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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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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.