and rest not respected, insufficient headroom and bedding, too high temperature.
In 2015, the European Commission launched a three-year Pilot Project aiming at improving animal welfare during transport by developing and disseminating Guides to Good and Best Practice for the transport of the main livestock species. In September 2017, the contractor of the project published five extensive guides to good practices, as well as 17 technical fact sheets on good animal transport practices. This is a positive development, however, a total ban on long live animal transport would grant stronger protection to animals.
The police carry out random checks on vehicles transporting animals. Over the past 10 years, the number of animal transports have increased considerably, without controls being increased as well. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has therefore decided that the control of animals exported from DK shall increase significantly and the number of checks are determined on the basis of political decision. For example, the number of live pigs transported over eight hours has increased from 1.9 million in 2007 to over 9.4 million in 2017. However, the control of the export trucks has during the same period remained the same on 100 annual inspections. In 2018, The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration reported problems for approx. 30% of the annual 100 inspections. The many new controls will be implemented from 15th August 2019. However, the period for the increased number of checks is limited to 1st of January 2020. There is currently a political debate on the forward extension of the control.
A veterinarian from the Regional Veterinary and Food Authorities inspects all animals transported to slaughterhouses before slaughter. The inspection includes an evaluation of whether the animals were fit for transport or if they have suffered or have been injured by being transported. The veterinarians at the slaughterhouse also perform spot checks of the means of transport. Veterinarians also inspect animals arriving at markets and assembly centres.
All of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s decentral units takes action as a result of its campaigns focusing on specific issues. For example, in 2016, the Taskforce targeted the problem of the handling of sick and injured animals (cattle and pig herds). The results showed that there is a lower regulatory compliance in pig herds than in cattle herds and that control and guidance are still needed in the area. 32 herds out of 400 in total (both cattle and pigs) were either reported to the police or receiving enforcement notices or warnings for non-compliance with animal welfare regulations. The results of all animal welfare controls are reported in an annual report by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration publishes an annual report that includes the results of all animal welfare controls carried out on-farm, at slaughterhouses and during transport. This publication provides a focus for discussion of the status of farm animal welfare in the country.
In 2009, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s Veterinary Task Force was established to put into place inspections and campaigns to tackle problematic animal welfare issues in the country by working with farmers and industry. Every year the Veterinary Task Force runs inspections to control the animal welfare in farm which are published in annual reports. In the report from 2018, the Veterinary Task Force furthermore controlled the welfare of animal during transport in 2017. Each year they also carry out control campaigns that focus on animal welfare in different context such the welfare of animals during transport in 2017 and in 2016 they had focus on the handling on sick/injured cattle both on farm and before slaughtering, the catching methods of broilers and lastly space requirements for mink.
With regards to slaughter, it is positive that the Council Directive EC No 1099/2009 mandates stunning prior to slaughter, however, numerous EU countries have exemptions to this requirement, notably due to religious reasons. In 2018, the European Commission has also developed a series of fact sheets outlining how various species should be stunned. This appears to show that the EU Commission is willing to disseminate knowledge and improve animal welfare.
In banning all slaughter without prior stunning, the Government decided to put animal welfare concerns ahead of religious concerns. However, there is no explicit mention in the law that animals should not see another being slaughtered.
Religious slaughter is increasing in Denmark, since there is a higher demand for religiously slaughtered meat from outside the EU. In Denmark, the majority of cattle are stunned by a penetrating bolt pistol, whereas when it is religiously done, they do it with a non-penetrating bolt pistol, so that the technique does not damage the brain. Today, meat from religiously slaughtered cattle are exported and therefore rarely sold in Danish supermarkets.
In 2017, 99% of all Danish broilers are religiously slaughtered for economic reasons (60% of the total production is exported and about a quarter of the 60% is exported to Muslim countries), where the broilers are stunned via electrified water baths.
In Denmark, pigs are stunned prior to slaughter using CO2. The use of such Controlled Atmosphere Stunning is extremely cruel, as pigs agonise for a long time instead of being rendered unconscious immediately. A 2015 study explains that pigs under 5 kg will be unconscious only after 45 seconds, when carbon dioxide is used as stunning method. Pigs vocalise for the first 30 seconds, which indicates that the pigs are suffering. Heart failure will occur 6-13 minutes after they enter the Controlled Atmosphere Stunning whereas heart failure will occur 7-8 minutes after if they use a non-penetrating bolt and less than 3 minutes if they use a penetrating bolt pistol. Controlled Atmosphere Stunning are not explicitly referred to in Danish legislation, however, it is stated that the animals need to be stunned prior to slaughter and the use of carbon dioxide is the primary method used to do so.
