The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for April 4, 2003

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.


Due to complications from a sudden stroke, Richard W. Wilson passed away peacefully at St. Luke’s Hospital on March 30th, 2003 during a radiant spring sunrise, held closely by his loving son, Matthew, and wife, Patricia.

Dick was born in Chicago Illinois on April 17, 1937 and his parents precede him in death. He was an only child. Dick attended Illinois Wesleyan and served the armed forces of America for two years in Germany during the Korean War. He played minor league baseball for the Chicago White Sox.

Dick was a senior partner in Brakke Consulting, Inc. He is survived by his wife Patricia and two sons, Matthew A. Wilson, Ph.D., Burlington Vermont and Dennis X. Wilson, Kansas City.

As an organ donor, Dick strongly believed in sharing his gift of life. His CELEBRATION OF LIFE memorial will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, April 5, 2003 at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street Kansas City, Missouri. In lieu of flowers or gifts for the family, donations can be made to the Richard W. Wilson Business Scholarship Fund being established to assist financially disadvantaged university students who wish to study Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Donations can also be sent to Shantivanam, Forest of Peace, 22019 Meagher Road, Easton Kansas, 66020.

Dick honored and cherished his friends, loved his work and was the undisputed master of any game that had a ball. He loved nature and the outdoors, climbing high mountain peaks and sailing the ocean waves. His soul was infused with wanderlust and could be always counted on to be first when the opportunity to travel, move forward, and reach higher presented itself. Most of all, Dick loved to play.

Peace was his highest value. We are all blessed to have known him on this mysterious journey together on planet earth.

We have lost a great warrior!


>   The FDA amended the animal drug regulations to reflect approval of a supplemental new animal drug application (NADA) filed by Schering-Plough Animal Health Corp. The supplemental NADA provides for the addition of once-daily administration to the dosage regimens for gentamycin/ mometasone/ clotrimazole otic suspension (Mometamax) used to treat otitis externa in dogs and for revision of the indications to reflect a current format. (AnimalNet – Federal Register)

>  Smithfield Foods Inc. moved up 50 places in Fortune magazine’s 2003 rankings, as the company saw its revenues surge in 2002 by about 25%, mostly from the acquisition of new businesses. Smithfield, with fiscal 2002 sales of $7.4 billion, climbed to 255 on the list. Smithfield ranks as the top pork packer in the US, processing 20% of the US pork market. The company is also the world leader in pork production with 14.7 million hogs (13% of the US market share). Smithfield ranks fifth in beef processing with 7% of US slaughter.  Smithfield has made 24 acquisitions since 1981.  (Meating Place)

> Farnam announced the launch of Bio Spot Flea & Tick Mist for Dogs with Nylar.  Bio Spot Mist can be used directly on dogs as well as in your house, car, garage, patio, storage shed and more.  Bio Spot Mist kills and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, cockroaches, palmetto bugs, spiders, centipedes, ants, flies, crickets, lice, scorpions and many other pests. (company press release) 

>  The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) debuted a unique mobile veterinary exhibit at its Annual Meeting in Phoenix. The exhibit will showcase best practices in veterinary medicine to veterinary care professionals and pet owners nationwide over the next 12 months. The AAHA exhibit is housed in a custom expandable tractor-trailer outfitted to resemble a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, and includes 24 seats offering multimedia theatre-in-the-round presentations for veterinary and pet owner audiences. AAHA! Driving Excellence in Veterinary Practice is sponsored in part by educational grants from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Merial, Ltd., Novartis Animal Health US and Pfizer Animal Health. (AAHA press release)

>  Merial has partnered with Animal Planet to bring an expo celebrating the bond between pets and people to 16 cities across the country.  Animal Planet Expo, developed in partnership with American Humane and sponsored by Frontline and Heartgard Plus, will feature animal exhibits, celebrity appearances, activities and demonstrations designed to entertain and educate family audiences about living with pets. (company press release)

>  Nestlé Purina PetCare and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) announced a multi-million dollar, multi-year partnership to further canine health and research. Purina and the AKC/CHF will work closely together to fund research that could advance the successful prevention and treatment of disabling and fatal diseases of dogs such as epilepsy, heart disease, orthopedic disease and cancer.  (company press release)

>  Willmar Poultry Co. announced the establishment of Epitopix, a new subsidiary to manufacture and market livestock subunit vaccines produced through a novel technology.  The vaccines use proteins extracted from the bacterial wall that are common to all serotypes of a given species.  Epitopix is now pursuing product licenses and plans to build its manufacturing plant. (Feedstuffs)

>  ImmuCell Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has approved a program to repurchase up to 100,000 shares of its common stock in open market transactions, private transactions, or otherwise. (Business Wire)

>  Healthy Pet Corporation announced that it has closed on the sale of $14 million in subordinated notes to Caltius Mezzanine and Catterton Partners. The transaction will provide the company with significant capital to complete future acquisitions and grow the business to a much larger scale. (PRNewswire)

> announced the acquisition of the exclusive dealership of Cavalor products in the US.  Cavalor is the equine division of Vitamex, an internationally operating company in the field of farm animal nutrition with its headquarters in Belgium. Vitamex has focused its research and development on avoiding the use of antibiotics in animal nutrition. (company press release)

>  SureBeam Corp. announced that some 280 grocery stores operated by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P, Food Emporium and Waldbaum’s) supermarkets in the New York City and mid-Atlantic area are now carrying irradiated fresh ground beef. A&P’s entry into the irradiated ground beef category brings to more than 4,605 the number of supermarkets offering irradiated meat products. (Meating Place)

CORRECTION:  Rather than a voluntary product recall as reported in a previous newsletter edition, Wellmark International and the Vet-Kem division voluntarily agreed to cancel the registration of Paramite sponge-on as a result of a cooperative agreement with the EPA leading up to finalization of the Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision for the active ingredient phosmet. This review is part of the EPA’s reassessment of all organophosphate insecticides.  Sales of Paramite from Wellmark to veterinary distributors ceased on March 30.  Inventories at distributors and at veterinary clinics may be sold until supplies are exhausted.


