Click on text below to see the vid

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain
Like Other Countries Do

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

World meat market to grow by 40%

//21 Apr 2010

Population growth and income growth will drive the world meat market to almost 40% growth in the next 10-20 years, concluded Dirk Jan Kennes of Rabobank at the opening ceremony of VIV Europe in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This is good news for the poultry sector!
Overall growth is to be expected since more and more people pass the income threshold of $2 per day, which is the income threshold for changing the vegetarian diet to include meat. The biggest growth is to be expected in poultry meat, the pork share stabilises and beef will decrease in daily meals.

Asian growth potential

Of the estimated 40% global growth in meat production around 70% will be in Asia, however, Asia is the least able to increase its feedstuff production.

The Asian demand growth is driven by supply from the Americas. With everything else equal some 140 mln ha of extra land are needed to supply feeds for the animals to achieve the predicted growth.

Rabobank estimated that around 180 mln ha are still available for developing into farmland, most of the area to be found in the cerrados (savannas) of Brazil.

Quality pitch is expensive

Meat consumption in developed markets will focus more on quality, which eventually will increase the cost price, due to welfare obligations. In those markets regulations have to be established to avoid imports from low cost countries. Also with globalisation of meat production companies need to invest in areas to meet quality measures.

It is expected that global animal protein markets will become more heterogeneous towards 2020. In these markets feedstuffs will become a comparative advantage. If you grow feedstuffs you will attract animal production, which implies that animal production regions might shift to other areas or countries.





http://www.worldpoultry.net/news/world-meat-market-to-grow-by-4025-7362.html

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Food Animal Cruelty - An American Disgrace

Here you will see some "not so happy" cows at a "Downer" Farm;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NqRSmq7TVk

After watching this vid, one is left to wonder, who could abide such cruelty "under their nose?" ...the ans is a sad commentary on the human race: lots of us

California "Happy Cows" Sick, Down, Diseased,
pushed and dragged to slaughter to go into childrens school lunch program;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhlhSQ5z4V4

Here is a vid showing the cruelty of livestock auctions;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa67zjSkQk0&feature=related
The saddest part in this one for me at least, is the part about mid-way through that shows a calf only a few days old, trying to walk on an obviously broken leg. He tries so hard to get the leg to work but it is not going to, he is trying so hard but the leg is fully broke just above the ankle and dragging, and wont bear even his little weight. The owner of this calf and the auction house owner should be cited for animal cruelty. I do not think they are supposed to suffer the animals to suffer so...

Sick Lame Cow to Auction;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzcISH4h200
This cow exhibits all of the typical symptoms caused by the growth hormones they are injected with with to increase milk production. They inject poulty also with these growth hormones, and the chicks grow so big and so fast that their little legs cant hold them.

More Livestock Auction Cruelty;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kok4ADtRM8g

Blind Cow to Slaughter;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQW8MEqsdzI
Law says you cant slaughter a blind horse. Dont the same hold true for cows? For any animal?

The Dark Side of Dairy;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr-EyIaXAD4

Farm Animal Cruelty Prevention Act;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTuV-ESg6gA


Just say "NO" to Animal Cruelty - and Go Vegan!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Sick Pigs / China

FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE, PORCINE - CHINA: SUSPECTED, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
***********************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


[1]
Date: Sat 10 Apr 2010
Source: Economic Observer [Chinese, trans. Rapp.DS, edited]



During the Chinese New Year, there was a sudden outbreak of swine 5th
disease, causing pigs to die. Some industry experts forecast that the
current outbreak will continue.