Overall, every year, all decentralised units of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration performs various control efforts, where they inspect for compliance with legislation. For example, in 2017 1,623 herds were selected for on farm welfare inspections. Such inspections are always unannounced. Inspectors issue warnings or enforcement notices if they find problems. Inspectors report farmers to the police in cases of grossly negligent treatment of animals, for example, if animals are suffering from permanent injury or chronic disease but have not been moved to a hospital pen or have not been treated or examined by a veterinarian. Farmers may also be reported to the police when the case does not involve gross negligence, for example, if farmers have not rectified infringements despite an enforcement notice having been issued. For example, out of the 1,623 herds that were inspected in 2017, 382 herds were issued with a warning and 20 herds were reported to the police. Compared to 2016, the issued warnings and the number of police reports have increased, where in 2016, 1,134 herds were inspected where 167 got warnings and 7 were reported to the police. However, the latest numbers from 2018, shows a decrease in the number of issued warning but also a increase in the numbers of police reports. Out of the 1,439 herds that were inspected, 285 herds were issued with a warning and 29 herds were reported to the police.
Today, targeted animal welfare efforts replace the previous requirements for self-control of animal welfare. The veterinarian and the farmer must agree on up to three focus areas relating to animal welfare to get a common picture of what problems the specific herd is dealing with and need to improve. In this way, the focus areas on animal welfare are problem-oriented and adapted to the individual herd. Farmers with large herds of cattle or pigs must enter into mandatory veterinary advisory service contracts requiring a certain number of annual advisory visits by a veterinarian. The veterinary advisory service then audits the farmer during regular visits to the farm. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s Veterinary Taskforce checks the veterinary audits.
Inspections of herds and flocks in 2017 resulted in sanctions for non-compliance with animal legislation being imposed against 44% of inspected pig herds (263 out of 592), 19% of inspected cattle herds (97 out of 510), and 12% of inspected broiler farms (3 out of 26) and none for the inspection of layers (0 out of 36).
Inspection of herds and flocks in 2018 (latest numbers) resulted in sanctions for non-compliance with animal legislation being imposed against 39% of inspected pig herds (120 out of 303), 24% of inspected cattle herds (156 out of 630), and 7% of inspected broiler farms (3 out of 46).
These results demonstrate that there is still much room for improvement of on-farm animal welfare. In relation to this, more than 6,000 pigs (0.09% of the total amount of slaughtered pigs) in 2018 were killed before they were transported to the slaughterhouses due to their health (they were then not suited to be transported).
The 1976 European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes does not contain any enforcement mechanism. At the EU level, a Directive requires Member States to achieve a particular result, but it does not devise laws on how to reach these goals. As such, Member States have some leeway to decide on their own legislations which will achieve the intended results. By contrast, a Regulation is a binding legislative act, directly applicable to the entirety of the EU.
Article 28 of the Act on the Protection of Animals provides that the overwork, neglect or reckless treatment of animals is punishable with a fine or up to one-year imprisonment. When imposing penalties, the court will take into account whether there is reckless or grossly negligent treatment, and if that is the case the penalty will be a fine or up to two-years imprisonment.
The courts have powers to make disqualification orders: ‘anyone who is found guilty of ill-treatment or cruel treatment of animals can be deprived of their right to own, use, care for, slaughter, or in the whole deal with animals personally’ (Article 29).
• Denmark has extensive legislation with regards to ensuring the welfare of farm animals during rearing, transport and slaughter. By outlawing the slaughter of non-stunned animals, Denmark represents an example for other countries to follow, including some European countries that still allow non-stunned animals to be slaughtered.
• Furthermore, other welfare aspects could be improved, such as slaughter methods and the routine tail-docking practiced without anaesthesia. The Government of Denmark is highly encouraged to forbid tail-docking, as well as other piglet mutilations, without anaesthesia.
Protecting animals in captivity
The general anti-cruelty provisions of the Animal Welfare Law 2018 apply to this category of animals.
Article 3 requires that rooms or areas where animals are kept are designed in such a way that the animal’s needs are met and that they have freedom of movement for eating, drinking and resting, and protection from the elements.
Article 10 of the Act empowers the Minister for Environment and Food to introduce rules to prohibit the keeping of animals that may be dangerous or cause fear or which cannot easily be kept in captivity in an animal-welfare-friendly manner. Article 17 prohibits the use of animals for shows, circus performances, film footage or similar if the animal would incur significant disadvantage, prohibits the display of animals in travelling menageries and requires permission from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration for the establishment of zoos and wildlife parks.
