The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for August 11, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Destron Fearing reported results for the third quarter ended June 30, 2000.  Net sales were $4.2 million, compared with $5.3 million in the year-ago period.  Net income was $404,000 compared with $1.3 million in 1999.  In the third quarter, sales of electronic products declined 33% from the year-ago period, but remained at record levels through the first nine months of this fiscal year.  Sale of visual products in the third quarter increased 15% over last year.  (company press release)

Company News Releases

>  Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIV) announced that a permanent injunction was issued by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, against Schering-Plough Corporation’s Animal Health Division in connection with a patent infringement suit brought by BIV against Schering.  BIV alleged in its lawsuit that Schering had infringed BIV’s patent covering the growth and manufacture of the Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome (PRRS) virus used in BIV’s product lines of Ingelvac PRRS and ReproCyc PRRS swine vaccines.  Earlier this year, a jury in Newark NJ heard the case and determined that Schering’s manufacture of its Prime-Pac PRRS vaccine does indeed infringe the BIV patent and that the patent is valid.  The order issued by the Court directs Schering to withdraw Prime-Pac PRRS from the market and to stop any efforts to manufacture and sell the product in violation of BIV’s patent. (company press release)

>  Schering Plough Animal Health has introduced new information portals for beef cattle and pork producers and livestock veterinarians, offering information and hyperlinks to help producers strengthen their competitiveness.  The company also announced formation of a new pork industry team to be exclusively focused on the needs of swine producers and practitioners in the US. (Feedstuffs)

>  Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced that they are discontinuing sales of Prescription Diet products to Banfield/VetSmart hospitals due to differing philosophies in the sale of these products.  Hill’s believes that the veterinary/client/patient relationship is central to the successful nutritional management of disease, and they are therefore committed to selling therapeutic pet foods exclusively through veterinary hospitals.  (company press release)

> The Ralston Purina Company and the Radio Voyager Network announced plans to launch the first-ever online radio network produced exclusively for pet enthusiasts around the world. The “Purina Radio Voyager Network” will include contemporary music, live CNNRadio News, original companion animal programming, and contests and promotions every hour. It will be streamed from Purina’s Dog Chow and Puppy Chow Web sites, with plans to expand the radio network to other Purina brand cat and dog food sites in the future. (Business Wire)

> Neogen Corporation has developed tests to help food processors quickly determine if milk residues exist in the processing environment, raw materials, or final product throughout its production cycle. An allergy to milk is one of the more common food allergies.  The development of a quick, easy method to determine if milk residues have come into contact with foods not labeled for milk is of critical importance to the millions worldwide who face severe consequences if they accidentally ingest milk. Like the earlier peanut and egg allergen tests, the milk allergen tests were developed by Neogen in cooperation with the University of Nebraska’s Food Allergy Research and Resource Program. (PRNewswire)

>  Kemin Industries, Inc. announced it has received clearance from the FDA for the use of chromium propionate in swine diets. Research indicates that chromium propionate provides a broad range of benefits along the pork value chain. (PRNewswire)


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Animal Health News

>  The National Research Council’s Institute for Biological Sciences (NRC-IBS) has signed an agreement with Foragen Technology Ventures Inc. to take the next step in testing a vaccine against E.coli 0157:H7.  The NRC vaccine is expected to trigger an immune response in cattle against E.coli  0157 through the production of protective antibodies that prevent the growth of the bacterium in the animal’s gut. The partnership with Foragen will provide funding for the next stage of the evaluation, the testing of the vaccine in cattle this August at the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization in Saskatoon. If the cattle evaluation is successful, action will be taken to commercialize the vaccine. (NRC-CNRC)

>  The US stands to lose a $230 million a year market after Philippine commercial poultry raisers and veterinary product suppliers decided to source their soybean meal and animal health products from elsewhere.  This was in retaliation to the US’ continued dumping of inexpensive chicken meat in the Philippines at prices far below the cost of local production. (World Poultry)

>  Seven thousand farm animals have been slaughtered in the Evros region of northeast Greece since an epidemic of foot and mouth broke out in mid-July.  3,700 head of beef and dairy cattle, 1,900 goats and 1,400 sheep had been killed in the region, which has been under quarantine for three weeks. No movements of stock is currently allowed between Greece and bordering Bulgaria and Turkey.  Export of meat and dairy products from Evros to the rest of the EU has also been prohibited except under certain strict conditions. (AnimalNet – Agence France Presse)

>  Three thousand head of cattle were ordered destroyed in Argentina after 10 Paraguayan cattle now grazing here were found with antibodies for the virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease.
Argentina is the world¹s fourth-largest beef exporter and barely two months ago it earned a coveted clean bill of health for its stock as free of foot-and-mouth disease without the use of vaccinations, which means it can apply to export to Japan, Korea and Mexico, among others. Agriculture officials stressed that the 10 infected cattle did not suffer from active cases of the disease, did not carry the virus itself and classified the destruction order as a “precautionary measure.”  (AnimalNet – Reuters)

