The Experts in Animal Health

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 Brakke Consulting’s
 Animal Health News & Notes for March 12, 2004

 Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
New Brakke Study on Pain Management Products!  click here for more information.
other news:
OXIS International
PPL Therapeutics
Smithfield Foods
Pain management is one of the leading topics in veterinary medicine today.  While pain management products for dogs and cats represented a minor part of the pharmaceuticals market a decade ago, they now represent a substantial market segment of approximately $175 million in the US, with potential still to be tapped. 
Three new pain management products for dogs were launched in the US in the past 18 months.  The new Brakke Consulting report, Pain Management Products for Dogs and Cats, includes information on these new market entries and how they have performed since their introduction, as well as how their introduction has affected the market.  It also addresses how attitudes toward pain management in veterinary medicine has changed in the past several years, including results from veterinarian surveys in 2001 and 2004.
The study includes information such as:
 – overview of acute and chronic pain in small animals
 – review of products, both veterinary and human, currently used to treat pain in dogs and cats
 – estimates of US sales and prices of leading pain management products
 – potential new pain management products
 – review of nutritional supplements used for chronic pain, with emphasis on glucosamine products
 – industry and academic initiatives to further pain management education
 – survey of small animal veterinarians regarding use of pain management products
The report, which will be available by March 31, is available for a discounted price of $3,950 if ordered before April 15, or $4,500 after April 15.  For more information, call or email Dr. Lynn Fondon at 972-243-4033 or
>  Bayer HealthCare LLC’s Animal Health Division announced that the EPA has ordered retailers and distributors in a number of states to stop selling counterfeit Advantage products which falsely contain EPA registration numbers and labeling for Advantage. The counterfeit Advantage products are packaged in retail cartons designed to look similar to legitimate products registered with EPA. In some cases, the product may not have the proper packaging or instructional leaflet to ensure proper usage. In addition, the consumer cannot be assured that the dosage is correct for the animal pictured on the retail carton.  Last week’s EPA  announcement is the result of a lengthy investigation conducted in collaboration with Bayer and other companies that was initiated by Bayer in a meeting with EPA more than 20 months ago.   (company press release)  top
>  Virbac announced the launch of, the first online tick infestation forecasting tool to serve veterinarians and consumers.  The new website uses ZIP codes to create localized forecasts of the timing and level of infestation by deer ticks, lone star ticks and the American dog tick.  Pet owners simply log on to the site, enter information about their pets and their home ZIP codes, or the ZIP of a region where they will be traveling with their animals, and a localized forecast appears. also provides detailed information about ticks, the diseases they can cause and dangers to animals and humans.  Tips for preventing tick-borne diseases in pets and their owners also are presented on the site. (company press release)  top
>  OXIS International, Inc. announced clinical study results that show a high correlation between Oxidative Stress Values (OSV) exhibited by cattle and the onset of disease. The Company’s unique OSV blood tests should enable cattlemen to quickly and cost-effectively identify susceptibility of cattle to various disease conditions such as Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). Early detection through the use of the OXIS test should provide an objective method to separate and better manage animals that exhibit a high susceptibility for disease. Also directly correlated to OXIS’ OSV levels was the carcass weight of cattle at slaughter. The higher the OSV levels exhibited by cattle in feedlots, the lower the carcass weight with resultant lower economic value of the animals sold. (Business Wire)  top
>  PPL Therapeutics PLC is on the verge of declaring itself bankrupt after a last-ditch deal to take the company private fell through. PPL, which has been struggling financially since losing support last year for major projects, had planned to delist from the London Stock Exchange and give ownership to its executive directors in a bid to stay afloat. But the company reported that a key shareholder had declined to support the plan. (AP) top
>  Ecolab Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Alcide Corporation. Alcide had worldwide sales of biocidal and sanitation products that are primarily used in the dairy, meat and poultry industries totaling approximately $22 million in calendar 2003. The agreement calls for a tax-free exchange in which Alcide shareholders will receive $21 per share to be paid in Ecolab shares based on a formula of Ecolab’s closing price prior to the effective date of the merger. (Business Wire) top
>  Murphy-Brown LLC announced it has received USDA Process Verified Certification for its Animal Welfare Management System (AWMS) and the Pork Quality Management System (PQMS).  Reviews by USDA auditors found both systems meet USDA requirements at all Murphy-Brown’s East Coast Divisions. Murphy-Brown is the swine production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (company press release) top
>  PetEdge announced the opening of a new distribution facility in Reno, Nevada, that will greatly improve service to West Coast customers.   The new center gives the 48-year-old company a strong distribution presence on each coast. The company has another distribution center in Woburn, Massachusetts. PetEdge, formerly New England Serum Company, is a provider of pet supplies for pet care professionals and independent retailers. (Business Wire)  top
Animal Agriculture Alliance
Key Stakeholder’s Summit
March 22 – 24,   Arlington VA
Animal Welfare’s Importance to the Food Chain: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
The two and a half day Summit is targeted at senior management of all companies involved from “farm to fork,” with the goal of providing CEO’s, COO’s and CFO’s with the insight and information to successfully meet future challenges.  Event sponsors include ADM Animal Nutrition, Brakke Consulting, Cargill Animal Nutrition, National Corn Growers Association, Rabobank, United Soybean Board and the Food Systems Group of Vance Publishing.