At the EU level, welfare provisions for wild animals kept in zoos are laid out in Council Directive 1999/22/EC. ‘Zoos’ are defined as ‘all permanent establishments where animals of wild species are kept for exhibition to the public for 7 or more days a year’, with the exceptions of circuses, pet shops and any other establishments that Member States deem not to host sufficient animals. Article 3 provides that zoos shall implement conservation measures. Among them, one measure is welfare-oriented since zoos have to accommodate their animals ‘under conditions which aim to satisfy the biological and conservation requirements of the individual species, inter alia, by providing species specific enrichment of the enclosures and maintaining a high standard of animal husbandry with a developed programme of preventive and curative veterinary care and nutrition.’ Article 4 mandates the licencing and inspections of existing and new zoos. Article 8 lays out that Member States shall determine penalties for a breach of this Directive: such penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on the transport of animals is also applicable to wild animals, both those living in captivity as well as wild animals living in the wild but susceptible of being transported (e.g. for rehabilitation or reintroduction purposes). Article 3 (General Conditions) provides that ‘no person shall transport animals or cause animals to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering to them’. Chapter II, Article 1.3 provides that a notice shall be given explaining that the animals are wild, timid and dangerous and containing written instructions about feeding, watering and any special care required. Furthermore, Chapter III Article 1.1 mandates that wild animals shall become acclimatised to the mode of transport prior to the proposed journeys.
Executive Order No. 1397 of 2nd December 2015 on the licensing and inspection of zoos of 12/12/2002 transposes European Union Zoo Directive 1999/22. Article 11 states that the size, layout and design of animal installations must be adapted to the species in a way that meets the animals’ physiological and health needs as well as the opportunity to express natural behaviours. A veterinarian must inspect all animals at least once a month (Article 15). Zoos also require veterinary approval under the Notice of Veterinary Registration of Zoos issued by the Ministry of Environment and Food of 12th January 2010. Requirements for approval include design and operational aspects and a requirement for a supervising veterinarian. The Law on State Subsidies to Zoos of 12th April 2000 establishes a framework for the granting of subsidies to zoos. In order to obtain and maintain government subsidies, zoos must fulfil conditions as stated in Article 3, including promoting the dissemination of knowledge about wild animals and their conservation and to support research and teaching.
Executive Order No. 1397 lays out requirements for zoological facilities: in order for a facility to be granted a licence to operate as a zoo, it must be inspected by the Danish Veterinary Administration. Instruction No. 11143 of 4th December 2015 mandates that zoos must be inspected regularly. Moreover, it is stated on the Ministry of Environment and Food homepage that inspections must be carried out annually.
Private keeping of wild animals
Executive Order No. 1261 of 17th November 2015 Notice of Private Holding of Special Animals prohibits the private keeping of a number of species on the basis that they are animals that can create fear, or animals, which should not be kept for animal welfare reasons. This includes all primates, with the exception of marmosets and tamarins (Callitrichidae spp.). Order No. 1022 of 2002 on the Commercial Trade of Animals makes it illegal to sell and hold animals listed in the Annex of Order No. 1021.
At the EU level, a ban on cat and dog fur was introduced by Regulation No 1523/2007, and has entered into force on 31st December 2008. The Regulation bans the placing on the market and the import to or export from the Union of cat and dog fur and products containing such fur.
Fur farming is still legal in Denmark, with the executive Order No. 1553 of 11th December 2015 on the protection of fur animals. Act No. 469 of 15th May 2014 made a ban on fox farming with a long phase-out period, which is to 2017 for most farmers and not until 2023 for two particular fur farmers.
Council Directive 1999/22/EC provides general provisions for animals kept in zoos. Following the wording of Article 3, zoos are primarily intended to achieve conservation efforts, taking into account animal welfare. It is positive that zoos have to be licenced to operate, and that such a licence can only be obtained if criteria of Article 3 are met, which includes welfare provisions relating to enrichment, husbandry, veterinary care and nutrition. Enrichment has to be species-specific, but there is no mention of the psychological distress that is induced by constraining animals to enclosures. This Directive could be improved by focusing on the mental wellbeing of animals, rather than on satisfying their basic needs (e.g. nutrition requirements). In particular, a provision could be made to ensure that the size of enclosure is large enough to enable individuals to express normal behaviours, as well as allowing social interactions. Moreover, the frequency of inspections is not mandated in this Directive.
It is positive that Council Directive (EC) 1/2005 is not limited to livestock, but also covers the transport of wild animals. However, the welfare provisions in this Directive are quite general. For instance, Chapter III, Article 1.1 does not specify how wild animals shall become ‘acclimatised’ to the mode of transport of the proposed journey.
Denmark has extensive legislation with regards to animals kept in zoos, with regular inspections of zoological facilities mandated in legislation.
It is encouraging that Denmark bans the private keeping of specific wild animals and has passed measures to prevent wildlife trafficking. The country could benefit from introducing a positive list, which would specify which animals can be kept as companion animals.
Any ban on fur farming is a positive step for animals, since the fur farming industry is inherently cruel and fur cannot be produced without causing large amount of pain, distress and suffering to animals. It is thus positive that the EU has implemented a ban on fur farming, although this ban is very limited as it covers only two species. The most common species farmed for their fur in Europe – rabbits, minks, foxes – are not included in this ban. Furthermore, there is no legislation at the EU level mandating humane slaughter for animals farmed for their fur. Act No. 469 establishes a ban on fox farming, which is a positive legal change for improving animal welfare. However, there appears to be a legislative gap since mink farming is still legal in the country.
