The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for September 6, 2019
Copyright © Brakke Consulting

Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA


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  • Dechra Pharmaceuticals reported results for its fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. Sales were GBP 482 million ($583 million), an increase of 18% over the prior year. This total included GBP 447.6 million from the company’s existing business (+10%) and a GBP 34.2 million contribution from acquired businesses. In North America, sales were up by 20% to GBP 178 million ($215 million). (Animal Pharm)


  • Merck Animal Health has been granted an exclusive license for a new foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine by the UK’s Pirbright Institute and its research partners. The new vaccine, The vaccine is based on virus-like particles (VLPs) that mimic the FMD virus outer shell and trigger an immune response, is designed to protect livestock against several serotypes of FMD virus. Pirbright claims it is more stable than current FMD vaccines and is less reliant on a cold-chain during distribution. (Animal Pharm)
  • The FDA announced the approval of Bimeda‘s EnroMed 100 (generic enrofloxacin injection) for use in beef and non-lactating dairy cattle and swine; and OxyMed LA (generic oxytetracycline injection) for use in swine, beef cattle, dairy cattle, and calves. (FDA)
  • ECO Animal Health announced a worldwide exclusive research partnership with The Pirbright Institute, United Kingdom, to develop a novel biopharmaceutical to protect chickens from Infectious Bronchitis Virus. (company press release)
  • Biogal announced the launch of the handheld CombCam automated reading device. The CombCam is designed for use with Biogal’s VacciCheck and ImmunoComb diagnostics. (Animal Pharm)
  • RestoraPet announced the launch of new classic and full-spectrum hemp supplements for both cats and horses. RestoraPet formulas include the proprietary, cell-rejuvenating “super antioxidant” Vitalitrol, which helps restore the optimal function of a pet’s organs at the cellular level. (company press release)



  • US – NEWCASTLE DISEASE California reported a new detection of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) at a property in central San Diego County, the first detection of VND in San Diego County since this incident began in May 2018. San Diego County had not been part of the regional VND quarantine put in place in February 2019. While this was the first case in San Diego County, it was the second case detected in California in August, after no VND detections since early June. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – SWINE RESEARCH USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded Kansas State University $475,000 to back a study focused on controls for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS), and swine influenza A virus (SIAV). The project will look at gaining a better understanding of protein disulfide isomerases enzymes as a potential target for developing intervention strategies against PRRS virus and SIAV. (Animal Pharm)
  • FRANCE – TEMPERATURE DETECTION Scientists at France’s Equ’Institut at the Haras du Plessis have developed an app to work with a Biothermo microchip that reads both the horse’s identification number and its body temperature, and send data and alerts to owners and veterinarians on their smartphones. (Vet Advantage –


I am struck by the items in this week’s News & Notes about old diseases, especially Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), because I am concerned about a “new” disease, African Swine Fever (ASF).  I mentioned some of these concerns in the Viewpoint a few weeks ago.  After writing about this, whenever I met industry colleagues, I would ask them what they thought the likelihood of the disease arriving in the US was.  Each person said, “100%”.  Maybe it is here already – just not in pigs.

The last outbreak of FMD according to APHIS was in 1929.  For 90 years, we have managed to prevent the virus from entering the US and causing what would be expected to be widespread debilitation of cattle and swine herds.  I was responsible for the UK back in 2001 when FMD hit the country and while 2,000 animals died, 4 million were culled, according to the UK government.  But there are reports from the Meat and Livestock Commission in the UK that the total animals killed in the UK due to FMD were closer to 19 million.  I recall the devastation it caused the industry and the people that raised the animals and hope it never arrives here.

Rabobank estimates that China’s pig population last year was 360 million and that this year half of those would be culled for ASF, or about 200 million.  It will take years to restock and when they do, it will look very different.  It’s hard to get good numbers out of China, but these are at least big numbers.

Back to this week’s news: the USDA is awarding KSU grants for studying PRRS and SIAV and we are still dealing with old poultry viral diseases.  No ASF vaccine news this week.  Earlier this and late last year, however, the USDA has awarded exclusive ASF vaccine technology patent licenses to two companies (Zoetis and Huvepharma).  Shouldn’t we be hearing more frequently about ASF vaccine development?  Aren’t some of the new vaccine technologies suitable for the ASF virus?

Improved and strong biosecurity will help stop the spread of the ASF disease in the US.  We’ve kept FMD out for a long time.  I’d like to spread the news about new, effective ASF vaccines…and soon.

Bob Jones


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