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France to cull wild boar to prevent ASF
France has stepped up surveillance measures since ASF was confirmed in wild boar in the Belgian region of Luxembourg in September.
Move prompted by new Belgian cases nearby 

France is set to cull all wild boar in an area along the Belgian border in a bid to prevent African swine fever (ASF), after new cases were discovered nearby in Belgium.

The boar-free zone along the border will cover several miles and a perimeter fence will be built, Reuters reported.

“The confirmation of two cases of African swine fever on Jan 9 2019, in Belgium at about 1km from the border, leaves our country more exposed than ever to this major risk for pig farming,” a ministry statement said, according to Reuters.

“We are now at maximum risk level.”

France has stepped up surveillance measures since ASF was confirmed in wild boar in the Belgian region of Luxembourg in September. Two wild boar tested positive for the virus after being found in a new area, prompting the Walloon government to expand its buffer and surveillance zones.

Elsewhere, the virus has reached 24 provinces and regions in China, since its first outbreak in August last year. The country culled 916,000 pigs after around 100 outbreaks of ASF across the country, Reuters reported.

The virus has also recently been detected in Mongolia for the first time, and in pork products that were illegally imported to Australia and intercepted by border security.

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Hen charity starts work on first rehoming centre

News Story 1
 The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) has begun work on its first hen welfare and education centre. Located in north Devon, the 250 square metre building will comprise a state-of-the-art rehoming centre and fully equipped veterinary clinic.

Image © Guy Harrop  

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Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemenís Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: ďIím very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sportís commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."