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Sharing best practices ‘critical’ to halt spread of ASF
Lithuania was the first country in the European Union to report cases in wild boar.

Analysis reveals disease is continuing to spread among wild boar
 
Food safety experts have declared that sharing best practices in fighting African swine fever (ASF) is critical to prevent the spread of the disease.

Research by the European Food Safety Authority found that the disease is continuing to spread among wild boar in the Baltic States and Poland. The experts concluded that humans have been critical in spreading the disease. For example, through the disposal of contaminated waste in wild boar habitat.

‘Drastic depopulation, targeted hunting of female wild boar and carcass removal solely implemented as measures to control ASF in the wild boar population need to be implemented in a highly effective manner (at or beyond the limit of reported effectivity in wild boar management) to sustainably halt the spread of ASF,’ the authors conclude.

In the study, EFSA experts helped Baltic countries and Poland analyse epidemiological data collected until September 2017. The analysis revealed that two more EU Member States - the Czech Republic and Romania - reported cases in 2017, bringing the total number of affected Member States to six.

African swine fever is a devastating disease of pigs that is spread either via direct animal contact or through contaminated food, such as sausages. In January 2014, Lithuania became the first country in the European Union to report cases in wild boar. This was followed in June and September 2014 by Latvia and Estonia respectively.

Measures to prevent the spread of ASF began after the disease was first confirmed in Brussels in June 2013. The measures included increased biosecurity and surveillance on pig farms and the use of wild boar repellents.

Findings from the study will be presented by EFSA veterinary surgeon Sofie Hollander later today (9 November) at a conference organised by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.

The study, 'Epidemiological analyses of African swine fever in the Baltic States and Poland', is published in the EFSA Journal.

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Survey seeks to learn about racehorse aftercare

News Story 1
 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching a survey to improve understanding of aftercare for thoroughbreds. The survey has been emailed to trainers, who are asked to share their own experiences, with a focus on life after horses finish their racing careers. It forms part of an equine health and welfare strategy being developed by the BHA. 

News Shorts
Charity welcomes new ambassadors

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has appointed the actor Anthony Head and renowned canine behaviourist, Sarah Fisher, as official ambassadors. They join existing ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Jacqueline Wilson.

Anthony is best known for his roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Iron Lady and Girlfriends. He has previously lent his voice to Battersea’s videos and appeals, as well as performing readings at the charity’s Christmas Carol Concert and Collars & Coats Gala Ball.

Meanwhile Sarah has worked across all three of the charity’s centres, offering advice in dealing with a variety of complex and challenging dogs. She has also fostered several Battersea animals and trained many members of staff in using the Tellington Touch method of training, to keep dogs calm and relaxed.