The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for December 13, 2002
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.

>  Sanderson Farms reported that net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002 were $201.0 million, compared with $206.6 million for the same period a year ago. For the quarter, the company reported net income of $6.5 million, compared with net income of $12.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001.  For the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2002, net sales were $743.7 million, a 5.3% increase compared with net sales of $706.0 million for 2001. The company reported net income of $28.8 million for fiscal 2002, compared with net income of $27.8 for fiscal 2001. (Meating Place)

>  Central Garden & Pet Company announced financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter.  Net income for the fiscal fourth quarter increased to $751,000 from a loss of $13.7 million in the comparable 2001 period. Net sales for the 2002 quarter were $240.8 million compared to $246.3 million in the year-ago period. Sales declined slightly due to lower sales of other manufacturers’ products, partially offset by increases in branded product sales.  (Business Wire)


This year’s report includes an all-new survey of 250 dog and cat owners, as well as a new veterinarian survey. The veterinary survey includes information on new products including ProHeart 6, Iverhart Plus, and Revolution.  In addition, Bayer’s just-launched K9 Advantix is profiled in the report.  Product sales and trends for the veterinary products, as well as an overview of the trends in OTC sales, are also included.

The report will be available until December 20, 2002 at an early-order price of $3,500.  Studies ordered after the Christmas holiday will be priced at $4,000.

For more information, call 972-243-4033 or email Dr. Lynn Fondon at


>  Pfizer Inc. shareholders approved the company’s  proposed $55.5 billion purchase of Pharmacia Corp. Pharmacia shareholders are expected to approve the deal when they vote Monday, and the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter next year. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are still reviewing it. (AP)

>  Pfizer Animal Health has announced the addition of a new ivermectin dewormer to its extensive line of equine products. Equell will provide a strong complement to both Pfizer’s daily and traditional deworming programs.  (Business wire)

>  H. J. Heinz Company announced that its Board of Directors has established December 19, 2002 as the record date for Heinz shareholders who will be entitled to receive a special stock dividend which is contingent on the closing of the Del Monte transaction.  The special dividend is the distribution of Heinz’s stake in SKF Foods Inc., which will hold certain Heinz businesses, including its U.S. and Canadian pet food and pet snacks and other businesses. This special dividend will in effect spin off these businesses to Heinz shareholders. As previously announced, immediately following the spin-off, these businesses will be merged with Del Monte Corporation, a subsidiary of Del Monte Foods Company.  (Business Wire)

>  ProdiGene signed an agreement with the USDA pledging that it will pay the government more than $3 million in penalties and reimbursements for mixing genetically engineered corn containing an animal vaccine with soybeans meant for humans. The agreement states that the company will pay the penalties and won’t seek an appeal.  This is the first time the agency has levied a fine against a biotechnology company for violating the 2000 Plant Protection Act.  (AP)

>  Pacific Sands Inc. announced that it is entering the domestic pet care marketplace with its new “Tropix” line of nontoxic, earth and health friendly pet care products. The Tropix pet care line includes products for the majority of common domestic pets including cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles. Tropix spans a range of uses from completely eliminating pet odors (not just masking them) to conditioning fur and washing away external parasites. (Business Wire)


The 48th Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention was held December 4 – 8, 2002 in Orlando, FL.  Total attendance exceeded 5,000 with more than 2,500 being Veterinarians.  The Opening Session featured keynote speaker Terry Bradshaw speaking on the breeding and training of his championship quarter horses, his experiences in the NFL, and in the broadcast booth.  The Scientific Programs offered something for everyone including Wet Labs, Sunrise Sessions, and Personal Development Speakers.  The Trade Show was also a main attraction featuring 286 Exhibitors.


> EU    European Union environment ministers agreed on new rules for tracing food and livestock feed derived from genetically modified organisms. Under the new rules, shippers must provide a list of all the GMOs present in the food at its point of departure. The draft European law now goes to the European Parliament for approval.  The new rules build upon a separate agreement reached by agriculture ministers last week on the labeling of consumer GMO products.  Together, the two pieces of legislation could clear the way for EU countries to lift their four-year moratorium on authorizing sales of new GMO crops that is rooted in fears of potential risks of genetically-modified products. (AP)
>  US   A survey in the January issue of Consumer Reports found that Campylobacter was found in a large proportion of fresh broiler chickens in the USA.  The magazine tested a sample of 484 chickens and found the bacteria, frequently associated with food-borne disease, in 42% of the birds.  The survey also found Salmonella in 12% of the chickens.  The magazine said that what was of more concern than the pervasiveness of the bacterial contamination in chicken was the discovery that 90% of the Campylobacter isolates and 34% of the Salmonella isolates were resistant to antibiotics such as tetracycline. “The Consumer Reports article does little to shed light on the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance,” said the director of communications for the US National Chicken Council.  “There is nothing in the article to indicate that the resistance found actually comes from use of antibiotics in live chickens. Campylobacter in particular is known to have a high level of natural resistance to antibiotics.”  (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  US   More than 1,200 retailers in the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are offering SureBeam (irradiated) processed fresh ground beef. There are also thousands of supermarkets selling irradiated frozen burger patties irradiated by SureBeam. SureBeam technology uses electricity as an energy source to irradiate bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella. (Food Systems Insider)

Brakke Consulting “Distributor Effectiveness Study”

(1) What is the influence of distributor representatives relative to purchasing decisions and practices in general?
(2) Who are the distributors that veterinarians do business with and why?
(3) What are veterinarians’ expectations of distributors?
(4) What do distributors do (or don’t do) that influences veterinarians’ purchasing decisions?
(5) How much impact does the distributor have in determining the veterinarians’ purchasing decisions between competitive branded or generic products?

Do you know the answers to these questions?  Are your opinions and thoughts in this area based on information generated by a qualified outside resource or from your own organization?  Brakke Consulting will be conducting a Multi-Client Study to answer these questions in early 2003.  The study will include focus groups, industry interviews and a large veterinary survey.   Please contact any of our offices for more information.


Having just completed another review of our 2003 Industry Overview I’m reminded that the animal industry faced many challenges in 2002.  Most of issues will be with us in 2003 and beyond, so we as managers and influencers need to continue pursue changes to improve industry growth and productivity. While there is a certain amount of unfairness or lack of understanding in food safety, animal welfare and regulatory areas, we cannot let these issues become our excuse for less than our best performance. 

The industry must continue to address these issues with positive programs and communications that educate the producers and consumers.  Some of the coalitions and cooperative programs that are developing between various stake holders in animal agriculture and pet health need to be supported and funded.  Brakke Consulting will continue to invest and do our part as an industry participant. We hope each of you and your firms will join in these efforts in 2003.   Everyone benefits when we work together.

Have a great weekend.

[Ron Brakke]

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