In 2017, 1,547 mink farms were registered in Denmark overall, Denmark exported more than 185,000 animals for fur during that same year. All Danish mink farms are supposed to undergo annual, mandatory inspections by an authorised veterinarian as set out in legislation. The inspections (4 each year) are routine inspections to identify potential health or welfare issues on the farm. Veterinary officers from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) also regularly inspect mink farms. Since 2010, animal welfare on farms with fur animals, in particular mink, has received particular attention from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. The latest campaign control was in 2015-2016 where the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration unannounced visited 100 mink farms to control whether the rules on space requirement were met. The result was that only 8 out of the 100 farms did not comply with the rules (only one farm out of the 8 of concern was noted for animal welfare concern - too high stocking density).
There is controversy in the country concerning the continued existence of a fur farming industry that supplies some one third of the world’s factory farmed mink.
In 2017, 1,500 mink farms were inspected using a science-based animal welfare assessment, to become an approved WelFur farm. The assessment takes on a multi-faceted approach to animal welfare that considers all important welfare parameters including the animal’s positive and negative emotions, health, natural behaviour, the housing system, feeding, human-animal relationship and how the farm is managed. The approval consists of three welfare assessment controls (each control takes between 4 and 6 hours to complete) and the approval must be renewed at an annual inspection. By 2020, only fur from WelFur approved farms can be sold.
81 mink farms were controlled in 2017 in relation to a project by the Danish Centre for Animal Welfare (DCAW) entitled ‘Control with animal welfare on farm and during transport 2017’. 12 out of the 81 farms got a warning and one was reported to the police (page 13). This is an increase in numbers of warnings compared to 2016 where six out of 61 controlled farms got warnings and again one was reported to the police (health issue). However, the latest numbers from 2018 reports that 7 out of 55 controlled farms got warnings and still one was reported to the police (inspection issue), which is a decrease compared to the reported numbers from 2017.
Article 28 of the Act on the Protection of Animals provides that the overwork, neglect or reckless treatment of animals is punishable with a fine or up to one-year imprisonment. When imposing penalties, the court will take into account whether there is reckless or grossly negligent treatment and if that is the case the penalty will be a fine or up to two-years imprisonment. The courts have powers to make disqualification orders: ‘anyone who is found guilty of ill-treatment or cruel treatment of animals can be deprived of their right to own, use, care for, slaughter, or in the whole deal with animals personally’ (Article 29). The Veterinary and Food Administration are responsible for licensing and annual inspection of zoos according to Order No. 1397 of 2nd December 2015 . Penalties for non-compliance with legislation include the closure of zoos. Other penalties include a fine or imprisonment for up to four months unless a higher penalty (up to two-years) is warranted under other legislation.
• Denmark has overall high welfare standards for animals in captivity. While fur farming of foxes is currently being phased out, the country still allows fur farming of minks. This is an important discrepancy in the legal regime for animals that dramatically impairs the welfare of animals. The government of Denmark is encouraged to adopt a ban on fur farming for all animals, including minks, for greater consistency.
• With regards to animals kept in zoos, Denmark has adopted legislation that transposes European Union Zoo Directive. Denmark should carry out regular animal welfare inspections of zoos and the results of such examinations should be made public.
Denmark’s Totalitarian Virus Regime Censors Bitchute over ‘Dangerous Videos about COVID’
Authorities in Denmark have shut down much of the country’s access to video platform Bitchute in the name of preventing the spread of “dangerous information” about COVID.
Denmark’s National Police Cyber Crime Center (NC3) petitioned for a court order to block the site and ISPs followed suit by blocking access to users.
“The National Police Cyber Crime Center (NC3) has blocked the homepage that your browser has tried to access contact as there is reason to assume that from the website commits a violation of criminal law, which has a background in or connection with the covid-19 epidemic in Denmark,” states a message users see when trying to access Bitchute.
It then advises the owner of the website that they will have to contact the authorities in order to try to get the website back online.
“The block appears to be site-wide meaning that Danish citizens aren’t just being prevented from viewing alleged COVID-19 misinformation on BitChute – they’re being blocked from viewing any BitChute videos, regardless of the topic,” writes Tom Parker.
Bitchute is routinely targeted by governments because it provides a platform for controversial content that isn’t permitted on YouTube.
Some ISPs in Australia previously tried to block the site, while Twitter blocked people from posting Bitchute links on its platform last year.
Authorities in the UK and the EU are also trying to get the site shut down, claiming it engages in “incitement to hatred.”
Advocates of social media censorship routinely claim that free speech isn’t under assault because people can simply ‘build their own platforms’.
Yet when an entity like Bitchute does just that, they are targeted for elimination by the state.
This is straight up Communist Chinese-style totalitarianism, but what makes it worse is its timing.
