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ASF virus moves closer to German border
Two cases of ASF have been confirmed around 40km from the German border.


Risk to UK pig population remains at medium

Further African swine fever (ASF) cases have been identified in West Poland, some 40km away from the border of Germany.

According to the National Pig Association (NPA), nine new cases have been discovered in wild boar, following the initial discovery of 20 cases in the Lubuskie Province in November.

The NPA also reports cases in the city and surrounding districts of Zielona Gora, Sulechow, Swidnica, and Nowogrod Bobrzanski. Two cases have been confirmed in the Nowa Sol commune in the Nowosolski poviat, around 40km from the German border.


In November, the State Veterinary Institute in Pulaway confirmed two cases of the disease in the Lubuskie Province, around 75km away from the German border.

Since then, intensive searches of the region have identified 20 cases in wild boar in the same region, as well as one case in the Dolnośląskie Province.
 Polish authorities placed a 5km fence around the infected area, followed by a larger second fence in a bid to contain the virus.

The new cases are of particular concern as the neighbouring province, Wielkopolskie, contains 30 per cent of the total population of pigs in Poland.

The president of the Lubuska Chamber of Agriculture, Stanislaw Mysliwiec, said that he hoped the outbreak could be contained to the infected area and called on local pig producers to comply with biosecurity measures to protect the domestic pig herd.

German pig farmer representative, ISN, said the industry was ‘worried and called on producers ‘not to panic and to continue to implement biosecurity measures’.

In its latest ASF update, the UK Animal and Plant Health Agency said the risk for the entry of contaminated or infected products into the UK remains at medium. It added that border checks on passengers are ‘paramount’ and travellers are being strongly advised to avoid bringing any pork products back from affected areas of Europe.
 
The APHA adds: “The risk of exposure to the pig population in the UK is still highly dependent on the level of biosecurity on individual pig premises but is still considered to be low. We will continue to monitor the situation”.

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.