The Experts in Animal Health

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for August 24, 2007

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
earnings news
OurPet’s Co.
Smithfield Foods
Webster Veterinary Supply
other news
AHC Products
Nullodor USA
Sound Technologies
2007 Animal Health Industry Overview and Mid-Year Update at the Central Veterinary Conference
September 17, 2007
Brakke Consulting will present its Mid-Year Update Overview at the Central Veterinary Conference in Kansas City on Monday, September 17.
Registration fees are $350 for the first person from a company to register and $325 for each additional person from the same company.
To register, go to the Brakke homepage on and click on the link at the bottom for details. You can also call Jane Morgan or Susan Mannhaupt in the Dallas office to register at (972)243-4033.
> Patterson Companies, Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 ended July 28. Sales of the Webster Veterinary unit increased 10% in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 to $110 million. Patterson’s veterinary business benefited from continued sales growth of consumable supplies and a 30% increase in sales of equipment and IntraVet practice management software. (Business Wire)
> Ridley Inc. reported its financial results for the year ended June 30, 2007.  Revenues were $532 million for the year, compared to revenues of $506 million in the prior year.  Ridley earned $9.0 million in FY 2007 compared to $13.2 million last year.  About half the $4.2 million reduction in after-tax earnings was due to a $2.1 million asset impairment loss on closure of a redundant production facility. (company website)
>  Smithfield Foods Inc. reported that net earnings for the firsts fiscal quarter ended July 29 were $54.5 million, up from $24.6 million in the year-earlier period. Sales increased 23%, reaching $3.36 billion. (Meating Place)
> OurPet’s Co. reported net income of $172,000 on sales of $2.8 million for its second quarter ended June 30, 2007, compared to net income of $24,000 on sales of $2.2 million in the year-ago period. (Pet Product News)  
> Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. announced that the first permit has been issued for its E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine, and that the first order of vaccine has been shipped to the customer.  The vaccine remains under review by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the USDA; the CFIA notified Bioniche last December that it was agreeable to issuing permits under the Permit to Release Veterinary Biologics regulations. (AnimalNet) 
> VCA Antech subsidiary Sound Technologies announced that it has launched TruDR nx, a digital radiography system for veterinarians.  The company says the new system offers features such as auto-calibration, auto-crop, open link architecture to increase imaging speed and repeatability, and SoundVu2, which removes noise to reveal the true image. (Animal Pharm)  
> DSM announced new management appointments, which are due to come into effect at the beginning of next year. Current Animal Nutrition and Health president Jos Schneiders is being appointed president of DSM Netherlands and DSM Limburg. Leendert Staal, who is at present business group director at DSM Pharmaceutical Products, is to become president of DSM Nutritional Products. (Animal Pharm) 
> AHC Products, manufacturer of the AniMed line of supplements, introduced AniHeal, a new line of liquid wound care products. AniHeal forms a soft, pliable antiseptic barrier over the wound that sheds water and shields against secondary bacterial infections. (company press release)  
> Bovigen introduced a new four-marker DNA panel to its GeneSTAR product line to identify genetic lines that provide the most feed efficient animals, which will ultimately increase profitability for producers. The company says that the markers can lower feed consumption by 15% without negatively impacting daily gain, carcass weight, quality grade, or yield grade. (Animal Pharm) 
> Zonare Medical Systems announced it has entered into an agreement with Steuart Laboratories whereby Steuart will distribute Zonare’s ultrasound system in the veterinary care market. Steuart Labs will sell Zonare’s unique, premium Convertible Ultrasound platform to veterinary practices throughout the US. (PRNewswire) 
> Nullodor USA announced the introduction of Health Meter Cat Litter.  The unique color-changing Health Meter Cat Litter detects the disease by changing color. This change alerts the owner that a visit to the veterinarian is necessary.  The Early Detection System in Health Meter has been specially developed to monitor a cat’s health and react to the presence of such common diseases as bladder infection, urinary tract stones or crystals, kidney problems, and liver disease.  (Business Wire)  