This year’s Summit is focused specifically on animal welfare and its importance to all stakeholders in the food chain.  Prominent speakers will present some of the newest, most innovative ideas being implemented today that are creating opportunities from these challenges that could impact our entire industry.  Other speakers will present new findings from 2004 public opinion polls on consumer attitudes about animal welfare and food safety, as well as an overview of the animal rights movement as compared with other social movements in the US.  Additional topics include safeguarding the livestock industry, new track & trace programs, and strengthening communications with our customers, consumers and the media. Visit for more information.
>  JAPAN   A cow in northern Japan that was suspected of having BSE is free of the illness. The cow initially tested positive for BSE last week after being brought to a slaughterhouse in northern Miyagi prefecture. But more detailed testing on the 16-year, 6-month cow turned up negative, and it has been cleared of the disease. Another suspected case of BSE remains pending. If confirmed, it will be Japan’s 11th discovery of BSE. (AP)
>  US  The USDA reported that a case of H7 avian influenza has been found at a commercial chicken farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  This is the same strain that was found last month in two flocks in Delaware, but there are no known connections between the cases.  The farm has been quarantined, and its 118,000 chickens will be destroyed.  Another 210,000 chickens on a nearby farm will also be destroyed because of shared personnel and equipment between the farms.  (AnimalNet – AP)   
>  THAILAND  A new case of avian influenza has been discovered in Thailand, just a few days after the country declared itself free of the disease.  A laboratory test confirmed the presence of avian influenza in a poultry sample taken in Chiang Rai province, 420 miles north of Bangkok. The results were dated Feb. 26. Officials did not say how many samples were taken or why it took so long to announce the results. It was not immediately clear if the government would rescind the announcement of Thailand’s influenza-free status, or postpone plans to resume chicken breeding in affected areas next month. (AP)
>  US   The US government may announce as early as this week an increase in BSE testing that could cover virtually all cattle showing any signs of the disease, according to an official at Prionics.  Prionics is one of a number of firms with BSE tests under consideration by the USDA.  The new requirement could lead to tests of 200,000 to 300,000 animals a year.  USDA’s stated goal now is to test 40,000 animals a year, double the number tested before the discovery last December of the first US case of BSE. (AP)
>  US   Testifying before a Senate subcommittee last week, USDA Undersecretary Bill Hawks said the first phase of a national animal identification program will begin this year, and that the program will be fully operational by 2005. The program will begin on a voluntary basis and eventually become mandatory for all livestock producers, said Hawks. Several details about program specifics, like who will pay for the system and information security, must still be defined. (Drovers Alert)
>  US   The National Pork Producers Council has filed anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against Canada. Both apply to live-hog imports (except for breeding stock). The case states that “unfairly traded Canadian hog imports are seriously injuring the US pork industry and threaten the survival of thousands of producers.”  A petition filed with the US Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission requests the US government to investigate whether Canadian pork producers are receiving illegal subsidies and selling hogs in the US at prices lower than in Canada. Such action is known as “dumping” and violates US fair trade laws and the World Trade Organization’s international trade rules. The petition also charges that Canadian producers benefit from government subsidy programs, which provide artificial price supports that allow Canadian producers to ignore market conditions and disrupt normal US ag/business cycles. To remedy the unfair subsidies and eliminate unfair pricing practices, the NPPC is requesting that antidumping and countervailing duties ranging from 5 to 20% be assessed. (Pork Alert)
