The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for September 14, 2001
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Heinz reported that, for the first quarter ended August 1, 2001, the company experienced continued weakness in dry and canned pet food.  However, pet snacks were bolstered by the introduction of Pup-Peroni NawSomes!, an innovative dog snack. The brand’s latest four-week share reached 8.7% of the fast-growing soft and chewy market. (Business Wire)

Company News Releases

>  Bayer AG ruled out the sale of its pharmaceuticals unit and confirmed the appointment of company stalwart Werner Wenning as chief executive beginning April next year. The company said in a statement that its supervisory board approved a plan to set up separate companies to operate its health care and crop protection businesses but made clear pharma would not be
sold. (Reuters)

>  The USDA has renewed Fort Dodge’s conditional license for its sarcocystis neurona vaccine for 12 months.  The vaccine is intended to aid in the prevention of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.  Fort Dodge is actively pursuing full licensure for the vaccine.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>  Virbac Corporation announced that it has launched Worm-X, a new FDA-approved product for canine intestinal parasite control. Worm-X contains pyrantel pamoate, and is highly palatable in the form of a flavored, chewable tablet. Worm-X is Virbac’s first entry into the canine anthelmintic market as the R&D team continues to develop formulations and line extensions for this segment. The company hopes to capture at least a 10% share of the market once all formulations are fully developed and FDA approved.  Virbac will distribute Worm-X through its Consumer Brands Division, targeting over-the-counter distribution channels, including pet specialty stores and pet super stores across the United States. (Business Wire)

>  Smithfield Foods Inc. has agreed to buy Packerland Holdings Inc., the fifth-largest U.S. beef packer, for $250 million. Smithfield plans to acquire all the outstanding capital shares of Packerland in exchange for about 3.2 million shares of Smithfield common stock and the assumption of roughly $118 million in debt and other liabilities. Wisconsin-based Packerland had $1.4 billion in revenues in its most recent fiscal year ended in December. (AgWeb)

>  Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, 2004171 Ontario Inc., has
acquired approximately 2,550,000 Class A non-voting shares of Schneider Corporation. Schneider is now 99% owned by Smithfield Foods. (PRNewswire)

>  PetQuarters, Inc. announced that it had received a total of $1.45 million in loans from two separate lenders.  The funds are being used primarily for inventory purchases, payment
of debt, and general working capital needs. (PRNewswire)

>  Fast-food giant Wendy’s International held an animal-welfare conference, inviting the National Pork Board to send animal-welfare experts to the session.  Attending and participating were five swine veterinarians representing NPB and American Association of Swine Veterinarians; Ohio State University extension swine specialists also participated.  Attendees say it was an excellent opportunity to tell about the pork industry’s interest in raising animals humanely and in related research.  Wendy’s is receiving pressure from animal-rights groups, similar to that seen earlier this year forced on McDonald’s and Burger King. (Pork Magazine’s Pork Alert)

Animal Health News

>  Japan may have its first case of BSE, the first suspected case in Asia.  According to the Ministry of Agriculture, initial tests on the brain of a cow in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo revealed signs of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.  More tests are needed to determine conclusively whether the cow was infected with BSE. Earlier testing in August had come up negative.  (AP)

>  Leading officials from the U.S. and Mexican governments signed a cooperative arrangement last week that will improve the safety of the food supplies in both nations. Under the terms of the arrangement, the FDA, the USDA, and Mexico’s Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (SAGARPA) and Secretaría de Salud (SSA) will enhance their existing food safety partnership through expanding programs, sharing information and coordinating specific activities. These efforts are expected to ensure that borders remain open and that safe products continue to flow freely between the countries. The agencies will also collaborate on other specific projects to achieve common understanding on issues of mutual concern.(Meating Place)

>  The use of vaccination in combating foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks will be the focus for scientists working on an independent inquiry into Britain’s latest epidemic.  To date, the government has refused growing demands to vaccinate animals against the highly infectious livestock disease.  Officials upheld a mass cull policy to eradicate the disease, which scientists fear could linger for months after fresh outbreaks hit northern England. (Reuters)

>  Kansas State University researchers have discovered that feeding carnitine and chromium to swine can produce improvements in litter size.  They are calling the combination carnichrome.  
Lonza, Inc. says they expect to launch a product this September that will improve the reproductive performance of sows. The company has already received “great demand” for Carnichrome. (DirectAg)

>  Aqua Bounty Farms of Massachusetts has applied to the FDA for permission to sell Atlantic salmon that reaches market size twice as fast as conventional farmed salmon. The fish were genetically altered to produce extra growth hormones, a change aimed at increasing farmers’ output and reducing consumer prices. Aqua Bounty has pledged to make public all its scientific studies on the safety of the altered fish after FDA evaluations are complete. The company hopes that the fish will be approved for sale in 2002. (AnimalNet – Knight-Ridder Tribune)

Agribusiness News

>  European Union farm ministers will hear expert views on the benefits and pitfalls of biotech next week including a call that developing countries be given a chance to grow their own genetically modified crops.  The meeting follows European Commission President Romano Prodi’s comments last week that the 15-nation bloc needed a new coherent strategy to deal with
biotechnology in the 21st century if it was not to miss its industrial and economic benefits. (Reuters)


Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

The terrorist attacks waged against the United States have caused tremendous sorrow and agony for the families of the victims, and we want to express our sincere sympathy to them.   The mental anguish they are experiencing is impossible to comprehend.  The terrorists want to destroy our way of life and the values for which we stand as a democratic nation.  These acts cannot and will not destroy the resolve of the American people, and we must get back to a sense of normalcy.  We cannot allow the terrorists to achieve their goals and set our agenda.

Eli Thomssen,  Brakke Senior Consultant

As I write the comments from my hotel room in NYC, where I have been since Monday, I am reminded of the thousands of people killed or missing in the rubble of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Already we know of hundreds of lives lost in the airplanes that were used as bombs.  What does one say at a time like this in our country?  Frankly, I’m not sure.  Maybe it is better to just listen and help those in need in whatever way we can. They need our prayers and support.  It is hard to find a New Yorker that does not have a close connection with either a relative, friend or business associate that was involved in this tragedy. 

To all of them, and others through out the US that have been directly affected, our hearts, minds and prayers are with you.

Ron Brakke and All the Brakke Consultants   

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