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Farmers urged to warn public about risk of feeding pigs
The NPA has issued a call to the Government to review its outdated feral pig plan.
NPA urges pig producers to put up signs around their premises

The National Pig Association (NPA) is urging farmers to warn the public about the risk of feeding pigs.

The call comes in response to the increasing risk of African Swine Fever (ASF) entering the UK. The disease is currently spreading throughout Europe and has also been identified in China.

People feeding pigs infected meat, either deliberately or accidentally, is thought to be one of the most likely ways for ASF to reach pigs. It was also identified as the most likely cause of the 2000 swine fever outbreak.

To help spread the message, AHDB Pork has produced free signs designed to be displayed next to roads, lay-bys and public footpaths. These are available to request from comms@ahdb.org.uk

“We know there are many ways the ASF virus could get into the country, so it is absolutely critical that the pig industry takes all the precautions it can to keep it away from pigs,” said NPA chief executive Zoe Davis.

“We urge all producers, particularly those with units next to roads, lay-bys and public footpaths to put up the signs and send a clear message to the general public.”

Another likely way for ASF to enter the UK is through wild board eating contaminated meat either fed or discarded by the public. To help prevent this from happening, the AHDB has launched a social media campaign to #KeepWildBoarWild.

The campaign stresses that while feeding wild boar might seem helpful ‘it can be dangerous for their health and spread diseases that affect all pigs’. It cautions that boar soon become used to being fed and may then venture into local towns, wreaking havoc on the roads and raiding bins.

The NPA has issued a call to the Government to review its outdated feral pig plan and take more responsibility for the management of the UK’s increasing population of wild pigs. 

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”