As we’ve learned in recent weeks, by censoring “misinformation” about the Wuhan lab leak theory which could turn out to have been true all along, social media networks may have been complicit in facilitating one of the biggest cover-ups in modern history.
So for Danish authorities to target Bitchute for the exact same reason is yet another chilling example of the danger of allowing corporate and government entities to define the boundaries of acceptable speech and literally dictate reality.
All of this disgusting censorship…… imagine if there were social media censors and fact checkers back in the past:
The Viking era
Viking society, which had developed by the 9th century, included the peoples that lived in what are now Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and, from the 10th century, Iceland. In the beginning, political power was relatively diffused, but it eventually became centralized in the respective Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish kingdoms—a process that helped to bring about the end of the Viking era. Although a lot more is known about Viking society than about the earlier peoples in Denmark, the society was not a literate one, runic inscriptions notwithstanding. Some information about the era has thus been gleaned from the Vikings’ apparently rich oral tradition, portions of which were later recorded in poems such as Beowulf and in sagas such as Heimskringla.
The Vikings were superb shipbuilders and sailors. Although they are thought of primarily as raiders, they also engaged in a great deal of trade. In both capacities they traveled widely along routes that stretched from Greenland and North America in the west to Novgorod (now in Russia), Kiev (now in Ukraine), and Constantinople (now Istanbul, Tur.) in the east, as well as from north of the Arctic Circle south to the Mediterranean Sea. The Viking trade routes, especially those along the Russian river system, linked northern Europe to both the Arab trading network and the Byzantine Empire. The major goods moving east were slaves, furs, and amber while those traveling west included precious metals, jewels, textiles, and glassware. Danes, for the most part, occupied the centre of this system they generally traveled west to England and south along the coast of France and the Iberian Peninsula.
In addition to raiding and trading, Vikings established settlements, which at first may have served mainly as winter quarters while abroad. The Danes moved primarily to the eastern part of England that came to be called the Danelaw this region stretched from the River Thames north through what became known as Yorkshire. It appears that a good number of Scandinavian women accompanied their men to England and also settled there. The other major area of Danish Viking settlement was in Normandy, France. In 911 the Viking leader Rollo became the first duke of Normandy, as a vassal of Charles III of France. While the nationality of Rollo is in dispute—some sources say Norwegian and others say Danish—there is no question that most of his followers were Danes, many from the Danelaw area. Unlike the Danes in England, Rollo’s men did not bring many Viking women to France most of the warriors married local women, resulting in a mixed Danish-Celtic culture in Normandy (see also Celt).
In the midst of the Viking era, in the first half of the 10th century, the kingdom of Denmark coalesced in Jutland (Jylland) under King Gorm the Old. Gorm’s son and successor, Harald I (Bluetooth), claimed to have unified Denmark, conquered Norway, and Christianized the Danes. His accomplishments are inscribed in runic on a huge gravestone at Jelling, one of the so-called Jelling stones. Harald’s conquest of Norway was short-lived, however, and his son Sweyn I (Forkbeard) was forced to rewin the country. Sweyn also exhausted England in annual raids and was finally accepted as king of that country, but he died shortly thereafter. Sweyn’s son Canute I (the Great) reconquered Norway, which had been lost around the time of Sweyn’s death in 1014, and forged an Anglo-Danish kingdom that lasted until his own death in 1035. Various contenders fought for the throne of England and held it for short periods until the question of the succession was settled in 1066 by one of Rollo’s descendants, William I (the Conqueror), who led the Norman forces to victory over the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, Harold II, at the Battle of Hastings (see Norman Conquest).
Throughout the Viking period, Danish social structures evolved. Society was likely divided into three main groups: the elite, free men and women, and thralls (slaves). Over time, differences among members of the elite increased, and by the end of the period the concept of royalty had emerged, the status of the elite was becoming inheritable, and the gap between the elite and the free peasantry had widened. Slavery did not last past the Middle Ages.
There has been much debate among scholars about the role and status of Viking women. Though the society was clearly patriarchal, women could initiate divorce and own property, and some exceptional women assumed leadership roles in their home communities. Women also played important economic roles, as in the production of woolen cloth.
While no clear line can be drawn, the Viking era had ended by the middle of the 11th century. Many have credited the Christianization of the Scandinavians with bringing about the end of Viking depredations, but the centralization of temporal power also contributed significantly to the decline of the Vikings. Canute the Great, for example, gathered relatively large armies under his control rather than allowing small warrior bands to join him at will—as was the Viking tradition. In fact, Canute and other Nordic kings—behaving more like feudal overlords than mere head warriors—worked to inhibit the formation of independent warrior bands in the Scandinavian homelands. The increasing power of the Mongols on the Eurasian Steppe also affected the Vikings’ dominance. As the Mongols moved farther west, they closed the Vikings’ eastern river routes, which southern and central European merchants increasingly replaced with overland and Mediterranean routes. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the Christian church shaped the emerging society and culture of medieval Denmark and of Scandinavia as a whole.