> EU  ReactivLab announced it will commercialize the new animal health diagnostic technology developed in the University of Glasgow’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. ReactivLab will provide services and kits that can detect sub-clinical symptoms of inflammation, infection and disease by measuring acute phase proteins (APPs) in the blood. The products will be available for both companion and farm animals. (Innovations Report)  
> FRANCE – AVIAN INFLUENZA  French authorities announced that four ducks tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza in northeastern France. Two dead swans had already been discovered with bird flu at the end of July in the same area. The site is just 10 kilometers from where three other swans were found dead with the virus about a month earlier. (PoultrySite)
> SWEDEN – PRRS   After reporting its first confirmed case of PRRS in June, Sweden has been facing concerns that the virus may already be present in several parts of the country.  The initial cases in June involved 5 units in the south. The Swedish agriculture board imposed restrictions on 7 other units deemed as in-contact and set movement controls for animals and products. Soon after, it decided to follow an eradication policy of destroying all pigs on the affected holdings, as samples from 125 units in southern Sweden revealed no sign of further spreading of the virus. However, officials discovered a further case over 100 kilometers from the initial outbreak. (Watt Pig e-news)
> ROMANIA – CLASSICAL SWINE FEVER   Swine fever has been detected on a second Smithfield Foods farm in western Romania.  The farm has 15,000 pigs, and another 18,000 pigs will be slaughtered in the village as a precaution. The processor has said it is working to limit the effects of the disease, but it already has had a negative impact on the company’s bottom line. Smithfield is Romania’s largest pork producer.  (Meating Place)
> US – PET TREATS  Wal-Mart stores stopped selling two brands of dog treats in July after customers voiced concerns that the Chinese-made products may have caused their pets to fall ill, although no recall has been announced.  The company pulled Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading, and said it wanted to wait until after testing before making any public announcement.  (AnimalNet – AP)
> UK – EXPORTS RESUME   The export ban on meat, meat products and live animals from the UK to Europe will be lifted this weekend and the movement ban has been lifted.  The European Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) said it was satisfied with DEFRA’s eradication of the foot-and-mouth virus after meeting with government officials. The ruling will allow all UK farmers to resume exports apart from those within the 10 km surveillance zone in Surrey. (Farmers Guardian)
> US – FELINE HYPERTHYROIDISM   Researchers at the EPA and two US universities (University of Georgia and Indiana University) believe that an epidemic of thyroid disease in cats may be linked to dust from flame retardants found in common household items. According to the study, the epidemic began three decades ago when polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were introduced to household furniture, carpeting, fabrics, and pet food.  The researchers found that levels of PBDEs in blood samples drawn from cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism were three times higher than blood samples drawn from younger cats that did not have the disease. (Animal Pharm)
> US – ANIMAL DISEASE SURVEILLANCE   USDA  reported that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is reviewing several proposals for the production and delivery of 1.5 million radio frequency ear tags that are compliant with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) standards. The ear tags will replace conventional eartags and will be used to uniquely identify US livestock that are part of current animal disease programs, in particular within geographic regions where bovine tuberculosis testing and the brucellosis calfhood vaccination program are most active. (Feedstuffs)
The past week I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the 2007 Pet Healthcare Industry Summit sponsored by Banfield, The Pet Hospital in Portland, Oregon.  The theme of the Summit was “Blazing new trails.” This very successful meeting was attended by over 120 industry executives from the leading companies and organizations serving the animal industry. 
A great deal of time at the Summit was spent discussing how industry participants can assist in expanding the pool of trained practicing veterinarians.  A number of recommendations were developed and will be communicated over the next few weeks to the various resources in the industry who could make a difference. This new initiative deserves the support of all of those interested in the involvement of licensed veterinarians in the production of safe, quality food and high quality health care for their companion animals.
The management team at Banfield should be commended for taking a leadership role in asking the industry to face and help resolve critical issues such as the shortage of practicing veterinarians. 
Have a great weekend!!
Ron Brakke
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