[Byline: Sun Jianfang, Jiang Yunzhang]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Dan Silver

******
[2]
Date: Wed 10 Mar 2010
Source: Orient Securities [Chinese, trans. and abridged Rapp.DS, edited]



This outbreak is primarily 5th disease (Class 1 Disease, actually
FMD) [The said comment in brackets appears in the original Chinese
text. - Mod.AS]. The disease does not have high mortality among large
and mid-size hogs but can cause deaths among piglets. Owing to [the
lack of] information released nationally, we still do not know the
exact extent of the outbreak. But from what we understand, the
outbreak covers a relatively large area, including Sichuan, Henan and
other large swine producing provinces, and is not limited to backyard
farms. Since mortality from this disease is not high, a large number
of hogs are sent for slaughter, and the short-term expansion of
supply puts downward pressure on hog prices (information from the
Ministry of Commerce price forecasting and alert system shows that
the total number of hogs sent for slaughter among 1000 pig producers
in January 2010 was 14.56 percent higher than December 2009. Looking
regionally, in the key production areas of Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang
and Henan, the volume of hogs sent for slaughter increased 42.47,
32.45, 22.74, and 17.51 percent, respectively).

Also, the price of piglets fell to 15.83 yuan [USD 2.32]/kg; stocks
are remaining lower among most breeders due to their worry over
potential outbreaks and losses.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Dan Silver

[We are grateful to Dan Silver for his efforts in screening the local
agro-business Chinese press and translating the above items. More
information on the spread of the so-called "5th disease" among pigs,
apparently said to be FMD (probably of the serotype O, which
reportedly affected porcine and bovine) is anticipated, as well as
about the disease situation in small ruminants (sheep and goats).

Could somebody explain the background to the "5th" terminology?

According to China's reports to the OIE, FMDV serotype O has been
reported, during 2010, from the provinces Guandong, Gansu, Shanxi and
Jiancxi (summary and map at
).

Information is requested on the 2010 situation in other territories,
such as the ones mentioned in the above newswires, namely "Sichuan,
Henan and other large swine producing provinces." - Mod.AS]

[see also:
Foot & mouth disease, porcine, bovine - China: (JX) serotype O, OIE
20100409.1148
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (04): (SX), serotype O 20100403.1072
Foot & mouth disease, porcine - China: (GS), serotype O 20100330.0997
Undiagnosed disease, porcine - China: RFI 20100322.0912
Foot & mouth disease, swine - China: (GD), OIE 20100302.0693
Foot & mouth disease - China: susp. RFI 20100318.0866
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (03): (XJ), serotype A, RFI 20100208.0425
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (02): (BJ) OIE 20100123.0255
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China: (XJ) OIE, serotype A, RFI 20100115.0187
2009
----
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (06): (XJ), OIE 20091128.4080
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (05): (SD) serotype A 20090609.2129
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (04): (SC) serotype Asia 1 20090403.1283
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (03): (HB, SH) serotype A 20090223.0757]
.......................................................arn/msp/mpp

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More Sick Pigs / Peru

UNDIAGNOSED DISEASE, SWINE - PERU
***********************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: 9 Apr 2010
Source: La Industria, Peru [trans. Mod.MPP, edited]



Approximately 100 pigs were infected with a rare disease, one that
presented with patches of bluish-black coloration, allegedly because
of problems with blood circulation, from which many of these poor
animals have died.

The presence of this disease in pigs in the provinces of Chepen and
Pacasmayo was announced by the veterinary surgeons of this city, Luis
Enrique Farro Roque, and Samuel Tapia De la Cruz.

They did not state any disease in connection with this case, but the
presumption is "pig cholera" or "swine erysipelas," according to the
clinical picture observed.

On Thursday morning [8 Apr 2010], residents of the streets Arequipa
and Guadalupe Streets in lower Chepen city were surprised to see a
pig lying in the vicinity of these streets. It was alive but in bad
health condition, with spots on the ears, abdomen, and testicles.

One of those present claimed to have taken the animal from the ditch
that crosses the city at the height of the aforementioned streets. It
is assumed that a pig farmer [put it in an] irrigation canal [to show
the delicate state these animals were in].

"What we're seeing with a bit of concern is the high incidence of
pigs with presumed of hog cholera or swine erysipelas. Every day, I
have cases of people with their pigs with motor problems, cyanosis
(bluish, blackish) ears, abdominal cavity, and the death of these
animals after 5 to 10 days," Farro Roque told reporters.

Noting that several pigs have presumably died from this disease,
Farro recalled that on 18 Mar 2010 there was a similar case reported
to the National Agrarian Health Service (SENASA), from which
specimens of kidney and spleen were taken, but results of that
examination to date are not known.