>  US   Three of the Florida’s 16 dog tracks have suspended racing because of a severe outbreak of kennel cough.  Some other tracks have imposed quarantines. One track reported that at least half of the 1,400 greyhounds kenneled there had symptoms. Dogs were being treated with antibiotics. The disease is not ordinarily fatal and usually runs its course in about three days. Races were expected to resume within a week at most of the affected tracks. (AP)

>  NETHERLANDS   An outbreak of avian influenza  continues to ravage the Dutch poultry sector, with infections now confirmed or suspected at nearly 200 farms.  More than nine million chickens have now been slaughtered to prevent the disease spreading, out of a total Dutch chicken population of 100 million.  This outbreak is believed to have cost farmers and the government about $108 million.  (Meating Place)

>  CHINA   Sources close to the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that livestock in southern China may be the source of the mysterious virus that has killed more than 60 people.  Scientists have already ruled out a link between SARS and avian influenza. WHO is awaiting authorization from the Chinese authorities to pay a visit to Guangdong, where SARS appears to have originated.  (AnimalNet – Agence France Presse)

>  ITALY, SLOVAKIA  Health officials in Italy and Slovakia announced new cases BSE.  Slovakia has now reported 12 cases of BSE since the government began intensive monitoring and testing of the disease in 2001. The infected Italian cow brings that nation’s total to 91. (Meating Place)

>  FRANCE   The European Commission levied a fine of about 17 million euros ($18 million) against French beef producers last week for fixing meat prices in the wake of Europe’s BSE  disease crisis in 2001.  The European Competition Commissioner said it was the first time the European Union had acted against a professional farm organization in this way. He added that the size of the fine reflected the serious nature of the break in competitive rules and that one farm union had used violence to force a slaughterhouse to sign the price accord. (Meating Place)

>  US   FDA has published a new regulation that improves the requirements for reporting adverse events associated with approved animal drugs. The reforms reduce certain reporting burdens while assuring collection of the information required to maintain high standards for protecting the health of animals as well as the public health. This rule is effective June 30, 2003. Additional information about the final rule may be found in the March 31, 2003, Federal Register ( (AnimalNet – Federal Register)

>  US    A federal judge ruled that payments that Washington apple farmers are forced to make to promote the state’s apple crop are unconstitutional.  The ruling calls into question the future of the 66-year-old Washington Apple Commission and the state’s two dozen similar panels promoting other products. It’s a debate being heard in courts across the country. Livestock producers and farmers in several states have sued, contending that forced subsidies for advertising that benefits the competition is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. (AP)

>  EU   Farmers in the European Union will be allowed to fortify the rations of livestock and poultry used in the production of organic meat with synthetic vitamins under new rules announced by the European Commission. The Commission said it changed its rules under which organically produced livestock could only be fed organic feed because some animals were becoming deficient in certain vitamins leading to health problems. The new legislation allows farmers to feed vitamins A, D, and E to their livestock until the end of December 2005, provided the synthetic vitamins are identical to the natural ones.  (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  Two variations of a new, user-friendly method of cloning an adult animal from a single cell using the nuclear transfer technique will make animal cloning much easier and more cost-effective, according to reports in the Spring 2003 (Volume 5 Number 1) issue of Cloning and Stem Cells. The two papers are available free online at The two papers originate from the South Australian Research and Development Institute; and New Zealand-based AgResearch Ltd, the University of Waikato, and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). (Business Wire)


Earlier this week, many of you learned of the death of Dick Wilson, a senior Brakke consultant, colleague, and friend.  As you can well imagine, it has been a difficult week for all of us who knew him.  Thanks to all of you who have called and emailed your condolences to Dick’s family and the firm. 

I first met Dick in 1976 when he was the President of Temple Ear Tag, so Dick and I have worked together for 28 years, except for a short break when he was with Coopers Animal Health.  In our consulting business, we are often asked for guidance and counsel by individuals thinking about making a change in their career path, or accepting a new position.  Dick was a great counselor of people.  Without a doubt, Dick has helped more people rethink their careers than he has placed in new positions.  We believe that’s why he was viewed by so many as the best executive recruiter in the animal health business.

As I reflect on my years of friendship with Dick Wilson, I believe he lived every day naturally applying the key principles for a successful and rewarding life.  Since he and I talked about these principles often, I would like to share them with you as a reflection of his life.

Hard Work – there are very few free lunches in the world that last very long.  One must apply his or her talents day in and day out to achieve one’s life goals.

Sensitivity – one must be sensitive to the needs of others and of your surroundings.  Often, the most successful people in life are cheerleaders who energize and support others.

Honesty – it is absolutely critical to have a true sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair.  High integrity and ethical behavior will always win the day in the long run.

Passion – develop a passion for your occupation, sport, hobby, or family.  If you don’t express or have a passion for what you’re doing, you’ll never be rewarded with the full benefit that interest provides.

Sense of Humor – we all need to be able to laugh at ourselves in both good times and when we’re challenged.  If you can maintain a sense of humor during difficult times, others will be encouraged and the difficult times may not last as long.

If these principles are yardsticks of a successful and full life, Dick Wilson was an overachiever.  We should all thank God for sharing him with us, as a friend and colleague, and as an example of how to live a full and rewarding life. He will be missed by his family, friends, teammates and colleagues.  May Dick’s spirit and zest for life be a beacon for each of us as we move forward with our lives.
Ron Brakke & The Brakke Consulting Family 

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