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Cambodia confirms first case of ASF
ASF has been spreading across China since August last year and the country’s pig herd is said to be down 19 per cent year-on-year. (Stock photo)
Backyard outbreak claims 500 pigs, agriculture ministry reports

African swine fever has been confirmed in Cambodia for the first time, in backyard pigs near the border with Vietnam.

The country’s Ministry of Agriculture said the outbreak killed 400 of the 500 pigs at the premises in Ratanakiri Province, while the remainder were culled and disposed of.

Responding to the news, the UK’s National Pig Association (NPA) said the outran was of “little surprise” considering the rate at which the virus has spread in neighbouring Vietnam, since the first case was reported there in February.

ASF has been spreading across China since August last year and the country’s pig herd is said to be down 19 per cent year-on-year.

The virus has also been detected in Mongolia and there are concerns that nearby countries, including Thailand and Taiwan, could be at risk.

There are also concerns that movement of infected meat could aid the spread of ASF, as contaminated meat has already been found at ports and airports in Australia, the US, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government revealed this week that ASF has been detected ‘in a contagious state’ in soil for the first time.

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Ireland’s airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.