Six days later, on 24 Mar 2010, Farro Rolue said that a pig with
similar characteristics was detected in the municipal slaughterhouse
pen, which the representative of Senasa-Chepen was informed of, and
who was present for the collection of the respective samples for
laboratory analysis. He argued that reporting these events is their
obligation. "Suddenly [things] have gone wrong because I have not
been informed of the outcome."

Farro Roque pointed out that a veterinarian of Chepen Provincial
Municipality currently on holiday, upon being informed of what
happened yesterday [8 Apr 2010], said he had to insure that the
infected pigs are not taken to another destination, presumably for
marketing purposes. With regard to yesterday [8 Apr 2010], he said
the pig was alive but that the clinical picture presented was
presumably hog cholera or erysipelas, which, like the previous cases,
he was required to report to SENASA. Farro Roque estimated he knew of
about 30 cases.

According to the veterinarian Samuel Tapia de la Cruz, there have
been more than 100 pigs with this disease. "We are awaiting
laboratory tests to determine 100 percent if it is hog cholera," he said.

For his part, the representative of Senasa-Chepen, Hector Chico
Albitres, who arrived at the scene, chose to remain silent saying he
was awaiting results after having sent the specimens from the animal
to the laboratory in Lima. The animal found yesterday [8 Apr 2010]
was cremated, but specimens were taken beforehand.

--
Communicated by:
HealthMaps via
ProMED-mail

[Currently, Peru is listed as being free of African swine fever.
However, classical swine fever and African swine fever cannot be
differentiated except by laboratory analysis.

Erysipelas is an infectious disease caused by _Erysipelothrix
rhusiopathiae_ seen mainly in growing pigs and characterized
clinically by sudden death, fever, arthritis, and skin lesions. The
disease may be acute, subacute, or chronic. Although acute septicemic
swine erysipelas can result in a high mortality rate, the greatest
economic loss probably occurs from the chronic, nonfatal forms of the disease.

The acute, subacute, and chronic forms of swine erysipelas may occur
in sequence or separately. Pigs with the acute septicemic form may
die suddenly without previous signs. This occurs most frequently in
finishing pigs (100-200 lb [45-90 kg]). Acutely infected pigs are
febrile (104-108 F [40-42 C]), walk stiffly on their toes, lie on
their sternums separately rather than piling in groups, and are
reluctant to move. They squeal plaintively when handled and may shift
weight from foot to foot when standing. Anorexia and thirst are
common. Skin discoloration may vary from widespread erythema and
purplish discoloration of the ears, snout, and abdomen, to
diamond-shaped skin lesions almost anywhere on the body, but
particularly the lateral and dorsal parts. The lesions may occur as
pink or light-purple areas of varying size that become raised and
firm to the touch within 2-3 days of illness. They may disappear or
progress to a more chronic type of lesion such as diamond-skin
disease. If untreated, necrosis and separation of large areas of skin
can occur, but more commonly, the tips of the ears and tail may
become necrotic and slough.

Clinical disease is usually sporadic, and affects individuals or
small groups, but sometimes larger outbreaks occur. Mortality is
0-100 percent, and death may occur up to 6 days after the 1st signs
of illness. Acutely affected pregnant sows may abort, probably due to
the fever, and suckling sows may show agalactia. Untreated pigs may
develop the chronic form, usually characterized by chronic arthritis,
vegetative valvular endocarditis, or both; such lesions may also be
seen in pigs with no previous signs of septicemia. Valvular
endocarditis is most common in mature or young adult pigs and is
frequently manifest by death, usually from embolism or cardiac
insufficiency. Chronic arthritis, the most common form of chronic
infection, produces mild to severe lameness; the affected joints may
be difficult to detect but tend to become hot and painful to touch
and later visibly enlarged and firm, resulting in lameness. Dark
purple, necrotic skin lesions that commonly slough may be seen.
Mortality in chronic cases is low, but growth rate is retarded.

