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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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UK a step closer to ivory ban

News Story 1
 A UK ban on ivory sales is one step closer to coming into force, as the government has introduced the Ivory Bill to parliament. The ban covers items of all ages, rather than just ivory carved after 1947. Anyone breaching the ban will face an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

Conservationists have welcomed the bill, which comes less than six weeks after the government published the results of a consultation on this issue. Around 55 African elephants are now slaughtered for their ivory every day and the illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth £17 billion a year.  

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News Shorts
Strategic alliance to support development of agri-food sector

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast have formed a new strategic alliance that will see both institutions form a research and education partnership.

Under the agreement, the organisations will pool their resources and expertise to support the development of the agri-food sector. It will work across three core themes: enabling innovation, facilitating new ways of working and partnerships.