The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for December 21, 2001

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.

Company Earnings Releases

>  Central Garden & Pet Company announced its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended September 29, 2001. Net sales for the fiscal fourth quarter were $246.3 million compared to $300.1 million in the comparable 2000 period. Central reported a net loss for
the quarter of $15.2 million compared with a net loss of $30.3 million in the comparable 2000 quarter.  Fiscal 2001 net sales were $1.1 billion compared with $1.4 billion in fiscal 2000. Central reported a net loss for fiscal 2001 of $9.3 million compared with a net loss of $11.8 million in
fiscal 2000. (Business Wire)

>  OurPet’s Company reported financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2001. During the quarter, OurPet’s achieved net sales of $1.60 million, an increase of 112% compared to the year-earlier quarter. For the nine months ended September 30, 2001, net sales were $3.84 million, up 16.3% compared to the first nine months of 2000.  The company’s stock was recently listed on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol OPCO. OurPet’s designs, produces and markets a broad line of innovative, high-quality pet products. (Business Wire)

“EU Expansion: The Impact on Animal Health, Food Safety and Agriculture; Can We Survive It?” was the title of a significant conference organized by Veterinary Business Development, UK in Brussels on 12 & 13 December 2001. The primary meeting was chaired as a whole by Lord Lawson Soulsby, Member of the House of Lords, London, UK and retired Head of the Cambridge Veterinary School, UK, who gave both the introduction and the summing-up. Session chairman and after-dinner-speaker was Lord Henry Plumb, Member of the House of Lords, London, UK, a former President of the European Parliament and long time President of the National Farmers Union in London, UK.  Both concluded that the answer to the question “Can we survive it?” is “yes”, with the proviso that certain conditions are met. The latter were discussed in depth by speakers from both the candidate countries and the existing member states of the EU.

Dr. Oakley will be writing session summaries in subsequent Brakke Newsletters

Company News Releases

>  Merial opened the online MERIAL Business Center, a fast, secure and convenient online site where veterinarians and staff can manage their Merial account and order Merial products. Located in a protected area of, this site allows veterinary practices to monitor product availability, place and track orders, and view promotion updates, 24 hours a day.  (company press release)

>  Tyson Foods has been indicted on federal charges that it tried to cut costs in its poultry factories by smuggling illegal immigrants from Mexico and giving them fraudulent work papers. Tyson Foods Inc. and six employees were charged in the 36-count indictment, which contends they have tolerated the hiring of illegal immigrants since 1994. The government said the alleged conspiracy included 15 Tyson plants in nine states. (AP)

>  Heska Corporation announced it has completed a private placement of approximately 7.8
million shares of common stock for aggregate proceeds of approximately $6 million.  The shares were purchased by a select group of institutional investors, led by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Wells Fargo Van Kasper acted as a placement agent in the transaction.  Heska intends to use the proceeds of this financing for working capital and general corporate purposes. (PRNewswire)

>  Infigen, Inc. announced that a US patent has been awarded to Utah State University covering methods for detecting the genetic defect known to sheep producers as ’Spider Lamb Syndrome.’ The recessive disorder, which causes skeletal deformities in young lambs, is found in all breeds of sheep. Genmark, the agriculture services division of Infigen, has an exclusive worldwide license to use the technology as part of its genetic diagnostic services provided to livestock producers. (PRNewswire)

>  Infigen, Inc. announced the completion of a private placement of preferred stock to individuals and institutions. The investment, the first of its kind for Infigen, included funds from several major institutions, including, ING Barings Capital and private equity firm Ardshiel Inc. Additional details were not disclosed. Infigen also announced that another investor, WR Grace, has agreed to extend the maturity of its one million dollar Series B preferred stock for five years. (PRNewswire)

>  CANADA   Monsanto Co. announced that its Canadian subsidiary, Monsanto Canada, has purchased the swine-genetics business of Unipork Genetics, a division of United Grain Growers. The acquired assets will be integrated with Monsanto’s DeKalb Choice Genetics swine business. DeKalb officials say the acquisition provides immediate access to an increased number of high-health-status animals.  DeKalb and Unipork have a long history of collaboration, but now DeKalb will market those products under its own brand. The acquisition allows DeKalb to expand its presence into Western Canada. (Pork Alert)