Acute erysipelas is difficult to diagnose in individual pigs showing
only fever, poor appetite, and listlessness; however, in outbreaks
involving several animals, the presence of skin lesions and lameness
is likely to be seen in at least some cases and would support a
clinical diagnosis. Erysipelas responds extremely well to penicillin;
a marked improvement within 24 hr also supports the diagnosis. The
typical diamond-shaped skin lesions are diagnostic. Arthritis and
endocarditis are difficult to diagnose in live animals because other
agents can cause similar syndromes (extracted from:
).

Classical swine fever (CSF) is a highly contagious and economically
significant viral disease of pigs. The severity of this disease
varies with the strain of the virus, the age of the pig, and the
immune status of the herd. Acute infections, which are caused by
highly virulent isolates and have a high mortality rate, are likely
to be diagnosed rapidly. However, infections with less virulent
isolates can be more difficult to recognize, particularly in older
pigs. These infections may be relatively mild, and can resemble
septicemias caused by other agents, as well as other diseases. In
some herds, the only sign may be poor reproductive performance or the
failure of some pigs to thrive. The wide range of clinical signs and
similarity to other diseases can make classical swine fever
challenging to diagnose.

Classical swine fever (hog cholera) results from infection by
classical swine fever virus (CSFV), a member of the genus
_Pestivirus_ and family Flaviviridae. Only one CSFV serotype has been
found, but minor antigenic variability has been demonstrated between
viral strains. This virus is closely related to the ruminant
pestiviruses that cause bovine virus diarrhea and border disease.
Other pestiviruses have also been described recently.

The signs of classical swine fever vary with the strain of virus, and
the age and susceptibility of the pigs. More virulent strains cause
acute disease; less virulent strains can result in a high percentage
of chronic, mild or asymptomatic infections. Although highly virulent
strains were once more prevalent, most epizootics are now caused by
moderately virulent strains. Older animals are less likely to show
severe symptoms than younger pigs. Some breed-specific differences
have also been reported.

Acute swine fever is the most severe form of the disease. In this
form, common signs include a high fever, huddling, weakness,
drowsiness, anorexia, conjunctivitis, and constipation followed by
diarrhea. Pigs may be uncoordinated or exhibit an unsteady, weaving
or staggering gait, which progresses to posterior paresis. Some pigs
may vomit yellow, bile-containing fluid, or develop respiratory
signs. The abdomen, inner thighs, ears and tail may develop a purple
cyanotic discoloration. Hemorrhages can also occur in the skin.
Severe leukopenia usually occurs soon after disease onset, and
convulsions may be seen in the terminal stages. Pigs with acute
classical swine fever often die within 1-3 weeks.

Subacute disease can be caused moderately virulent strains of CSFV.
It may also occur in older pigs. The subacute form is similar to
acute classical swine fever; however, the signs are less severe, and
the fever may persist for 2 to 3 weeks. Some pigs with subacute
classical swine fever may survive; others die within a month.

Chronic disease tends to be seen with less virulent strains or in
partially immune herds. In the initial stages, chronic disease can
resemble acute or subacute disease, with anorexia, depression,
elevated temperatures, leukopenia, and periods of constipation or
diarrhea. Affected pigs usually improve after several weeks; however,
after a period where they appear relatively normal, they develop
recurrent signs that may include intermittent fever, anorexia,
periods of constipation or diarrhea, wasting or stunted growth,
alopecia and skin lesions. Immunosuppression may lead to concurrent
infections. The signs of chronic infections can wax and wane for
weeks to months, and may affect only a few animals in the herd.
Affected pigs may survive for one to three months, but chronic
infections are always fatal (extracted from:
).

As one can tell from these disease-specific sections, it would be
difficult clinically to tell the difference between classical swine
fever and erysipelas. The article does not provide enough clinical
signs to make a reasonable attempt at a diagnosis.

Erysipelas is not a notifiable/reportable disease in Peru, however
classical swine fever is. Classical swine fever has been diagnosed in
Peru within the last several years. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
2009
----
Classical swine fever - Peru: (LB) 20090514.1799]
.............................................mpp/tg/msp/mpp

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using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
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or archived material.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS, BOVINE - USA (03): (NEBRASKA

*************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: 8 Apr 2010
Source: CNBC News



New case of bovine TB found in northeast Nebraska
-------------------------------------------------
A new case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been found in northeast
Nebraska, and officials said Wednesday [7 Apr 2010] that at least 7
cattle herds have been quarantined because of it. Nebraska
Agriculture Director Greg Ibach said the new case was uncovered in
Cedar County as investigators looked into a separate case in South
Dakota's Yankton County, where the illness was detected in a herd in January.

