The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 1, 2001

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company News Releases

>  Irwin Jacobs and Prudential Insurance Co. of America are the latest investors to disclose that they own large stakes in Purina Mills Inc., the nation’s largest manufacturer of animal feed. Purina Mills said on May 8 that it had received an acquisition proposal, but hasn’t disclosed the suitor’s identity.  Cargill disclosed May 18 that it had acquired a 5.3% stake in the company. Jacobs now controls 562,000 shares, or 5.62%, of Purina Mills.  Prudential Insurance holds 858,513 shares, or 8.59% of Purina Mills. (Emarkets – St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

>  Synbiotics has developed a rapid new diagnostic screening test for Johne’s disease.  The Serelisa ParaTB test can be run by state-approved laboratories.  Results are available in 75 minutes and include a “suspect” rating.  (Hoard’s Dairyman)

> eMerge Interactive, a technology company providing supply-chain management and marketing solutions for the beef production industry, announced that it has reached an agreement with the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association to manage the individual-animal tracking and marketing systems of the Association’s new Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN).  The program is designed to help member producers, representing 85% of the state’s cattle-production
capacity of nearly 2 million head, capture the value they have added to their cattle and capitalize on the growing demand for preconditioned, process-verified cattle. (PRNewswire)

>  American Colloid Company and Marshall Pet Products have formed a strategic alliance in which American Colloid will be responsible for marketing and distributing Marshall Premium Ferret Litter.  (Pet Business)

>  Blonde With Beagle Productions acquired the assets of Rover Group, including the Rover, Hampton House and Cape Cod Cat lines of pet treats.  Both companies offer high-quality natural treats to the upscale market.  The sale closed March 23, 2001.  Terms were not disclosed.  (Pet Business)

>  A new line of pet treats has been launched by Chomp Inc., a newly-formed company.  The Chomp treats will be positioned like human candy, and sold in the pet, mass market and convenience store channels.  (Pet Business)

The following is a clarification of a press release in last week’s newsletter:
>  IRELAND  Marks & Spencer announced a joint initiative with Irish diagnostic company Tridelta Development to introduce a revolutionary health monitoring system to help detect and treat sick animals earlier on farms. Farms supplying Marks & Spencer will be able to initiate a screening program for animals, aimed at detecting a wide range of diseases such as foot and mouth, mastitis and pneumonia.  The program is based on detecting Acute Phase Proteins, which are part of the body’s natural immune defense system and rise rapidly in response to disease.  The Acute Phase Protein tests developed by Tridelta will mean that Marks & Spencer will, for the first time, be able to closely and regularly monitor the general health of animals on supplier farms.  A simple, regular test will allow a health profile of both individual animals and herds to be built up ensuring that suppliers to Marks & Spencer maintain superior standards of health and welfare. (company press release)


We will be integrating the new search activities in field sales and middle management recruiting  with field sales training programs and seminars.  These can either be tailored for a company or we will be conducting seminar programs where companies can have their sales personnel attend with others.  We will provide more information on these services in the future.  Please contact Ken at to discuss this new service.

Animal Health News

>  As part of organizational changes to world animal health industry body Comisa, its general assembly approved a change of name to International Federation for Animal Health or IFAH.  (Pig Enews)

>  The Hong Kong government has completed a massive slaughter to stop an outbreak of avian influenza, culling more than 1 million birds. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department stated that food safety workers destroyed 755,000 chickens, 117,000 pigeons and 79,000 quail from 223 poultry farms in the last 10 days.  The flu outbreak detected in mid-May has not harmed humans. Still, the Hong Kong government swiftly mounted a full-scale effort to eradicate the virus from local markets and farms as a precaution. (Animalnet – AP)

>  UK scientists said the carcasses of cattle that had been culled and buried to combat foot-and-mouth might have to be dug up to protect humans from BSE. Older cattle, born after strict measures were put in place in 1996 to stop the spread of BSE, could spread the disease to humans by contaminating water supplies and so would have to be exhumed. The scientists, members of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee, said up to 10,000 cattle over five years old had been buried in what so far amounted to at least 55 sites across Britain. (Reuters)

>  A two-year-old Holstein cow in Wisconsin has broken a milk production record for a single 365 day lactation. Holstein Association USA reports that ’True-Blue Duster Ihm Jen,’ owned by Jerry and Kevin Ihm, has produced 61,030 pounds of milk during a lactation period ending earlier this year.  The cow’s dam also broke a milk production record several years ago, when the Holstein passed the 60,000-pound mark.  (AnimalNet – AgWeb)

>  DNA testing is being used more and more to prove animal parentage and pedigree, and to identify for breeding purposes animals that carry desirable or undesirable traits in their genes. The American Kennel Club is increasingly turning to DNA testing to assure the pedigrees of purebred dogs and has made it a requirement for male dogs that sire more than a minimal number of litters.  Several companies have moved into this small, but burgeoning market. Chief among them is Celera AgGen in Davis, a division of Celera Genomics, which last year completed a rough draft of the human genetic code. (AnimalNet – Knight-Ridder Tribune)

Agribusiness News

>  The Dow Chemical Company and Rohm and Haas Company announced that they have completed the sale of Rohm and Haas Company’s agricultural business to Dow Chemical for approximately US $1 billion, including working capital.  The acquisition will be integrated into Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow. Under terms of the agreement, Dow AgroSciences acquired Rohm and Haas’s Agricultural Chemicals business, including fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, other product lines, trademarks, and license to all agricultural uses of the Rohm and Haas biotechnology assets.  With this acquisition, Dow AgroSciences’ annual sales are expected to grow to approximately US $3 billion annually. (PRNewswire)

>  Biotech and You! is a new monthly online magazine you can find at This is the site for the Council for Biotechnology Information and the e-zine includes articles on advances in food biotech, feature stories written by farmers, researchers and other biotech experts, and a monthly online poll about biotech issues.  The magazine points to key benefits of biotech through the experiences of those who use the technology. (DirectAg)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

 Ron Brakke is out of the office. His comments will return in the newsletter next week.

[Ron Brakke]
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