Kingdom of Denmark | Kongeriget Danmark
Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, from the 17th through the 20th centuries Denmark and the former political union of Denmark–Norway ran a colonial empire that encompassed posessions in North America (Greenland), the Baltic and Scandinavian region, France, the United Kingdom, Iceland and northern Germany.
Denmark emerged from its colonial experience with one of the highest standards of living in Europe, with a comparatively liberal attitude towards immigration. The country has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the political and economic integration of Europe. The kingdom has a well developed social welfare system and as a nation is committed to development and to the protection of the environment.
So far, however, the country has opted out of some aspects of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, including the economic and monetary system (EMU) and issues concerning certain internal affairs.
Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Fri-June-18 12:00
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +2)
Capital City: Copenhagen (pop. 0.5 million in Copenhagen and 1.8 million in the Copenhagen region)
Aarhus (289 000), Odense (184 000), Aalborg (162 000).
Type: Constitutional Monarchy.
Constitution: 5 June 1953.
Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland) also includes two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)
Area: 43,094 km² (16,638 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Low and flat or slightly rolling hills highest elevation is 173 m. (568 ft.).
Climate: Temperate. The terrain, location, and prevailing westerly winds make the weather changeable.
Nationality: Noun--Dane(s). Adjective--Danish.
Population: 5.6 million (2015)
Ethnic groups: Scandinavian, German, Inuit, (Greenland) Faroese.
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran 84.3%. Catholics, Jews, other Protestant denominations, and Muslims account for approximately 5%.
Languages: Danish, some German, Faroese, Greenlandic. English is the predominant second language.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand.
Agriculture products: Barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets pork, dairy products fish.
Industries: Iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills.
Exports - commodities: machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills.
Exports partners: Germany 17.8%, Sweden 11.6%, US 8.4%, Norway 6.3%, UK 6.3%, Netherlands 4.4%, China 4.2% (2015)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods.
Imports partners: Germany 20.4%, Sweden 12.3%, Netherlands 8.1%, China 7.3%, Norway 6.1%, UK 4.4% (2015)
Denmark's political system is that of a constitutional monarchy, where the monarch formally appoints a representative to preside over the creation of a coalition government following a parliamentary election. Chief of state is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), in theory the source of all executive and legislative power. But de facto the Danish constitutions of 1849, and the most recent of 1953, ended the absolute monarchy and introduced parliamentary democracy.
Head of government is the prime minister, he presides over the cabinet. The parliament of Denmark, the Folketinget is the supreme and ultimate legislative body in the country.
Official Sites of Denmark
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Denmark's Official Website, the online portal to everything about Denmark.
Official website of the Prime Minister's Office.
Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN in New York
Denmark's Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
Royal Danish Embassy in the U.S.
Danish Embassy in Washington D.C.
Denmarks Missions Abroad
Address list of Denmarks Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
Information about Danish visa rules, short stay visas and residence and/or work permits.
The Copenhagen Diplomatic List 2016
Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Denmark.
Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut (DMI)
The institute makes weather forecasts and observations for Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.
Google Earth Denmark
Searchable map and satellite view of Denmark.
Google Earth Copenhagen
Searchable map and satellite view of Denmark's capital.
Map of the Baltic Sea Area
Political map of the Baltic Sea region.
Map of Scandinavia
Political map of Scandinavia (Fennoscandia).
Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.
National daily newspaper based in Copenhagen.
Danish daily newspaper specialising in business news.
The Copenhagen Post
The Danish news in English.
National and international news (in Danish)
Danish webportal (in Danish)
A Danish daily.
Danish daily broadsheet newspaper (in Danish)
Arts & Culture
The Danish Arts Agency
Cultural Agency was created in January 2012 by an amalgamation of the Arts Board, the Heritage Agency and the Agency for Libraries and Media.
Kunstindeks Danmark & Weilbachs kunstnerleksikon
The artindex is a database of artworks in Danish state-owned and state-subsidised museums. Weilbach is a digital version of the printed encyclopaedia of Danish artists and architects.
Det Kongelige Bibliotek
Founded by King Frederik III in about 1653, the Royal Library in Copenhagen is the national library of Denmark and university library of the University of Copenhagen.
Danish Museum of Art & Design
Museum in Copenhagen for Danish and international design and crafts.
Danish Design Centre
DDC in the centre of Copenhagen has permanent and special exhibitions promoting Danish design.
Verner Panton is considered one of Denmark's most influential 20th-century furniture and interior designers.
Denmark's principal museums for cultural history, history of art and natural history, respectively are:
National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is Denmark’s museum of cultural history.
Statens Naturhistoriske Museum
The Botanic Garden, the Botanical Museum & Library, the Geological Museum and the Zoological Museum have merged to become the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
More information you will find at
Copenhagen Museums and Attractions
Offers a list of all museums and attractions in Denmark, Wow.