Meanwhile, no new cases of the disease were found by investigators
wrapping up a separate case that began last summer in Rock County.

All the herds that have had contact with the Cedar County herd will
be quarantined and tested for the disease, Ibach said. He expected
the quarantine to affect 8 to 12 herds. "I don't believe this new
case is indicative of a TB problem in our state," Ibach said.

Bovine tuberculosis causes severe coughing, fatigue, emaciation and
debilitation in cattle and results in reduced milk and meat
production. Spread by nose-to-nose contact and the inhalation of
bacterium [_Mycobacterium bovis_] usually progresses slowly.

Although rare, humans can catch the disease from contact with
infected cattle. Experts agree that as long as meat is properly
cooked and milk is pasteurized, there is little danger of bovine
tuberculosis spreading through food. [Any carcass with a suspicious
lesion is not allowed into the human food chain in the US. USDA (U.S.
Department of Agriculture) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is
charged with inspecting meat for just such suspicious lesions. - Mod.TG]

The disease is considered untreatable in cattle. In the past, both
infected and uninfected animals were generally slaughtered when
bovine tuberculosis was found in a herd. But the practice is changing
because the USDA is developing new rules to manage the disease that
focus more on containing the illness instead of eradicating it. [The
disease is contagious but it is slow and insidious. - Mod.TG]

Ibach said a separate state investigation into 2 cases found in a
Rock County herd in June [2009] has concluded. Nebraska officials
tested nearly 22 000 cattle, and a total 61 herds in 20 counties were
quarantined at some point during the investigation. But no additional
cases of the illness were found.

The testing, which began last year [2009], has cost the state about
USD 800 000 so far, even though federal officials pay for the testing
supplies and test processing, Ibach said.

"It's a very costly procedure," Ibach said.

Currently, only 3 herds remain quarantined as part of the Rock County
investigation, and those quarantines will be lifted once those cattle
head to slaughter. The original herd where the disease was found last
year has been released from quarantine.

Ibach said he expects the Cedar County investigation to be smaller
than the Rock County one because the herd with the infected cow had
less fence-line contact with other herds.

--
Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail


[Bovine tuberculosis is caused by _Mycobacterium bovis_. While there
are other _Mycobacterium_ spp, _M. bovis_ and _M. tuberculosis_ are
among the most important, as these tend to move between animals and people.

Disease caused by mycobacteria often develop very slowly and may take
months to years to develop. These bacteria grow very slowly and only
replicate every 12-20 hours. While the pathogenic species (those
which can cause disease) such as _M. tuberculosis_ and _M. bovis_ can
infect a human or an animal, often the individual does not know that
he has been infected. In humans, those infected but without active
disease can be treated to prevent disease from occurring. To prevent
other animals from being infected, a diseased animal must be culled
from the herd.

The disease primarily affects the respiratory tract but can also
spread to other parts of the body. The primary route of transmission
is the exchange of respiratory secretions between infected and
uninfected animals. This can be achieved through nose-to-nose contact
or by the inhalation of aerosol droplets that have been exhaled by an
infected animal. Animals may also become infected with _M. bovis_ by
ingesting the bacteria. This could occur by ingesting feeds that have
been contaminated with _M. bovis_ by other infected animals.
Carnivores may become infected with bovine TB by eating infected carcasses.

Various factors affect the efficiency in which _M. bovis_ is spread
within a cattle herd. The number of infected animals shedding the
organism, as well as the number of susceptible animals present within
a herd can have an impact on the transmission of the bacteria. For
example, the more animals within a herd that are shedding _M. bovis_,
the greater the chance of an uninfected animal coming into contact
with an infected animal. The animal density of a herd also influences
the efficiency of _M. bovis_ transmission. Transmission of _M. bovis_
among animals housed in confinement facilities may be greater because
of close contact. Cattle infected with bovine TB may shed bacteria in
their feces, urine and milk, but these are felt to be a minor source
of bacterial transmission.

