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Chief vets raise awareness of African Swine Fever risk
"ASF presents an important and increasing risk to the pigs in the UK" - Christine Middlemiss, CVO UK.
Vets urged to report any suspect cases to the APHA 

Chief veterinary officers have joined forces to raise awareness of the risk of African swine fever (ASF) to the UK’s pig population.

Christine Middlemiss, chief veterinary officer (CVO) UK, Robert Huey, CVO Northern Ireland, Sheila Voas, CVO Scotland and Christianne Glossop, CVO Wales have all endorsed an article raising awareness of the growing risk of the disease, which has been spreading throughout eastern and central Europe.

Christine Middlemiss, CVO UK, said: “ASF presents an important and increasing risk to the pigs in the UK. In an outbreak, heightened disease control measures and a potential ban on pork exports could have a financial impact on the pig industry.

“The arrival of ASF would also affect the modest export market of our native rare breed pigs, and those with small populations and genetic pools could be heavily compromised if they had to be culled for disease control purposes.

“We must all play our part in raising awareness with all pig owners of this significant risk, promoting good biosecurity, and ensuring early detection and effective control if the worst happens.”

The article was sent to official veterinarians on Thursday (8 November) by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA). Together with information on how to keep pigs free of ASF, the article also includes images of the clinical signs and pathology of ASF.

‘Anything you can do to promote these messages amongst your colleagues and to your pig-keeping clients is valuable in reducing the risk of introduction of ASF to the UK, whether their pigs are pets, or in small-scale or commercial herds,’ said the APHA. ‘In addition, if you are visiting clients who have pigs, take the opportunity to discuss and demonstrate best biosecurity practices to them.’

Anyone who suspects they have identified ASF is urged to report the disease immediately to the APHA. Guidance on how to spot and report the disease can be found at 

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Dogs Trust announces winners of vet student awards

News Story 1
 Cambridge vet student James Jewkes has been awarded first place in the annual Dogs Trust EMS Awards, for his paper on the threat of exotic infectious diseases in rehoming centres. James will now go on a two-week placement at the WVS International Training Centre in South India.

Each year the awards allow vet students to gain hands-on experience during work placements at 13 of the charity’s rehoming centres, then submit reports on a relevant subject.  

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Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemen’s Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: “I’m very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sport’s commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."