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€5.6m funding to tackle ASF and LSD
LSD entered Europe, the Balkans and Caucasus for the first time in 2015 and caused the deaths of thousands of cattle.

DEFEND consortium addresses emerging threats 

A global consortium has been awarded €5.6 million to study two serious and emerging diseases in Europe - African swine fever and lumpy skin disease.

The consortium, called DEFEND, is being spearheaded by the Pirbright Institute in Surrey. It is comprised of 31 members from 21 countries in Europe, as well as Russia, Canada, Israel, Azerbaijan, South Africa and Australia.

Both ASF and LSD present an immediate and serious threat to the pig and cattle industries in Europe and eastern and central Asia.

Since 2007, ASF has moved through eastern Europe owing to the spread of infection by wild boar and the lack of a vaccine. It is highly contagious and causes a haemorrhagic syndrome in pigs with up to 100 per cent mortality.

Meanwhile LSD entered Europe, the Balkans and Caucasus for the first time in 2015 and caused the deaths of thousands of cattle.

DEFEND aims to control the growing epidemics by developing new tests and vaccines, understanding what drives outbreaks and working with decision makers to ensure appropriate and rapid responses.

The consortium’s work is split into 15 work packages. Pirbright contributors include Dr Pip Beard, who will work on an LSD vaccine for use in Europe and neighbouring countries; and Dr Chris Netherton, who will develop an ASF vaccine for wild boar and backyard pigs.

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from