Environmental contamination with _M. bovis_ may play a role in the
spread of bovine TB. Survival of _M. bovis_ in the environment is
primarily affected by exposure to sunlight. Reports on the length of
survival of _M. bovis_ vary from 18-332 days at temperatures ranging
from 54-75 F. Under laboratory conditions, _M. bovis_ has been
isolated for up to 8 weeks from various feeds kept at 75 F and 14
weeks from various feeds kept at 32 F. However, under field
conditions, it is difficult to isolate _M. bovis_ from pastures
grazed by animals known to be infected with bovine TB.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from:

- Mod.TG]

[see also:
Bovine tuberculosis, bovine - USA (02): (MI) 20100325.0948
Bovine tuberculosis, bovine - USA: (SD) 20100107.0065
2005
----
Tuberculosis, bovine, human ex cervid - USA (MI) 20050112.0102
2003
----
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (MI) (02) 20030606.1392
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (MI) 20030217.0415
2002
----
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (MI) 20021208.6016
2001
----
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (Michigan) 20001001.1695
2000
----
Tuberculosis, bovine, deer - USA (Michigan) 20000426.0630
1999
----
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (Michigan) (02) 19990522.0840
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (Michigan) (02) 19990519.0822
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (Michigan) 19990517.0803
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (Michigan) 19990110.0033
Tuberculosis, bovine - USA (Michigan) 19980923.1899]
....................tg/ejp/mpp

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************************************************************
ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
************************************************************
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Friday, April 9, 2010

Meet the New "Super-Cow"










Click on title above to see a new way man is messing with nature and calling the outcome "natural"

New Edible film kills pathogens for meat packaging

Click on title above to read more about the new chemicals they want us to eat. They already "wash" our meat in chlorine on the production lines!

http://www.worldpoultry.net/news/edible-film-kills-pathogens-for-meat-packaging-7314.html

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SaveDaHorses.Org

Sav-a-Horse, Support a Rescue
Check Out Sav-da-Horses C-10 Program;
SaveDaHorses.Org

EQUINE HERPESVIRUS: RESOURCES

*****************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: Mon 5 Apr 2010
From: David Dargatz [edited]


We would like to point out the availability of some resource
materials on equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM) that may be of
interest/use to ProMED-mail readers.

EHM report (Click on title above to access this report)


Hard copies of either the report and a brochure can be requested
from Abigail Fienhold at .

--
David A Dargatz DVM PhD
Epidemiologist
USDA:APHIS:VS
Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117



[We appreciate having official reports and brochures for our use. To
all of our ProMED-mail readers, please take a look at the sites
provided. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
Equine herpesvirus - USA (02): (NJ) susp. 20100403.1071
Equine herpesvirus - USA: (LA) 20100101.0016
2009
----
Equine herpesvirus, equine - USA: (SC) susp. 20091212.4227
Equine herpesvirus - USA (03): (FL) 20091203.4126
Equine herpesvirus - USA (02): (PA) 20090729.2663
Equine herpesvirus - USA: (OK) 20090206.0546
2008
----
Equine herpesvirus - USA (04): (KY) 20081120.3669
Equine herpesvirus - USA (03): (MD) 20081115.3614
Equine herpesvirus - USA (02): (KY) 20080410.1320
Equine herpesvirus - Canada (SK) (02) 20080406.1254
Equine herpesvirus - Canada (SK) 20080324.1111
Equine herpesvirus - USA: (MD) susp. 20080124.030]
...................................tg/mj/mpp

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

LEPTOSPIROSIS, FATAL - ARGENTINA (02): (ENTRE RIOS)

***************************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: Sat 3 Apr 2010
Source: El Diario [in Spanish, trans. Mod.JG, edited]



Since last December [2009], a plan for surveillance of febrile illness
has been implemented in the Argentine province of Entre Rios. In
addition to leptospirosis, the plan also includes looking for cases of
dengue and hantavirus infections. A meeting was scheduled in Padre
Kolbe community [a neighborhood in Parana, the capital of the
Argentine province of Entre Rios], where its inhabitants are quite
concerned after learning of a fatal case that occurred one week ago.