>  3,500 pigs have been slaughtered in the United Kingdom after the first outbreak of classical swine fever in Britain in 14 years has been confirmed.  Britain’s last outbreak of classical swine fever was in 1986 but there was a major outbreak in 1998 in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Belgium. Slaughter of pigs on farms infected with classical swine fever is required by EU law. An additional two pig farms were hit by the latest outbreak of classical swine fever.  The holdings, one in Norfolk, and one in Essex, will now have to slaughter all 2,850 of their pigs.  (AnimalNet – PA News)

> The regional government of Navarre, Spain said it had detected Spain’s first outbreaks of scrapie in sheep, a variant of mad cow disease that is not believed to be transmissible to humans.  A spokesman for the government of the northern region said the problem was under control, with a herd of 2,200 sheep having already been sacrificed and another 600 due to be culled. (Reuters)

>  A proposed regulation being considered by the EU Commission would allow inventors to obtain a single EU-wide patent, cutting costs and encouraging innovation.  The EU patent would operate alongside the existing national and European systems, with applicants choosing the patent type best suited to their invention. (The Week in Europe)

>  The FDA announced the availability of effectiveness and target animal safety data that may be used in support of a new animal drug application (NADA) or supplemental NADA for veterinary prescription use of tilmicosin phosphate injection for treatment of bacterial pneumonia in sheep. The data, contained in Public Master File (PMF) 5673, were compiled under National Research Support Project-7 (NRSP-7), a national agricultural research program for obtaining clearances for use of new drugs in minor animal species and for special uses. (AnimalNet – Federal Register)

>  Starting this summer, an innovative program to certify pigs right on the farm as free of Trichinella spiralis worms is going through a 2-year pilot study. The ARS developed an ELISA test that enables veterinarians to screen live animals for infection from a blood sample. Now, the NPPC is encouraging pork producers to volunteer for certification by having their operations audited by an APHIS-accredited veterinarian. Gamble says the meat packers, who want to improve their product¹s image, have been a driving force in supporting the concept of on-farm
certification. (AnimalNet – ARS News Service)

>  In the first-ever listing of a state’s livestock brands on the Internet, more than 7,200 livestock identification marks were posted to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Web site. The brands are posted by brand owner, categories of brands, as well as by the individual brands themselves.  The Web provides an additional tool to help track animals sold through livestock barns, and assists in theft investigations.  (DirectAg – Louisiana Farmer)

>  Australian woolgrowers have had a stockpile of unsold wool for the last 20 years, which currently stands at just over 7.5 million bales.  A private company, Australian Wool Group (AWG), has made several offers to take over the entire stockpile. AWG believe they can develop an integrated wool marketing approach, on the basis of ‘fiber to garment’.  Woolstock Australia (WA), the woolgrowers company, who has been responsible for wool marketing, strongly opposes the AWG offer.  (Aust. Wool Growers Assoc, Farming Online Ruralpress and other sources) 

Agribusiness News

>  Monsanto will provide royalty-free licenses of all its technology that could lead to further development of so-called “golden rice” and other rice varieties enriched with vitamin A.   Along with the new licensing plan, Monsanto said it will release its rice genomic sequence database on a new Web site.  Scientists working on improving the rice will now be able to use any of Monsanto’s biotechnology tools free of charge. The company hopes the licensing plan will spur development of rice varieties with increased levels of vitamin A, more commonly known as beta carotene. (AP)

> Novartis, one of the world’s largest providers of seeds for growing genetically modified (GM) food, confirmed on that it has made its own food products GM-free. The Swiss agribusiness and pharmaceuticals giant which is at the forefront of GM crop technology banned genetically modified ingredients from all its food brands worldwide from the end of June this year. The Novartis policy even goes as far as demanding certificates from its ingredient suppliers stating their products are GM-free.  Genetically modified food has caused increasing concern among consumers and environmentalists who fear the new technology could pose a threat to human health or nature. (Reuters)

>  Exelixis, Inc. announced that Genoptera, the joint venture between Exelixis and Bayer AG’s crop protection business group, has selected several novel insecticide targets for assay development and screening.  This selection marks an important research accomplishment within the joint venture and triggers an undisclosed milestone payment to Exelixis.  (PRNewswire)


Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

It appears that there are still opportunities in the animal health area, based on the number of serious animal disease outbreaks reported this week.  As hard as we work in this industry to eradicate highly contagious diseases in our livestock, there are still pockets of disease and newly emerging diseases that warrant our attention.

The balance of the news this week was rather slim, other than a few fishing reports from those on vacation.  Who caught the biggest fish this week?  Feel free to send the fish species, weight and length to us via email.  We will compile the submissions throughout August and announce a winner in September.  Have a great weekend.

 [Ron Brakke]
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