>  US   Projections of US beef production for the year are down following the discovery of the nation’s first case of BSE, while avian influenza is reducing US poultry exports, according to the USDA. The nation will produce about 25.3 billion pounds of beef this year, the department said. The March projection is 204 million pounds below the February estimate of the year’s beef production. The department added that the pace of slaughter, especially cow slaughter, in the first quarter has been slower. Avian influenza, meanwhile, is cutting into the export of broiler chickens, because of bans imposed on US exports by about 35 other countries. The March projection is for exports of almost 5.3 billion pounds, down 320 million pounds from the February estimate. (AP)
>  US   Two new animal blood banks opened in Texas and Florida in the last two months, bringing the number of private US blood banks to seven and underscoring the industry demand for blood. The Pet Blood Bank, Inc. opened in Lago Vista, Texas, on March 1 and Sun States Animal Blood Bank opened in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on January 30.  (AAHA NEWStat)
>  US   A Washington state housewife who claims her family ate ground beef processed from the Holstein cow found to have BSE has filed a class-action lawsuit against Quality Food Centers Inc., owned by Kroger Inc.  The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and was filed in King County Superior Court. The lawsuit says the only notice to QFC shoppers was the posting of small signs in stores starting Dec. 27. QFC had “a duty to warn” buyers under the Washington Product Liability Act and could have done so through newspaper, radio and television advertising and by notifying individuals who made purchases using QFC Advantage discount cards.  Kroger officials said they have not seen a copy of the lawsuit and declined to comment on it. (Meating Place)
>  US   The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health, announced that the first draft of the chicken genome sequence has been deposited into free public databases for use by biomedical and agricultural researchers.  A team from the Washington University School of Medicine successfully assembled the genome of the Red Jungle Fowl, Gallus gallus, which is the ancestor of the domestic chicken. Comprised of about 1 billion DNA base pairs, the chicken genome is the first avian genome to be sequenced. (NHGRI press release)
>  US   A California jury awarded a dog owner $39,000 on to compensate him for the “unique value” of Shane, a three-year-old Laborador Retriever mix. The case marks the state’s largest non-economic damages award to date, according to the executive director for the California Veterinary Medical Association. The pet owner sued two veterinarians for veterinary malpractice after the veterinarians treated Shane for non-life-threatening seizures in 1999. The dog died almost three months later despite treatment, which cost $20,000. The court ordered the veterinarian to pay the dog’s owner $30,000 for the value of the dog, whose market value was estimated to be $10, and $9,000 for veterinary bills. The owner allegedly spent $375,000 to prove his claim that the veterinarian performed unnecessary medical procedures, according to news stories. (AAHA NEWStat)
>  SINGAPORE   Unwanted pet fish will be put up for adoption in Singapore next week in an attempt to spare them from being flushed down the toilet, according to a fish show organizer.  ’’Fish have their lives, and they have feelings too,’’ said Carol Lian, an organizer of the Singapore International Fish Show.  Fish owners with second thoughts can put their finned friends up for up for adoption at the four-day show. (AOL News)
The stories this week reflect that many of you are on spring break.  This struck home earlier this week when I found the prime parking spots at the airport taken by “Spring Breakers.”  Spring break only lasts a few weeks and hopefully everyone will eat lots of animal protein while on their short break. It appears that the inventory of animal protein will continue to be at levels that will create some real consumer value. 
Congratulations to those manufacturers who have assisted the EPA in the identification of counterfeit products in the market place.  The industry does not need products in the hands of consumers that could create a health problem with a pet.  It is great to have products in such great demand by pet owners that some individuals and/or companies are willing to go to such extremes to try to supply the product at any cost.  These individuals or companies appear willing to profit at the expense of the companies that built the demand and the consumers that think they are buying a tested and safe product with proper label instructions. How is your company participating in the process of protecting the quality of the products you offer to your customers?
Have a great weekend.
Ron Brakke

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