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ASF: Nearly 130,000 pigs culled in Bulgaria 
Six of the outbreaks occurred on large commercial farms in the northern part of the country, close to the border with Romania.
Authorities order culling of home-raised pigs in ‘sanitary zones’

Nearly 130,000 pigs have died or been culled in Bulgaria due to African swine fever (ASF), according to new figures from July and August.

The country has reported 23 outbreaks to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) since 19 July. A total of 129,169 pigs and 22 wild boar have been killed by the virus, predominantly in the north, north west and central northern parts of the country.

Cases have also been seen in the east, south and south west.

Six of the outbreaks occurred on large commercial farms in northern Bulgaria, close to the border with Romania. Eight outbreaks occurred on backyard farms and six on commercial farms, while the remainder were detected in forests.

Bulgarian authorities have placed 20km (12.4 mile) sanitary zones around all registered industrial pig farms and ordered the culling of home-raised pigs within these areas, Reuters reported.

In response, protest rallies have been seen in several parts of southern Bulgaria, with hundreds of people refusing to adhere to government orders, Reuters added. Agriculture minister Densislava Taneva extended the culling deadline until 11 August in the southern Pazardzhik district after 31 mayors issued a joint statement saying they would not allow it to go ahead.

The UK’s risk level for contaminated products entering the country remains at medium. However, the Animal and Plant Health Agency said in its latest update that this is a critical time for the spread of the virus in Europe, as well as to other regions, through human travel. Repeated findings of contaminated products in passenger luggage is of particular concern.

Defra recently launched a poster campaign in airports and ports in the UK to raise awareness of the risks of bringing pork products into the country.

 

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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.