The number of cases of leptospirosis reported in Entre Rios province
now has reached 48 persons, according to the official figures of the
Health Secretariat in the aforementioned province. However, this
number may represent only one quarter of the total number of suspected
cases recorded until now, which account for 200 persons, according to
Ms. Fabiana Leiva, Subsecretary for Health Prevention and Promotion
from the Health Secretariat. These case reports coincide with floods
that affect both (river) margins in Entre Rios province.

The 1st leptospirosis fatality is a young man who worked picking up
garbage and lived in a house located in Vicente Quesada street, in
Padre Kolbe community, in Parana [Parana is the capital city of the
province of Entre Rios, located on the eastern shore of the Parana
River, opposite the city of Santa Fe, capital of the neighboring Santa
Fe Province, where leptospirosis has previously been reported. See
below].

"We are quite concerned because last Tuesday [23 Mar 2010], a young
man died because of leptospirosis, and there are so many rats all over
the neighborhood", said Ms. Marisol Tabares, a person living in Padre
Kolbe community. "Officers from the Municipality placed poison in
holes in streets and parks, and they became quite surprised when they
found so many holes inhabited by rodents all over the place", she
pointed out.

The transmission for humans is by contact with the urine of infected
rodents, dogs, and pigs, [or by contact with contaminated water or
mud]. The potential for transmission becomes higher after floods,
where there is plenty of still water and mud. These features, together
with high temperatures, generate adequate conditions for acquiring the
infection. Bacteria enter the body through skin wounds, mucous
membranes, or even through intact skin in people walking or working
with no protection in flooded areas.

Because of the similarity of symptoms of leptospirosis and other
conditions, such as hantavirus infection and dengue fever, physicians
report every febrile illness case as suspected for the aforementioned
infections. For this reason, the Health Secretariat is currently using
a double test for confirming the diagnoses of these infectious
diseases, according to an official report. A 1st test is performed in
the Provincial Epidemiology Laboratory, which has high reliability,
and a 2nd test is performed in Emilio Coni Institute in Santa Fe.

Although according to the Subsecretary for Health Prevention and
Promotion from the Health Secretariat it was not possible to perform
any test on the deceased patient one week ago, considering the
symptoms he developed and the conditions he lived in, a diagnosis of
leptospirosis was given.

[Byline: Ricardo Leguizamon]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail


[Leptospirosis is a spirochetal infection that is distributed widely
throughout the world in warm climates. It is caused by exposure to
_Leptospira_ bacteria, in fresh (not salty) water, wet soil, or
vegetation that has been contaminated by the urine of chronically
infected animals. Leptospirosis affects humans and a variety of
animals including dogs, cattle, pigs, and rodents. Outbreaks
frequently follow heavy rainfalls, flooding with fresh water and
rodent infestation.

Leptospirosis is an occupational hazard for people who work outdoors
or with animals, for example, workers in wet agricultural settings
(such as rice field workers), ranchers, slaughterhouse workers,
trappers, loggers, sewer workers, veterinarians, fishery workers,
dairy farmers, or military personnel. Also leptospirosis is a risk
during recreational activities, such as camping, fresh water swimming,
canoeing, kayaking, rafting, golfing, and trail biking, that involve
exposure to water in lakes, rivers, or ponds contaminated by urine
from leptospire-infected animals, as well as household exposure to
infected pet animals or rodents

and in rural and urban settings

.

Leptospirosis has been reported recently in the neighboring city of
Santa Fe, capital of the Argentine Santa Fe province, associated with
flooding after heavy rains (see ProMED-mail Leptospirosis, fatal -
Argentina: (SF) RFI 20100302.0683). Historically, intense rainfall and
the rise of the Parana River periodically produce severe flooding,
affecting the cities of Santa Fe and Parana
.

