The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for May 1, 2020
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA


Brakke Consulting News
COVID-19: Impact on Pet Care report – order by May 4 for discount

Earnings News

Other News
Fwusow Industry Co. Ltd.
Modern Veterinary Therapeutics
Pumpkin Insurance Services
QBiotics Group Limited


The pandemic that struck the US and the rest of the world in early 2020 is an event that has altered personal lives and business operations unlike any other event.

To help you make prudent decisions during this disruptive period, Brakke Consulting is launching a new 3-wave tracking study, COVID 19: Impact on Pet Care.  The study is based on an online pulse survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 pet owners conducted every few weeks starting in May 2020.

The study will deliver 3 reports, roughly 4 – 6 weeks apart, beginning in late May.  The cost of the study is $17,500, with a $1,500 discount for orders placed by Monday, May 4.  For more information, contact John Volk at .


  • Merck announced financial results for the first quarter of 2020. Animal Health sales totaled $1.214 billion, an increase of 18% compared with the first quarter of 2019 (+21% currency adjusted). Growth in livestock products was due to the products acquired in the prior year’s Antelliq Corporation acquisition and COVID-19-related buy-in; growth in companion animal products was driven largely by demand for the BRAVECTO line of products, due in part to COVID-19-related buy-in. (company press release)
  • Bayer AG reported results for the first quarter of 2020. Animal Health sales were EUR 496 million ($548 million), an increase of 18% over the prior-year quarter (+17% fx & portfolio adjusted).  The growth is attributable to the positive performance of Seresto (+51% adj.) and Advantage product family (+10% adj.). (company website)
  • IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. announced results for the first quarter of 2020. Revenues were $626 million, an increase of 9% on a reported and organic basis. Net income was $112 million, an increase of 9%. Companion Animal Group revenue was $552 million, an increase of 8.5%. (company press release)
  • Nestle SA reported results for the first quarter of 2020. Petcare sales were CHF 3.50 billion ($3.66 billion), an increase of 9% compared to the first quarter of 2019 (organic growth of 14%). (company press release)
  • Orion Animal Health reported results for the first quarter of 2020. The firm recorded sales of EUR 23.1 million ($25.1 million), a 12% year-on-year increase. Animal sedative revenues fell by 8% to EUR 8.9 million; Orion has now recorded a fall in sales in its animal sedatives range for three successive quarters. (Animal Pharm)


  • Zoetis announced the launch of Pumpkin Insurance Services, Inc., a new pet insurance agency with optional monthly preventive care plans for pet owners in the US. The preventive care plan includes coverage of parasiticides and direct shipment of these medicines delivered to the pet’s home – a service no other insurer provides. Pumpkin is now available to consumers in many states. (company press release)
  • Merck Animal Health announced the launch of Armatrex, an EPA-registered bacteriostatic spray-on antimicrobial solution for use on structures and physical components in a variety of livestock production, equine and companion animal biosecurity situations. When used in conjunction with cleaning and disinfecting protocols, Armatrex – a silane quaternary ammonium salt – provides a protective coating against the growth of bacteria, fungi, mold and algae for up to 90 days. (company press release)
  • Covetrus announced a $250 million investment from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), a private investment firm that has been a significant shareholder of the Company since its formation in 2019 and formerly of its predecessor company, Vets First Choice, since 2015. The $250 million in proceeds from the perpetual convertible preferred equity investment will be used to repay a portion of the Company’s revolver borrowings, provide additional short-term liquidity, and support general corporate purposes. (company press release)
  • The FDA announced that it has approved Modern Veterinary Therapeutics‘ Detomidine Hydrochloride Injectable solution for horses, the first generic detomidine for horses. Generic detomidine hydrochloride is indicated for use as a sedative and analgesic (pain reliever) to facilitate minor surgical and diagnostic procedures. (FDA)
  • dvm360 announced the launch of a new online continuing education (CE) center. The dvm360 CE Center features 10 hours of informative courses led by key industry leaders, with each webinar earning attendees 1 hour of RACE-approved CE credit. (company press release)
  • UK Vetoquinol announced the release of a free web-based app for clients in the UK who own pets suffering from congestive heart failure. The new app and digital tracker will allow pet owners to monitor their pet’s sleeping respiratory rate (SRR) at home and give an indication of the status of their medical condition. (
  • EU QBiotics Group Limited, in partnership with Virbac, announced the launch of Stelfonta (tigilanol tiglate) in European markets for the treatment for all grades of canine non-metastatic mast cell tumors. (Yahoo finance)
  • NETHERLANDS BioChek, a veterinary diagnostics company, announced the acquisition of BIOTECON, a company specializing in development and manufacturing of PCR-based solutions for food safety diagnostics. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Yahoo finance)
  • TAIWAN Fwusow Industry Co. Ltd., a major pet food manufacturer in Taiwan, announced plans to develop and launch a new line of dog food that will integrate Avivagen‘s OxC-beta supplement product. (Petfood Industry)



