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Discovery could help fight classical swine fever
Classical swine fever was eradicated in the US in 1978 but still plagues pork producers in China and other countries.
Scientist develops ‘safe, inexpensive’ vaccine 

New research could help China to fight classical swine fever, whilst preventing it spreading to other countries that are currently free from the disease.

This is according to a scientist from Kansas State University, who says he has developed a safe, inexpensive new vaccine. It uses a protein from the virus rather than live or attenuated virus - meaning the vaccine poses no biosecurity threat to the US.

The vaccine has been licensed to a Chinese animal health company so it can be tested in the field.

Classical swine fever was eradicated in the US in 1978 but still plagues pork producers in China and other countries. Each of the 700 million pigs raised annually in China receives two doses of the existing vaccine.

Professor Jishu Shi also discovered specific antibodies that can be used to differentiate between infected and vaccinated pigs. Animals given the current modified live virus vaccine test positive for classical swine fever. Prof Shi is working with colleagues at the US Department of Agriculture and in Europe and China to conduct further trials.

“This exciting discovery could result in solving an economic and trade problem in China - vaccines are expensive, and countries with classical swine fever can’t export pork - and a security problem for the US,” he explained.

Kansas State University’s vice president for research, Peter Dorhout, said: “Shi's work shows how we are expanding our reach around the world to build relationships, provide expertise and keep our food industries and supplies safe.”

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”