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ASF: UK at risk from imported pork, APHA says
ASF outbreaks have now been reported in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong and North Korea.
Virus spread in Asia prompts concern over passenger luggage 

African swine fever (ASF) could enter the UK through contaminated pork or pork products imported from Asia, the APHA has warned.

Media reports suggest several countries have seized infected pork or pork products at their borders and there are regular direct flights to the UK from China and the EU, prompting concerns about products being brought back in passenger luggage.

The potential role of soft ticks as a vector for the disease has also increased, with spread to areas of South East Asia where they are endemic.

ASF outbreaks have now been reported in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong and North Korea.

As well as direct routes, APHA said contaminated animal feed ingredients and fomites are potential pathways for ASF transmission. These factors are suspected of playing a part in China, where 142 outbreaks had been reported as of 4 June.

APHA said the UK’s risk level remains at medium, but the situation is being kept under review.

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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.