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Government steps up campaign to tackle African swine fever
The risk of ASF infection in the UK is currently considered to be low.
Pet pig keepers urged to complete survey on disease.

The UK government has launched a survey aimed at small-scale pig keepers, including smallholders, pet pig keepers and hobbyists, on African swine fever (ASF).

It forms part of a campaign to tackle the introduction and spread of ASF, which has devastated pig populations across much of China and has recently been circulating in parts of Europe.

The survey seeks to find out what small-scale pig keepers already know about the disease, identify their feeding and biosecurity practices, and discover what sources they refer to for guidance on keeping pigs.

Findings will be used to improve the information available to pig keepers to help protect the health of their pigs and the UK pig industry.

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss commented: “African swine fever has no cure and there are currently no effective vaccines. If it were to reach the UK, it would have a devastating impact on commercial pig keepers, small-scale pig keepers and pet pig keepers alike. Everyone who keeps pigs can take actions to contribute to keeping African swine fever out of the UK.

“If you are a small-scale pig keeper or keep pigs as pets, please complete the survey to help governments across the UK understand more about your knowledge of the disease and your pig keeping practices. This will help us to provide you with the information you need to protect the health of your pigs and all UK pigs.”

ASF is a notifiable disease of pigs that has caused serious production and economic loss across the globe. It is highly contagious and can result in death for almost all pigs that are infected.

In the UK, the risk of infection is currently considered to be low but is highly dependent on the level of biosecurity on individual pig premises.

The survey can be found here and closes on 31 August 2020.

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Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk