The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for April 26, 2024
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

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Berg + Schmidt
Bond Pet Foods
Cronus Pharma
Hale Animal Health
Inventory Ally
Oil-Dri Corporation of America
Orion Corporation
Ultra Pet
The Veterinary Cooperative
Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition

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  • Merck announced financial results for the first quarter of 2024. Animal Health sales were $1,511 million, an increase of 1% (4% currency adjusted). (company press release)
  • Nestlé reported sales for the first three months of 2024. Petcare sales were CHF 4,590 million ($5,024 million), a year-over-year decline of 2% (organic growth of +4%). (company website) 


  • Zoetis and Orion Corporation announced the U.S. commercial launch of Bonqat (pregabalin oral solution) to veterinary clinics throughout the US. Bonqat is the first-and-only FDA-approved product for the alleviation of acute anxiety and fear associated with transportation and veterinary visits in cats. (company press release)
  • The FDA announced the approval of Cronus Pharma’s Pimomedin (generic pimobendan) chewable tablets for the management of signs of congestive heart failure in dogs. (FDA)
  • Chewy announced the opening of its first veterinary practice in South Florida. Chewy Vet Care in Plantation offers routine appointments, urgent care, surgery, and vaccinations. (com)
  • Oil-Dri Corporation of America announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Ultra Pet Company, a supplier of silica gel-based crystal cat litter, for $46 million in cash. Ultra Pet has annual net sales of approximately $24 million. (Pet Product News)
  • Cresilon announced it has entered into distribution agreements for its hemostatic gel, Vetigel, to be sold directly to veterinary surgeons through Covetrus, MWI Animal Health, and Patterson Veterinary Supply. (prnewswire)
  • Inventory Ally announced a strategic partnership with The Veterinary Cooperative (TVC), providing TVC’s 4,000 member hospitals with special pricing on Inventory Ally’s comprehensive software for advanced inventory management. (company press release)
  • Prelude and Loyal announced a strategic alliance that will allow Loyal to have access to Prelude’s comprehensive suite of data management products to streamline their research efforts. (company press release)
  • Wag! announced the upcoming launch in May of Furscription, a digital tool for veterinary clinics designed to streamline the prescription process for clinics and pet parents. (Yahoo finance)
  • Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition, LLC, and Bond Pet Foods, Inc., a manufacturer of sustainable animal proteins via fermentation, have partnered to develop tailored ingredients for pet food applications. (Pet Product News)
  • Berg + Schmidt announced it has split the company into the self-reliant divisions of Animal Nutrition, Care Ingredients and Performance Chemicals. Berg + Schmidt Animal Nutrition GmbH & Co. KG offers the development and production of optimized and functional feed ingredients. (Feedstuffs)
  • EU Antech announced the launch of the in-hospital Nu.Q Canine Cancer Test (supplied by VolitionRx Limited) in Europe. (company press release)
  • NEW ZEALAND Hale Animal Health, a startup developing novel therapeutics for companion animals with a focus on cannabis-derived registered veterinary medicines, announced it raised NZ$2 million ($1.2M) in a funding round led by local venture capital firm WNT Ventures. The funds will be used to complete the remainder of its CMC  package, in preparation for submission to regulatory authorities for registration as a veterinary medicine. (Globalpets)



  • US – LABOR LAW The Federal Trade Commission has voted to approve a new rule, which will ban noncompetes for all workers when the regulations take effect in 120 days. For senior executives, existing noncompetes can remain in force. For all other employees, existing noncompetes are not enforceable. According to the FTC an estimated 30 million people  — or one in five U.S. workers — are bound by noncompete restrictions. (com)
  • US – AVIAN INFLUENZA IN CATTLE USDA is now ordering all dairy cattle must be tested prior to moving the animals across state lines as a way to help stop the spread of HPAI H5N1 impacting dairy herds across the country. This comes after a lab at Ohio State University detected genetic material of the virus in 38% of retail milk samples they’ve tested. (bovine veterinarian)
  • US – AVIAN INFLUENZA IN CATTLE The USDA said this week that cow-to-cow transmission is a factor in the spread of bird flu in dairy herds. Wild migratory birds are believed to be the original source of the virus, but cow infections investigated have included some cases where the virus spread was associated with cattle movements between herds.  There is also evidence the virus spread from dairy cattle premises back into nearby poultry premises through an unknown route. The USDA also said that cows shed the virus in milk at high concentrations, so anything that comes in contact with unpasteurized milk may spread the disease; respiratory transmission is not considered a primary way for the virus to spread in cattle. (Drovers)
  • US – AVIAN INFLUENZA The Centers for Disease Control and Convention has completed susceptibility testing for influenza antiviral medications that are used for seasonal influenza and confirmed that the avian influenza A (H5N1) virus is susceptible to all commercially available FDA-approved and recommended neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals. Additionally, the FDA has once again confirmed that pasteurization of milk consistent with the federal Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance destroys harmful pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms, including Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and other viruses. (Feedstuffs, Feedstuffs)
  • US – VETERINARY RESOURCES The Veterinary Innovation Council announced the launch of its Access to Care Resource Hub a new resource to enable veterinary professionals to offer greater access to veterinary care for a broader range of patients. This includes providing pet owners and clinics with a wider array of financial options and information on spectrum of care options. The comprehensive online platform was made possible by a generous grant from Mars Veterinary Health and Banfield Pet Hospital. (company press release)
  • US – GROOMNG CREDENTIALS The American Kennel Club (AKC) announced it has acquired the Professional Grooming Credential (PGC) from the World Pet Association (WPA). The PGC measures foundational knowledge, safety, and technical skills of groomers, and is the only nationwide grooming industry credential. (Pet Product News)
  • Mars Veterinary Health announced the publication of a study on antimicrobial purchasing practices across 2,000+ of its clinics in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S., including Banfield, BluePearl, Linnaeus, and VCA. The study was published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine(JVIM). (company press release)

This past Tuesday, April 23, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it intends to issue a “Non-Complete Clause Rule” with respect to employment contracts.  Such non-compete clauses generally prohibit employees from leaving an employer for a competitor for a certain amount of time.  The FTC says that such non-compete clauses in employment contracts are “an unfair method of competition,” and therefore a violation of law, effective 120 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is likely in a few days.

Senior executives (as defined) will be exempt from this rule.  All other employees covered by such agreements are to be notified by their employer that such clauses are no longer enforceable.  Further, new non-compete agreements, even for senior executives, will be subject to the ban.  The FTC, in Tuesday’s announcement, estimates that up to 30 million workers in the United States currently have some sort of non-complete agreement with their employer.

Years ago, non-compete agreements were widely used by veterinarians when hiring associates to work in a practice; they were used to deter an associate from leaving to join another practice or to start a practice – usually within a certain distance from their employer.  Such agreements, while effective for the employer, were the often the cause of unpleasant litigation between veterinarians and have fallen out of favor over the years.  California, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and North Dakota have also passed laws restricting or prohibiting these agreements ahead of the FTC’s ruling.  The US Chamber of Commerce filed suit on Wednesday in US District Court in Texas to block the proposed rule.

I don’t know what your opinion is of this ruling, and I know that there are many smart people on both sides of this issue, but I do have a question for you: have you ever heard of or known an employee who requested that he/she be covered by a non-compete agreement?  If your answer (like mine) is “no,” then we have an illustration of how the balance of power has now moved a little closer toward the middle between employee and employer.

Jim Kroman

Our question last week asked if you watched the April 8 Solar Eclipse.  60% of respondents did see the eclipse.  6% were not able to watch, and 17% were located where the eclipse was not visible.  The last 17% could have seen it, but didn’t.

This week
Are you currently bound by a noncompete agreement?

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