The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for October 17, 2003
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc. 

Alcide (earnings)
Bayer CropScience
Organic BreadBasket
Synbiotics Europe


> Alcide Corporation released financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 31, 2003.  Alcide earned $92,767 on total revenue of $5.2 million during the quarter ended Aug. 31, 2003. In the first quarter a year ago, Alcide earned $61,669  on revenues of $5.0 million. (Business Wire) 



The debate on the use of non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal feed has in the past few years has increased the emphasis on the possible use of “natural” products as a possible replacement.

Several years ago Brakke Consulting, Inc. issued a report on Direct Fed Microbial products and Enzymes as part of this group of natural products. We have now updated those sections and added two more — acidifiers and botanicals — to make a more complete report.

The report answers the following questions:

–  Has the increased emphasis on these products led to a dramatic sales increase? The report details sales by product group, species and global region.
–  Who are the main players involved in this business? The report profiles 17 companies who we believe hold at least 80% of the market.
–  What do producers and veterinarians think of these products? We conducted a small market survey and selected producer comments are incorporated into the report.
–  How are these products regulated? Sections on the US and European product regulations are included.
–  Just what are acidifiers used for? The report discusses obvious and not so obvious uses.
 –  What products are involved in the section on Direct Fed Microbials? The report segments products by main type and offers a commentary on each.

In total this report of 100 pages looks in depth at emerging products, trends and uses of products, and the outcomes of use these products which we now call Nutritional Growth Enhancers.

If your company currently participates in this market segment, or competes with it, we believe you will find value in the insights and direction provided in this report.

For information or orders, please call 972-243-4033 or email John Short at

>  Schering-Plough and Heska announced that Schering has acquired the US distribution and marketing rights for Tri-Heart Plus Chewable Tablets,  Heska’s recently approved canine heartworm preventative. Tri-Heart Plus is a generic ivermectin and pyrantel pamoate product.  Financial details were not disclosed. (company press release) 

>  Smithfield Foods Inc. announced it was the successful bidder at the bankruptcy auction to buy the assets of Farmland Industries Inc.’s pork business for $367.4 million and the assumption of some of the cooperative’s debt.  Smithfield’s agreement to assume the pension obligations was valued at $90 million by the debtor. (Meating Place)

>  Banfield, The Pet Hospital, awarded more than half a million dollars in profit-sharing bonuses for fiscal-year 2002, the most ever distributed.  The bonuses were distributed to doctors at hospitals that exceeded their 2002 profit and revenue plans.  (DVM Newsmagazine)
>  Vertical Health Solutions, Inc. announced the commencement of trading of its units on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol VHSLU. The company’s SB-2 Registration was declared effective April 21, 2003. Vertical Health Solutions, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Labelclick, Inc., develops, markets and distributes private label health products to veterinarians in the companion animal sector. (company press release)

> GeneThera, Inc. announced that it has commenced development of a genetic vaccine for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The vaccine works in conjunction with GeneThera’s live blood test for CWD. The vaccine will be the first using GeneThera’s Purivax technology, a method of purifying vaccines to prevent side effects.  (AnimalNet)

>  CANADA  Organic BreadBasket of Winnipeg, Canada, is the first turkey company in North America to receive certification from Humane Farm Animal Care under the “Certified Humane” program. Organic Breadbasket works with specially selected and highly regulated sustainable family farms in Canada and the US to produce turkeys that are labeled either Certified Humane or Certified Organic and Certified Humane. Organic BreadBasket markets its turkeys under the POP’S FARM brand.  (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  GERMANY   Synbiotics Europe announced that Germany has approved a new ELISA test kit for diagnosing Johne’s disease in cattle.  The Serelisa M.ParaTB AB Mono Indirect, detected antibodies against Mycobacterium avium spp paratuberculosis, the causative agent of Johne’s. The test can detect subclinically ill cattle as well as overtly diseased animals.  (Animal Pharm)
Brakke Consulting announces upcoming seminar
“Improving Recruiting and Interviewing Skills”
November 18 – 19, 2003

