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ASF: UK at risk from imported pork, APHA says
ASF outbreaks have now been reported in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong and North Korea.
Virus spread in Asia prompts concern over passenger luggage 

African swine fever (ASF) could enter the UK through contaminated pork or pork products imported from Asia, the APHA has warned.

Media reports suggest several countries have seized infected pork or pork products at their borders and there are regular direct flights to the UK from China and the EU, prompting concerns about products being brought back in passenger luggage.

The potential role of soft ticks as a vector for the disease has also increased, with spread to areas of South East Asia where they are endemic.

ASF outbreaks have now been reported in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong and North Korea.

As well as direct routes, APHA said contaminated animal feed ingredients and fomites are potential pathways for ASF transmission. These factors are suspected of playing a part in China, where 142 outbreaks had been reported as of 4 June.

APHA said the UK’s risk level remains at medium, but the situation is being kept under review.

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Hedgehog project launched at Edinburgh campus

News Story 1
 The University of Edinburgh has launched a hedgehog-friendly project at its Easter Bush Campus, which is home to the Roslin Institute and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

A survey is being carried out at the campus to assess how many hedgehogs are in the area. A team of around 20 volunteers installed 10 small tunnels in different locations and they will track footprints to gauge hedgehog presence.

Landscape experts are also creating habitats where the mammals can eat, shelter and breed. It is hoped that student projects will be developed at an open day on 12 October. 

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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 Irelandís 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 Irelandís 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.