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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: 


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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."


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News Shorts
AHDB Pork calls for stepped-up biosecurity

Pig farmers are being urged to step up biosecurity to reduce the risk of swine dysentery in their herds.

According to Farmers Weekly, AHDB Pork have confirmed cases in the north and east of the UK and is calling on producers to focus on hygiene to protect their animals.

Members of the AHDB Pork Significant diseases charter are reported to have been informed of the outbreaks.