The Experts in Animal Health

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for July 2, 2009

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
other news
DRE Veterinary
Fort Dodge (Micro Beef)
Fort Dodge (PropoClear)
Micro Beef Technologies
Pfizer Animal Genetics
VCA Antech
Since 1986 Brakke Consulting, Inc. has successfully assisted many clients in acquiring exceptional employees at all levels, in the many departments of animal health, pet, veterinary and specialty chemical companies. 
We pre-qualify candidates, allowing clients to choose from a few of the best applicants for a position.  Contact us to learn how our approach increases the efficiency and effectiveness of the Human Resources Departments of client companies.
> Pfizer reported that it offered concessions related to its animal business, which may include divesting some products, to allay competition concerns by European Union regulators over its bid to buy Wyeth for $65 billion. According to a Pfizer spokesperson, it’s unlikely that any divestitures would represent more than 10% of the combined $4 billion in annual revenue generated by the two companies’ animal units. Pfizer said in March it was talking with US regulators about divesting some animal health products to earn government approval. (
> Pfizer Animal Genetics announced it offers a diagnostic test for the genetic defect Osteopetrosis (OS). Additionally, Pfizer Animal Genetics has been approved by the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) as an OS testing laboratory. (company press release) 
> Fort Dodge Animal Health announced it has teamed with Micro Beef Technologies to add MICRO PVP, an age and source verification component, to the Prime Protection Plus preconditioning program. The MICRO PVP Ranch Program allows producers to age verify and enroll their cattle in a USDA-approved program prior to shipping cattle from the ranch.  Its design enables the use of most calving record formats. (CattleNetwork)
> Vétoquinol announced it has acquired the animal health business of the Indian pharmaceutical company, Wockhardt.  Wockhardt’s animal health division reported net sales of Rs770 million for the year ended December 31, 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Animal Pharm)  
> Biopure Corporation announced that it has received notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market that it is out of compliance with the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules and its common stock may be delisted. The notice stated that the company no longer meets the minimum of $2,500,000 in stockholders’ equity for continued listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. (company website)
> VCA Antech Inc. announced it has acquired Eklin Medical Systems Inc., a leading seller of digital radiology (DR), ultrasound and practice management software (VIA) systems in the veterinary market.  Eklin will be merged with VCA’s Sound Technologies division.  Financial terms were not disclosed.  (AP) 
> DRE Veterinary unveiled the DRE Genesis Series, a line of fully-featured, stainless steel operating tables available in V-top and flat top configurations. (PRWeb) 
> EU   Fort Dodge Animal Health launched a new formulation of the anesthetic propofol to the European market. PropoClear is presented as a lipid-free microemulsion that gives broached PropoClear vials a shelf-life of up to 28 days.  The product is offered in multidose vials of 50 or 100 ml. (Animal Pharm) 
>  US – HOG INVENTORY   US inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2009 was 66.1 million head. This was down 2% from June 1, 2008 but up 1% from March 1, 2009. (Pork Magazine)
> BSE   A study in Switzerland has concluded that BSE is a naturally occurring condition of cattle that is probably impossible to eradicate. The work concluded that the disease arises spontaneously in individual cattle from time to time. Of the 33 Swiss cattle with BSE symptoms investigated, one cow was found to be infected with a different type of prion from the others. While the age of the other cattle suggested their infection might be related to its spread through feedstuffs, the disease in the cow with the atypical prion was most likely naturally occurring. The results of the joint study by researchers in Switzerland and Poland were published in the Virology Journal. The researchers conclude that it would be inadvisable to lift the mammalian meat and bone meal prohibition, since the disease could never be entirely eliminated in the global cattle population. (Animal Pharm)
>  US – POULTRY PRODUCTION VIDEO   The National Chicken Council (NCC) has launched a new video showing typical chicken farms to counter the negative impression of the industry given in the documentary film “Food Inc.”  The video is posted to the internet site YouTube and may be found by searching for “Chicken Farms: The Real Story.”  To view the video, go to (
> US – ANIMAL CARE LEGISLATION   A bipartisan package of bills has been introduced into the Michigan legislature regarding the care of meat and dairy animals and egg-laying hens on Michigan farms. The plan will (1) establish that the Department of Agriculture and the Agriculture Commission is the sole authority in the regulation of livestock health and welfare; (2) implement science-based standards for animal care that farmers must implement by 2020; (3) create an Animal Care Advisory Council that will make recommendations for changes to existing standards; and (4) create a third-party auditing system to oversee the program. (Pork Magazine)
> US – VETERINARY LEGISLATION   Four US Representatives sponsored the introduction of the Veterinary Public Health Education and Workforce Act (H.R. 2999), a bill that creates new programs for training veterinarians and offers additional federal support to protect public health. The Veterinary Public Health Education and Workforce Act (1) offers a competitive grant program to schools of veterinary medicine; (2) creates a new fellowship program within the Department of Health and Human Services; and (3) creates a new Division of Veterinary Medicine and Public Health at the Health Resources and Services Administration, ensuring that this workforce receives the federal attention it deserves. (CattleNetwork)
> US – SPAY/NEUTER LEGISLATION   Legislation specifying spay/neuter requirements for dogs and cats has passed the California Senate and been referred to the Assembly Committee on Business & Professions. SB 250 requires any owner or custodian of an unsterilized dog to do one of the following: (1) have the animal sterilized at six months of age; (2) obtain a certificate of sterility; or (3) if required by local ordinance, obtain an unaltered dog license. Any owner or custodian of an unsterilized cat who permits that cat to roam at large must have the cat sterilized or obtain a certificate of sterility. (APPA e-Update)
The second quarter is in the books, and it appears that a number of companies made those special efforts to close some business in the last two weeks. The general tone of those we’ve visited with this past week is that it’s been a challenging quarter.  I guess the numbers will start telling us in a few weeks just how challenging. 
There still appears to be a lack of new products, either new or generic, entering the marketplace to assist in covering the sales softness in the market place. What’s the problem?  Is research and development not creating the pipeline needed to supply the needs of the marketplace, or are new product approval applications tied up in the regulatory process?  If some of you have opinions or thoughts on this please let us know.   We promise not to identify you in print.
Here in the US most companies will be closed on July 3rd to observe the Independence Day on the 4th of July.  We wish all of you an enjoyable holiday weekend.  Remember, keep your punk dry, and when you light your firecrackers try not to inhale any of the smoke.  Also, eat lots of protein to help work off the excess supplies in the freezers. 
Have a great weekend!
Ron Brakke
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