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ASF risk level raised to medium in the UK
The risk of exposure to the UK’s pig population is still considered to be ‘low’.
Bulgaria reports first outbreak in backyard pigs

The risk of African swine fever (ASF) entering the UK via contaminated pig products has been raised to ‘medium’, following a recent upswing in outbreaks on commercial pig farms in Romania and Poland.

Bulgaria also reported its first outbreak in backyard pigs on 31 August. Four out of seven pigs died and the remainder were culled.

Several thousand tonnes of Romanian-origin meat per annum are consigned to the UK from EU member states.

According to the APHA’s latest risk assessment, the risk of exposure to the UK’s pig population is still considered to be ‘low’.

Since 22 August, Romania has seen 42 new outbreaks in several regions - four of which occurred on commercial pig farms with more than 140,000 pigs on affected premises.

Meanwhile, the disease was detected for the first time in China in early August. The country’s sixth outbreak, on a farm with 459 susceptible pigs, was reported on 31 August in Yanhe Village, Anhui. China’s agriculture ministry has introduced a ban on transporting pigs or pig products from provinces where ASF has been confirmed, and is set to shut down live pig markets in the region.

APHA will reassess the risk to the UK every two weeks. Pig keepers are reminded not to feed swill to their animals and to be aware that visitors to their premises should not have had any recent contact with affected regions.

ASF should be considered as a possible diagnosis, even in single pigs with haemorrhagic lesions, lethargy, skin discolouration or petechiation and high fever. Any suspected cases must be reported to APHA immediately.

 

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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.