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ASF detected in Hong Kong slaughterhouse
The virus was detected in tissue samples collected from the condemned carcass of an imported pig.(Stock photo)
Culling of 6,000 pigs underway following protests 

African swine fever has been confirmed in a Hong Kong slaughterhouse for the first time, the country’s chief veterinary officer has confirmed.

The virus was detected in tissue samples collected from the condemned carcass of an imported pig.

Operations at the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse have been suspended since the outbreak on 10 May, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Hong Kong’s agriculture, fisheries and conservation department revealed last week that the pig was imported from Zhanjiang in China’s Guangdong province.

According to media reports, the batch including the infected pig had already been released to the market before the disease was confirmed.

Sophia Chan, secretary of the city’s food and health department, is quoted in the press as saying all pigs at the slaughterhouse would be culled so that thorough cleansing and disinfection could be carried out.

Plans to cull the 6,000 pigs were initially hindered by pork traders who threatened to stand guard overnight to prevent officials entering the slaughterhouse. An agreement was reached during talks on Sunday (12 May), meaning authorities began culling operations at the slaughterhouse yesterday (13 May).

Affected pork traders could be compensated HK$20 million, EJ Insight reported.

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.