Among the most important activities involved in building and maintaining a high performance organization are the recruiting, selection, and retention of high caliber personnel.  Yet most organizations devote very little time to developing a consistent process and providing appropriate training to the managers within their organization who are charged with this important responsibility.
Brakke Consulting, in conjunction with Pegasus Training, has designed a 1½ day training seminar that will address the skill sets needed to improve the recruitment, selection, and retention of quality personnel.
The seminar will be taught by consultants with many years of experience in recruiting and training activities.  Identifying, qualifying, interviewing, and hiring individuals that meet your company’s personnel profile is a challenge. This seminar will assist attendees from your company in meeting that challenge. 
The seminar will be held in Dallas on November 18 and 19. If you have any additional questions, please contact our Dallas office at 972-243-4033.  Online registration is also available on our web site at
>  US  The USDA reported that final tests confirmed that cattle held at the Mexican border because of blisters in their mouths did not have foot-and-mouth disease.  Mexico closed the US-Mexican border to livestock trade when the lesions were discovered last week. (AnimalNet – AP)

>  ITALY   The Health Ministry confirmed Italy’s 111th case of BSE, saying a cow from a breeding farm near Parma had tested positive. Since its first case in 2001, Italy has logged 50 positive cases in 2001, 36 in 2002, and 25 so far this year. In August, Italy reported its first human fatality from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, apparently due to eating BSE-tainted meat. (Meating Place)

>  FRANCE  Officials in France have destroyed a herd of cows in Corsica after one of the animals tested positive for BSE, the first case discovered on the island.  The infected animal, born in 1989, was killed and its body incinerated.  (AnimalNet – Agence France Presse)

>  EU   The European Commission has approved 147 million euros financial package to fight transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and other animal diseases in the EU in 2004.  Approximately 93 million euros will go to financing BSE and scrapie monitoring and eradication.   (AnimalNet – EC press release)

>  US   General Fire & Casualty Company announced the launching of its new livestock insurance product, The CattleGuard. The CattleGuard policy provides coverage for loss involving certain diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, BSE, rabies, anthrax and other specified diseases, even if such a disease outbreak is a result of an act of terrorism. Also covered are other basic causes of loss, such as fire, flood, earthquake, lightning and shooting. Extreme weather, such as tornadoes and blizzards, can also be insured. (company press release)

>  US  The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation brought leading canine cancer researchers from the United States, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom together for a workshop-style scientific forum on canine cancer. The 3rd Annual Canine Cancer Conference, Genes, Dogs and Cancer, was held on September 5-7 in Seattle, Washington. The participants presented the latest canine cancer research findings; including the results of new drugs, vaccines, treatments and clinical trials, some of which have implications for humans as well as dogs. Cancer is now the leading disease-related cause of death in dogs. (PRNewswire)


>  Monsanto Co. and Bayer CropScience have reached a broad truce in many longstanding patent disputes, agreeing to dismiss several lawsuits against each other. Under the deal, Monsanto and Bayer CropScience agree to license each other for various patented technologies, including products that are insect resistant and herbicide tolerant. Among other things, the agreement calls for Monsanto to have a royalty-bearing license to Bayer’s enabling technology involving Monsanto’s corn-rootworm product. Both companies also will amend existing licenses for each other’s technologies for cotton and other crops. Monsanto reached a similar agreement in April of last year with DuPont, the parent of Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. (AP)


During the past two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to interface with several distributor groups serving the animal health industry.  I’m always impressed with the insights and knowledge of the real happenings in the market place that distributors possess. The particular distributors that I interfaced with appear to have an excellent and realistic understanding of their customers needs and are open to providing improved and new services to support their customers’ needs. 

It is not always easy for a distributor to serve two masters at one time.  What the manufacturers request from the distributors is not always consistent with the needs and desires of the distributor’s customer. How these points of differences are solved sometimes causes conflict between the two parties and a level of distrust that impacts performance for both sides.  Meanwhile, the customer sits on the sideline hoping that at least one of the two parties will listen to their needs.  In the long term, the customer is normally right. 

Also, during these past two weeks my airplane time has allowed me the time to review and approve the draft of the Nutritional Growth Enhancers Market Study.  The findings of this report clearly identify various reasons as to why the market has moved towards nutritional and supplement products to solve animal health production and health needs.  The area of nutritional growth enhancers is one of the few in animal health that has experienced growth in compounded double digit rates the past few years. 

Earlier in the newsletter we discussed in more detail several of the areas covered in this report. We thank those of you who have already ordered the report. You’re getting a great value.  This report, if it had been produced for only one company, would have cost $30,000 to $35,000.  By purchasing a copy of this syndicated study you get the same quality report for 20% of the cost of a proprietary study. 

Have a great weekend!!  I’ll be in South Dakota trying to corner some pheasants and will report the successes or failures next week.

Ron Brakke

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