The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for September 5, 2003

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
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>  Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced the launch of Science Diet Advanced Protection food for adult and senior dogs and cats.  The majority of pet owners using the new diets for 30 days in an in-home trial reported increases in vitality and alertness.  The diet contains a patent-pending combination of anti-oxidants and other natural ingredients that enhance the protective effects of antioxidants on cell membranes.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>   Iams announced the launch of a free quarterly “Running with the Big Dogs” online newsletter for owners of large-breed dogs.  Inside each issue are fun features on big dogs, tips on exercising with your pets, nutrition information, a Q&A section with a veterinarian answering specific questions about the unique needs of big dogs, special offers and more.  While supplies last, big-dog owners also can request the free “Running with the Big Dogs” consumer kit, which includes an educational brochure, coupons, dogdanna and leash.  (PRNewswire)

>  Alltech announced that the FDA approved a Food Additive Petition for Sel-Plex, Alltech’s selenium yeast product, for use in dairy and beef feeds.  Sel-Plex was approved for layers and broilers in 2000, and for pigs and turkeys in 2002. (company press release)

>  Banfield, The Pet Hospital launched its first Student Ambassador Academy in Portland, Oregon.  Students from veterinary colleges across the country were invited to learn about Banfield’s philosophy, practices, procedures and culture, and act as liaisons between their schools and Banfield.  The Academy is held each summer and is an abbreviated version of Banfield’s Doctor Orientation Academy. (Veterinary Practice News)

> Omaha Steaks announced the addition of Steak Treats for Pets to its high-end product line. Omaha Steaks’ new pet treats are 100% beef steak (97% fat-free eye of round).  They contain no additives, no organ meat and no salt or sugar. Suitable for both dogs and cats, the product closely resembles Omaha Steaks’ popular beef jerky for humans, without the seasoning. (PRNewswire)

>  CANADA   Advanced ID Corporation announced that it has concluded preliminary field testing of its next-generation RFID chips at an independent Canadian test site. According to the company’s president, the Advanced ID tags attained reading distances up to five feet.  Current RFID and barcode tags only read at a distance of approximately eight to twelve inches.  The tests were the beginning of required testing procedures for the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s (CCIA) approval. (AnimalNet)

2004 U.S. Animal Health
Manufacturers & Distributors Directory

September 19th Deadline for Submitting Free Listing

Each January, Brakke Consulting publishes the US Animal Health Manufacturers and Distributors Directories. In 2004 they will be combined into a single volume for the first time.

Companies listed in the 2003 directories will soon be receiving a copy of the information we currently have in our directory database for their company. Please update the information and return it by fax to 972-243-0925 or by mail to the Dallas office no later than Friday, September 19th. There is no charge to be listed.  Companies that were listed in last year’s directories may also go to our web site and use the  online Directory Listing Form if they have a substantial number of changes in their listing information.

If your company was not in the 2003 directories, you may submit information about your firm to be included in the 2004 directory by going to and clicking on Industry Directory, and then Directory Listing Form.  You can either complete the form online and submit it, or
print the 2-page form, complete it, and return it by fax or by mail to the Dallas office.

If you are interested in placing an order for the directory, go to, click on Industry Directory, and then Order Directory.  Before December 15th, the prepublication price will be $200. After December 15th, the cost of the directory will be $250. They will be shipped around mid-January, 2004.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 972-243-4033 and ask for Jane Morgan or Roger Cummings, or you can send an email to

>  The Coalition for Animal Health questioned the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation that the use of antibiotic s in animals for growth promotion be discontinued. WHO issued its recommendation after reviewing the recent experience in Denmark, a country that mandated a ban on the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in livestock production.  The WHO recommendation mirrors the political – not scientific – action taken by the European Union. A recently published article in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy documents that the removal of antibiotics for growth promotion in Europe has led to a significant increase in animal disease and the use of antibiotics of importance to human medicine to treat that disease. Moreover, the article cites published literature indicating that despite the ban there has been no reduction in the prevalence of resistant enterococcal infections in humans. The Coalition for Animal Health includes the following organizations: American Association of Bovine Practitioners; American Meat Institute; American Veterinary Medical Association; Animal Health Institute; National Cattleman’s Beef Association; National Chicken Council;
National Pork Board; National Pork Producers Council;
National Turkey Federation.  (Drover’s)