Hans Christian Andersen online
On the occasion of his 200 year anniversary in 2005 the Danish Royal Library has made editions and documents available online in order to illustrate important aspects of Hans Christian Andersens, the famous Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet.
Hans Christian Andersen
Wikipedia page about Hans Christian Andersen.
Official website of the museum dedicated to the artwork of Bertel Thorvaldsen, the Danish/Icelandic sculptor of international fame, who spent most of his life (1797–1838) in Italy.
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (2 January 1783 – 22 July 1853)
Wikipedia page about the father of Danish painting and originator of the Golden Age of Danish Painting.
Roskilde Rock Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe.
Det Danske Filminstitut
The Danish Film Institute.
The Little Mermaid - Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, it is one of the best known symbols of Denmark.
Sculptor: Edvard Eriksen
Phantasy Landscape by Verner Panton
A pile of Lego blocks of assorted colors and sizes. Lego Group, is a Danish family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark.
Image: © Alan Chia (713 Avenue)
Business & Economy
The Danish Chamber of Commerce.
The Copenhagen Stock Exchange is one of the OMX Exchanges, which was founded in 2003 and since February 2008 part of the NASDAQ OMX Group.
The Danish National Bank is Denmarks centralbank.
Bang & Olufsen
Danish construction toys.
Danish business conglomerate and largest container ship operator and supply vessel operator in the world.
Seafood from Greenland.
Directory of family-friendly websites from Denmark.
Scandinavian Airlines System
SAS is a multi-national airline for Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Denmark's second busiest airport is an air cargo center, as well as a charter airline hub.
Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup
Denmark's principal airport.
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Destination Denmark - Travel and Tour Guides
Kronborg, 16th-century castle Helsingør (Elsinore). Legoland Billund Resort, everything LEGO. Lille Vildmose, said to be the largest raised bog in north-western Europe. Skibsklarerergården, travel back in time to the late 1500s in Helsingør. Tivoli Gardens, amusement park in central Copenhagen. Tørskind Grusgrav, sculpture park near Egtved, Vejle. Trelleborg, a Viking ring castle. The Old Town in Aarhus is a open-air living history museum from the time of Hans Christian Andersen.
Find accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, and much more.
Københavns Kommune - The Municipality of Copenhagen.
Official guide to Copenhagen.
AOK - Visiting Copenhagen
City Guide - Best of Copenhagen.
The City of Aarhus.
The City of Odense.
The City of Aalborg.
Some World Heritage Sites in Denmark
Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church
Runic stones and burial mounds in central Jutland, legacy of a pre-Christian Nordic culture.
The Royal castle of Kronborg is a strategically important site at the Øresund strait in Helsingør at the tip of the island of Zealand.
The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand
The cultural landscape comprises the two hunting forests of Store Dyrehave and Gribskov, and the hunting park of Jægersborg, where Danish kings with entourage practiced par force hunting.
Education & Research
Leadership development program, an alternative business school located in Arhus.
Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark.
Danish public university, located in Roskilde on the island of Zealand.
University of Aalborg
Established in 1974, the university is located in the city of Aalborg, it became the fifth university in Denmark.
University of Aarhus
Denmark's second oldest and largest university, founded in 1928.
University of Southern Denmark
The University has six campuses, mainly located in the southern part of Denmark.
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Geoscientific studies, research, consultancy and geological mapping.
The Nano-Science Center of the University of Copenhagen is dedicated to the teaching and research of nanotechnology.
Environment & Nature Organizations Denmark
Danish Ministry of the Environment.
The Danish Society for Nature Conservation is the biggest nature conservation and environmental organisation in Denmark.
The Danish section of Greenpeace.
NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
NGO aims to protect the environment by actively preventing environmental damage. (in Danish)
Denmark's history from prehistory to the modern kingdom of today.
Country Index: Denmark - History
Global peacefulness has deteriorated over the past year, with this being the fourth time in the last five years that the world has seen a fall in peacefulness. The results this year show that the level of global peacefulness deteriorated, with the average country score falling by 0.34 per cent. This is the ninth deterioration in peacefulness in the last twelve years, with 81 countries improving, and 80 recording deteriorations over the past year. The 2020 GPI reveals a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the second year in a row, followed by Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. All, except Yemen, have been ranked amongst the five least peaceful since at least 2015. Only two of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year. The greatest improvement occurred in the Russia and Eurasia region, followed by North America. North America was the only region to record improvements across all three domains, while Russia and Eurasia recorded improvements in Ongoing Conflict and Safety and Security, but a deterioration on the Militarisation domain.
Denmark in the EU
There are 12 members of the European Parliament from Denmark. Find out who these MEPs are.
