The Experts in Animal Health

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 24, 2011

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM MBA
Brakke news
practice management
earnings news
Del Monte
other news
BioPet Vet Lab
Exiqon A/S
Mars Veterinary
Correction:  last week’s item on the online availability of USDA’s online pet food health certificates was incorrectly reported on the source site.  The new certificates only affect products containing animal by-products and of those, only products entering the European market.

If your company is looking for new ways to increase your exposure to current and prospective customers, consider sponsoring Continuing Education opportunities.  Brakke Consulting’s practice management consultant offers speaking engagements and seminars for veterinarians on a wide array of topics.   For more information, contact Jessica Lee at or 919.444.3279.
> Del Monte Foods reported results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 ended May 1, 2011.  Pet Products net sales were $465 million, an increase of 4% over net sales of $447 million in the prior year period. (Business Wire)
> AgriLabs announced that the company has signed an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with SmartVet, makers of the VetCap Delivery System and AIMC (Advanced Insecticide Management) insecticide GelCaps. The VetCap system enables cattle producers to control flies and lice with a single worker without physically handling cattle. (company press release)
> Neogen Corporation announced that it has acquired the assets of the VeroMara seafood testing laboratory from its parent company, GlycoMar Ltd.   Based in Scotland, VeroMara offers testing services to the shellfish and salmon aquaculture industries. VeroMara’s services include testing for shellfish toxins, general foodborne pathogens, including E. coli, noroviruses, and salmon husbandry. VeroMara recorded revenues of approximately $800,000 in its most recently completed fiscal year. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. (company press release) 
> Exiqon A/S announced that it has granted a non-exclusive license to IDEXX Laboratories, Inc, to use Exiqon’s proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid (“LNA”) technology in defined products for veterinary disease diagnostics.  Financial terms were not disclosed. (Globe Newswire)
> Mars Veterinary, maker of the Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests, has filed a patent infringement suit against BioPet Vet Lab and PetSafe and obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting BioPet and PetSafe from selling their dog DNA breed identification kits. Mars is the exclusive licensee of a US patent on the use of DNA markers to determine the breed heritage of mixed breed dogs (US Patent 7,729,863). (PRNewswire)
> EU  Vetoquinol announced the European launch of Cimalgex, a new treatment for pain and inflammation in dogs. Cimalgex’s active molecule is cimicoxib. (company website) 
> US – EQUINE HERPESVIRUS  Wyoming reported its first confirmed case of equine herpesvirus 1. Another horse from the same location was destroyed because of symptoms of the virus. The Wyoming incident is not related to the Ogden, Utah, cutting horses event, which led to a multistate outbreak in May. (Billings Gazette)
> US – LYME DISEASE   A new multiplex test for Lyme disease in horses and dogs developed by researchers at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell.  The new test can distinguish between infection and vaccination and also between early and chronic infection stages. The multiplex procedure requires smaller samples and can detect three different antibodies produced in response to the bacteria associated with Lyme disease using a single test on the sample. (Veterinary Practice News)
> US – ANIMAL SAFETY FUNDING   The US House of Representatives, by a unanimous voice vote, passed an amendment intended to restore funding to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), which protects the nation’s food supply from foreign animal diseases.  The amendment was introduced after the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee proposed eliminating $4.4 million – representing all of NAHLN’s funding –from the Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative for fiscal year 2012. (AAVMC)
> US – HOG PRICES  Lean carcass hog prices in the US established new record highs this week, at $94.94/cwt. in the eastern Corn Belt and $100.51/cwt. in the western Corn Belt, pricing at a new record high in the East for the third consecutive day and pricing over $100 in the West for the first time in history. The price strength was attributed to a number of factors, most particularly a hog supply that has shrunk more than 5% in the last three years as producers respond to a new corn cost environment and strong demand for US pork around the world. (Feedstuffs)
We had another interesting week in animal health.  On the producer side, lean carcass hog prices hit a new record of $100 per hundredweight.  The cattle markets in the US are also establishing records, so it appears that food prices will be on the rise even more at the meat counter.
Last week we mentioned that some economists believe corn could reach $9 per bushel.  These high prices are likely to have a negative impact on the animal health industry by taking more of the producers’ dollars to produce the protein and more of the consumers’ dollars in purchasing food. 
In other reports so far in 2011 the consumer seems to be making the appropriate adjustments for higher food and fuel in their budgets.  However, it appears to us that most consumers and companies are cautious as to the long term impact. Will new higher prices for products hold to protect margins?  Or will we have an increased number of special deals in several product segments to help absorb the increased costs?   
It’s our belief that companies and individuals will remain cautious for the balance of the year. We hear of some very positive sales numbers for the second quarter and look forward to the first reports in a few days. 
Have a great weekend and stay Cool!!
Ron Brakke
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