>  CANADA  Ontario Provincial Police have launched a criminal investigation into the practices of a slaughterhouse in Aylmer, Ont. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has already issued a recall on all beef products produced by the company.  A clue as to what the investigators may be looking for was in a letter sent last week to all Ontario public health officers, saying the company is being investigated for “possible offences involving the illegal processing of deadstock.” The Ontario meat packing plant at the core of the scandal has denied allegations leveled by Canadian officials that it sold meat from dead or sick livestock. (Meating Place)

>  JAPAN   Japan’s 2001 outbreak of BSE was probably caused by contamination during the feed production process, according to a draft report from the Japanese agriculture ministry. The draft said that prions were at some point mixed into meat-and-bone meal fed at five processing centers around the country.  While the meal had not been used in the production of cattle feed, it was an ingredient in chicken and pig feed at those plants, leading to the possibility that machinery had not been cleaned properly between runs. The panel investigating the outbreak was unable to confirm where the tainted meal originated. (Meating Place)

>  US   Record high prices are being paid for fed cattle and feeder steers at Montana auction rings, a direct result of the continuing ban on live cattle shipments from Canada, according to meat analysts from Chicago-based Alaron Trading Corp.  A load of feeder steers weighing 867 pounds each sold for $94.60 a hundredweight last week. While the ban on Canadian beef has been a factor for prices, Montana cattlemen have been liquidating their herds for some time and that trend has increased with the ongoing drought. Ranchers saw the smallest calf crop in 50 years, and consumer demand for beef has been strong both at home and abroad, according to Alaron.  An agriculture economist at Montana State University said feeders were averaging $15 to $18 a hundredweight more this year over last and that prices should remain strong next year, too, because of tighter supplies. (Meating Place)

>  US  The University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine is creating a program to recruit and track students for careers as food animal veterinarians.  The AgScholars program will enable students to be automatically admitted to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine after successfully completing a specified sequence of courses at MU.  To become an AgScholar, high school students must meet certain academic requirements and demonstrate experience or interest in livestock production and health, as well as participation in FFA, 4H or equivalent organizations.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>  AUSTRALIA   An A$30 million five-year genomic research initiative designed to increase productivity in the sheep industry and improve meat and wool quality was launched in Melbourne this week. The joint Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Sheep Genomics Program was launched by the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator. The collaborative investment, which includes contributions from sheep producer levies and from the Federal Government, aims to identify sheep genes and their functions in order to improve animal health, welfare and productivity and, ultimately, sheep producer profit. (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  US   A pilot gasification plant at North Carolina State University is now converting pig manure to gas which ultimately can make ethanol, diesel fuel or electricity. A second unit, utilizing a different technology, is scheduled to start operating next month.  NCSU scientists are working with Louisiana State University on a catalytic converter which will further process the gas into either ethanol or diesel. The second gasification unit will be capable of handling other agricultural wastes, including swine carcasses of any size. The energy-recovery research is one of the manure-handling technologies funded by Smithfield Foods and Premium Standard Farms under agreements with the state attorney general. The gasifier project also received a grant from the NC Energy Office. (Pork Alert)


In some of our travels and telephone conversations the last two weeks, we’re starting to hear some concern about eroding margins at the manufacturer and distributor levels.  It appears that there is more focus on achieving increased gross sales levels than there is on increasing gross profits.  Is this wise?  How many firms are trying to achieve a 2003 sales goal that does not fit the marketplace?  Are the customers and producers demanding these price reductions and inventory builds?   We believe the industry is better served if marketing and sales efforts are focused on creating new customers and product usage versus reducing prices to switch customers.

Ron Brakke

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