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Wild boar cull planned in Belgium
A cull of wild boar is being planned by Belgian authorities to prevent further spread of African Swine Fever.
Move to prevent further spread of African Swine Fever

A cull of wild boar is being planned by Belgian authorities to prevent further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to the National Pig Association (NPA), some 114 dead wild boars have been confirmed with ASF to date - all of which were found in the restriction zone in the
Luxembourg region of the country. When this figure stabilises, the NPA adds, the authorities intend to shoot the remaining wild boars.

Around 3,000 domestic and commercial pigs have already been culled in the Luxembourg restriction zone in a bid to keep the virus out of commercial pigs. Authorities will continue to test wild boars for ASF by sending samples off to Belgium’s central laboratory, Sciensano, for diagnosis.  

Despite pig prices taking a tumble as a result of export bans by non-EU countries, they are now reported to be stable. Farmers in the restriction zone whose pigs have been culled are set to receive compensation. 

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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.  

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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.”