Brakke Consulting’s 2002 Animal Health Industry Overview

Every year Brakke Consulting inaugurates our Annual Industry Overview presentations at the North American and Western Veterinary Conferences.  Seating for these presentations is always limited and fills quickly.  We will be presenting the Overview twice at the North American Conference in Orlando and once at the Western Conference in Las Vegas.  You can register online by visiting our website homepage at and clicking on the time of the presentation at the location you wish to attend.  This information is located towards the bottom of our homepage beneath the world map.  Registration is $295.00 ($325.00 after 1/4/02) for the first attendee at the conference location from a company and $245.00 ($275.00 after 1/4/02) for each additional attendee at the conference location from the same company.

– North American Veterinary Conference
 Monday, January 14, 2002
 9:30 am OR 1:30 pm
– Western Veterinary Conference
 Wednesday, February 13, 2002
 9:00 am

For additional information please contact Jane Morgan at 972-243-4033 or by email at

Animal Health News

>  AUSTRIA   The Austrian ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that it has a case of BSE – the first in the country. This leaves Sweden as the only country in the EU that has not reported a case of the disease. The Austrian case was confirmed by secondary tests in Switzerland and Great Britain. (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  SWEDEN   Sweden, the only country in the European Union that has not reported a case of BSE, is investigating a suspected case on a farm in the west of the country. The farm in the Jaemtland district of Sweden has been placed in quarantine while the agriculture department investigates the symptoms in the four year old dairy cow. The animal has been slaughtered and the farm has been barred from moving any animals while the investigation takes place. (Wattnet)

>  SLOVAKIA  Slovakia reported its fifth case of mad cow disease, three months after the country became the second central European state to discover the disease.  Vets confirmed BSE during a mandatory test on a six-year-old, domestically bred animal slaughtered at a central Slovak farm. Slovakia’s first cases of BSE appeared earlier this autumn, just weeks after the neighboring Czech Republic discovered eastern Europe’s first two cases. (Reuters)

>  US    In a study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online, researchers have developed mice that could secrete an experimental malaria vaccine into their milk. When the purified candidate vaccine was injected into monkeys, it protected four out of five animals from a lethal dose of the malaria parasite. If the process can be scaled up to larger animals such as goats, and early experiments indicate it can, livestock might prove to be inexpensive, high-yield malaria vaccine factories. If it works, a herd of several goats could conceivably produce enough vaccine for all of Africa according to the researchers. (AnimalNet – NIH)

>  US   Fifty-one senators voted last week to pass an amendment that would order beef and pork packers to divest themselves of livestock ownership within six and 18 months, respectively, according to a news report from the American Meat Institute.  Forty-six senators voted to defeat the amendment. The amendment exempts cooperatives from its divestiture provisions and applies only to red meat packers, thus poultry packers would be allowed to continue their livestock ownership arrangements. The same amendment was defeated in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Nov. 13 by a vote of 9-12. (Meating Place)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

Brakke Consulting Thoughts this Holiday Season

We will never forget 2001 as a year of dramatic change for our country.  Even after 3 months it is difficult to accept the impacts and new challenges of September 11th.  Having been in NYC the week of September 10th I have a special empathy for the city and the people who live in the area. I have been back to NYC twice since September 11th and find it a place that is rapidly regaining its spirit.  What courage and determination.  Also, I’m encouraged with how the balance of the US has responded to the challenges created.  Yes, it takes me a bit longer to get through airports but it appears that our response to correcting some ills are taking shape in a reasonable evolutionary process.  There are some hopeful signs in our new personal sense of dedication and humility as we enter this Holiday Season. 

All the Brakke Consultants wish you and your families a most joyful Holiday Season. Have a great time these next few days and return refreshed and ready for the challenges of a NEW YEAR.


Ron Brakke 
Dr. Lynn Fondon    
Roger Cummings 
John Volk              
Dick Wilson    
John Short     
John Mannhaupt 
Dr. Karen Felstead
Bert Honsch
Ken Berkholtz  
Dr. James Guenther    
Bob Reynolds
Dr. Robin Oakley   
Dr. Geoff Mahon 
Dr. Atsuo Hata     
Richard Miles
Eli Thomssen
Jane Morgan

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