  • US – MEAT PROCESSING The USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced plans to establish a National Incident Coordination Center to provide direct support to producers who cannot move their animals to market because of processing plant closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Going forward, the APHIS Coordination Center, state veterinarians and other state officials will be assisting in identifying potential alternative markets if a producer is unable to move animals and, if necessary, to advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods. For more information click here. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – COVID-19 IN PETS A pug in North Carolina has become the first pet dog in the US know to have tested positive for coronavirus.  The family was involved in a study at Duke in which the mother, father and son tested positive for COVID-19. During this study, the family had their pets tested and found out their pug, also tested positive for the virus after experiencing mild respiratory symptoms.  A cat and another dog tested negative, as did the family’s daughter. (AVMA Smartbrief –
  • WORLD – VIRTUAL VETERINARY CARE A new nonprofit organization has been formed, the Veterinary Virtual Care Association (VVCA), to help the profession navigate how to implement virtual care into practice. This new global, nonprofit association is dedicated to developing best practices for delivering virtual care for animals, defining quality standards and protocols for practicing virtual care, sharing experiences among practice teams, engaging with virtual care providers and advocating for policies in support of quality virtual care. For more information, click here. (association press release)
  • US – FELINE RETROVIRUS RESOURCES The American Association of Feline Practitioners released a new “Retrovirus Educational Toolkit” to help veterinary professionals diagnose and manage feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. The toolkit is built on the organization’s 2020 “Feline Retrovirus Testing and Management Guidelines,” published in January. For more information, click here. (Veterinary Advantage)
  • EU – FMD TESTING Scientists at The Pirbright Institute in the U.K. and Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna in Italy have developed a diagnostic test that can detect whether an animal has been infected by or vaccinated against any type of foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus. Current FMD antibody tests for detection of infected or vaccinated animals are only able to detect antibodies that are unique to each serotype (although they may have some inter-types cross-reactivity). The research was published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – COVID-19 DETECTION Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) are looking to dogs to help in COVID-19 surveillance programs. Penn Vet said a new pilot training program utilizing scent detection dogs to discriminate between samples from COVID-19-positive and COVID-19-negative patients will explore the sensitivity and specificity of scent in disease detection. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center will be lending its expertise during the study as well. (Feedstuffs)
  • CHINA – PET DOGS The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has declared dogs to be companion animals, stating that “with the progress of human civilization and the public’s concern and preference for animal protection, dogs have evolved from traditional livestock to companion animals.”  The ministry’s first draft of the Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry lists 18 typical farm animals such as pigs, chickens, cows and rabbits as livestock, excluding dogs from the list. (Petfood Industry)


We have all been inundated for weeks with the ever-evolving specter of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our lives have changed dramatically in the short term and we are wondering what a new normal will look like and when we will get there.

This past week it became obvious to everyone that our food supply, specifically the animal protein supply, has been whipsawed hard by COVID-19.  Every link in the animal protein supply chain, from producer to processor to consumer is dependent upon essential workers that by the nature of their work make it difficult to comply with practices which slow the spread of, COVID-19.  Meat processing plant closures have caused slaughter numbers to plummet 32% for beef and 29% for hogs, while some USDA wholesale prices have increased 40+%.  This week an Executive Order was signed declaring meat processing plants as “critical infrastructure”.  Hopefully, slaughter numbers will begin to climb if a balance between food supply, worker safety can be achieved.

The dwindling supply and rising prices of animal protein are making earlier worries over toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages seem even more trivial than they were at the time.

Mike McGinley


Last week, we asked which species would be most impacted by the coronavirus issues at meat packing and processing plants.  A resounding 88% of you selected swine as the most impacted species due to plant shutdowns and slowdowns.  We agree.  The pork supply chain was at or above capacity before the COVID-19 complications started so a minor delay/interruption resulted in almost immediate complications.  Growing pig flows are closely timed and pen space becomes critical if harvest is delayed. The beef harvest chain had some idle capacity and extra pen space, but it is now in a similar situation.  However, it is a new week and we wait to see the effect the president’s mandate to reopen plants has on harvest.

This week, let’s try to be a little less serious and think about when we might return to work.  You’ll have to click on the link to see the choices you have for answers.

When you’re safely allowed back in your office and you are asked by your boss what you did to improve yourself during the lock down, which one of these answers are you most likely to use as your reply?

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