Council of the EU
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Danish government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
Presidency of the Council of the EU
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
Dates of Danish presidencies:
Jul-Dec 1973 | Jan-Jun 1978 | Jul-Dec 1982 | Jul-Dec 1987 | Jan-Jun 1993 | Jul-Dec 2002 | Jan-Jun 2012
The following link is a redirection to an external website Current presidency of the Council of the EU
The Commissioner nominated by Denmark to the European Commission is Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for A Europe fit for the Digital Age.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
European Economic & Social Committee
Denmark has 9 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
European Committee of the Regions
Denmark has 9 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Permanent representation to the EU
Denmark also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Denmark's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
ON THE INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF DENMARK
Not many nations have succeeded in managing the transition to industrialisation as an agrarian society. Most of the European countries such as Hungary, Spain and Greece, which continued to depend on farming and livestock while coal mines, iron works and textile factories were popping up elsewhere, slipped into poverty. By contrast, Denmark developed into a prosperous agricultural nation – and what is most surprising: in terms of per-capita income, the Danes were just as prosperous before the industrial revolution!
Perhaps this also explains Denmark’s extraordinary development path. As far back as the early Renaissance, Danish farmers cultivated relatively large tracts of land, which brought them modest prosperity. And as the country lacked not only the classic raw materials of coal and iron ore, but also other resources like wood and water power, agriculture was a decisive factor. Therefore, the Crown supported the independent farmers, in whom they saw a reliable basis for tax revenues, and rescinded the feudal obligations and tithes of farmers in the second half of the 18th century. At the same time, large landowners divested themselves of vast amounts of land, so that most of the free farmers held tracts of land large enough to permit efficient cultivation. As a consequence, Denmark became an important grain exporter.
As these revenues did not accrue to the large landowners, as in many agrarian nations, but to a large class of independent farmers, they stimulated domestic demand and promoted trade and crafts. The flourishing agricultural sector was thus able to accommodate the massive population growth of the 18th and early 19th century.
The fact that farmers were willing to adapt to changing market conditions and adopt innovations was in part due to the high educational level of the Danish population. Compulsory education was introduced in 1814, and in 1844 the pastor and educator Nikolai Grundtvig initiated an adult-education movement that caught on in large parts of Scandinavia. Agricultural schools followed, starting in 1860.
1849 marked the introduction of a constitutional monarchy, and with it, extensive liberalisation. Rights of ownership were guaranteed, contractual freedom and freedom of association were established. Barriers to business such as the privileges of the guilds and the Öresund toll, which made shipping across the strait between Denmark and Sweden more expensive, were eliminated. The open-market policy was also continued even when a wave of cheap foreign grain flooded Europe at the end of the 19th century due to falling transport costs: Denmark refused to impose import tariffs. Instead, farmers switched relatively quickly from grain export to exporting animal products, in particular butter, bacon and eggs – which proved to be surprisingly sustainable.
The cooperatives, which farmers throughout the country founded starting in 1882, proved important in this connection. The large cooperative meat-packing and dairy operations were more efficient than individual farmers and guaranteed consistent quality – which promoted exports: at that time, England imported one third of its butter from Denmark! Before the outbreak of the First World War, agricultural products accounted for 60% of Danish exports, and industrial products only 10%.
Processing of agricultural products led to the establishment of a specialised agricultural technology industry. The breakthrough was the invention by Lars Christian Nielsen of a continually operating centrifuge for skimming cream from milk in 1878 at the Maglekilde machine-tool factory in Roskilde. In the laboratories of Copenhagen’s Carlsberg Brewery, botanist Emil Christian Hansen discovered the diversity of the different yeast strains and developed a process for breeding the entire yeast for a brewing process from a single cell of the desired type.
A conventional industrial production landscape developed in the 1890s. Copenhagen, with its iron works, textile factories and expanding districts of workers’ housing, was its undisputed centre. Soon, one third of all Danes were living in cities, as new factories were being established in the provinces as well: in addition to food production, this included cement factories in Aalborg, railroad construction in Randers as well as paper factories and smaller shipyards. Still, it was not until the 1950s that more Danes were employed in industry than in agriculture.
( 1 ) Proportion of ever-partnered women aged 18 years experiencing intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014. Violence against Women: An EU-wide Survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
( 2 ) Proportion of ever-partnered women aged 18 years experiencing intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the last 12 months. Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014. Violence against Women: An EU-wide Survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
( 3 ) Proportion of women aged 18 years experiencing sexual violence perpetrated by someone other than an intimate partner at least once in their lifetime. Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014. Violence against Women: An EU-wide Survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
( 4 ) The Gender Inequality Index is a composite measure reflecting inequality between women and men in three different dimensions: reproductive health (maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rate), empowerment (share of parliamentary seats held by women and share of population with at least some secondary education), and labour market participation (labour force participation rate). Source: United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2016.
( 5 ) The Global Gender Gap Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria. Source: World Economic Forum, the Global Gender Gap Report 2016.