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New app aims to help tackle ASF
ASF COMBAT allows pig farmers to improve biosecurity on their premises.
ASF COMBAT identifies areas for biosecurity improvement

Pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim has developed a new app to help farmers protect their stock from African swine fever.

ASF COMBAT allows pig farmers to improve biosecurity on their premises by completing a short questionnaire based on scientific literature and practical experience.

While the risk of the virus is higher in ASF-affected areas, all farms must be prepared and understand the risks they face, the company said. The app highlights the most important risk areas to allow improved biosecurity, pig flow, management and feeding practices.

Risk areas covered by the app are:
  • Animals - ASF virus spreads by direct contact, and live animals can carry the virus.
  • Transport - vehicles that have carried infected pigs can be a risk to other farms because ASF virus is highly resistant in the environment.
  • People - how farm staff behaves can affect the risk profile of the farm.
  • Management - the daily routines on the farm are critical in the prevention of ASF entering the herd.
  • Feeding - ASF virus can stay infective in kitchen scraps, catering waste or food leftovers contaminated with infected pork.
  • Location - proximity to infected swine, wild boar can pose serious risk that need to be understood.

Boehringer said the app is intended to identify potential areas for improvement, not to replace the advice of a veterinary surgeon or health authorities.

ASF COMBAT can be downloaded as an app from the Apple Store or Google Play, or accessed online: https://prevent-asf.com/index.php?action=users_public_login 

 

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”