The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Argentina can be found at
. - Mod.ML]

[This is not an outbreak (it's endemic). The same thing happened some
years ago in Peru with respect to Bartonellosis. It was not an
outbreak, there were less cases than the previous year. The point was
that since one person (connected with the media) died, then the whole
thing became a mess. - Mod. JG]

[see also:
Leptospirosis, fatal - Argentina: (SF) RFI 20100302.0683
Leptospirosis, farm workers, travelers - Australia (02): background
20100220.0581
Leptospirosis, farm workers, travelers - Australia: (QL) alert 20100219.0571
Leptospirosis, fatal - Ireland (02): background 20100106.0055
Leptospirosis, fatal - Ireland 20100105.0041
2009
----
Leptospirosis - Philippines (05) 20091026.3704
Leptospirosis - India (02) 20090404.1296
Leptospirosis - Fiji (03) 20090225.0772
2008
----
Leptospirosis, fatal - UK (02) 20081010.3210
2007
----
Leptospirosis - Jamaica (02) 20071018.3409
Leptospirosis - Ukraine (Lvov, Kiev, Kherson) 20071018.3401
Leptospirosis - Argentina (Santa Fe) 20070429.1395
2006
----
Leptospirosis, fishermen - UK ex France (Picardie) 20061029.3101
2005
----
Leptospirosis - Ukraine (Chernovtsy) 20051111.3294
Leptospirosis - Russia (Chechnya) 20050830.2562
Leptospirosis, military personnel - Australia (QLD): not 20050329.0910
2004
----
Leptospirosis, fatal - Argentina (Entre Rios) (03) 20040810.2204
Leptospirosis, fatal - Argentina (Entre Rios) (02) 20040807.2166
Leptospirosis, fatal - Argentina (Entre Rios) 20040805.2141]
......................................................ml/msp/jw
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Horses, Cattle Die in Wisconsin Botulism Outbreak

BOTULISM, EQUINE, BOVINE - USA (WISCONSIN)
******************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: 2 Apr 2010
Source: WQOW.com [edited]



Botulism is recognized by many as an illness that comes from eating
contaminated food. For horses, botulism can be deadly. The silent
killer has left a Rusk County family reeling.

Last month [March 2010] the field in front of Bob and Bonnie
Rosollowski's house was full of galloping horses. Now, just 3 remain.
"The 1st one we lost was my old mare; she was 33; we had her for 31
years," said Bonnie tearfully. In a matter of weeks, Bob and Bonnie
lost 5 horses. They were up around the clock, fighting to save the
animals they loved so much. "Sometimes almost all night long," added
Bob, "trying to figure out what was going on, what we could do for
them. Nobody around here had any experience with it."

After area farmers began reporting similar problems with cattle, a
veterinarian was able to identify the illness as botulism. The toxins
in botulism are found in soil and in decaying plant or animal matter.
Bonnie suspects the snow melt and warmer weather may have created the
perfect environment for the spores to grow onto the hay that's fed to
the horses. "The toxin is always there," said Bonnie. "It just takes
the right set of circumstances to activate the spores."

The disease works quickly, attacking the nervous system. Eventually
the animal loses muscle control, and suffocates. "Even though they are
paralyzed, and they cannot motivate their muscles themselves, they
feel everything," continued Bonnie. "They feel all the pain."

An anti-toxin exists, but is not widely available and is very
expensive. The Rosollowski's were able to get the medicine in time to
save their remaining 3 horses, but the emotion of losing 5 is still
fresh. Hay from the farm is now being tested to find out whether that
is where the horses contracted botulism. For more information about
the illness, or vaccine, contact your local veterinarian.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail

[The account of the horses and nearby cattle being affected lends
credibility to the thought that the melting snows may have uncovered
the spores or the bacterium.

Botulism is a paralytic disease caused by the neurotoxins of
_Clostridium botulinum_ and in rare cases, _Clostridium butyricum_ and
_Clostridium barati._ These gram-positive spore-forming anaerobes can
be found in soil samples and marine sediments throughout the world.

Differences in antigenicity among the toxins produced by different
strains of botulism-causing organisms allow for separation of the
organisms into 7 distinct types (A-G). Types A, B, and E are the
toxins most often responsible for disease in humans, whereas types C
and D only cause disease in other animals (e.g., nonhuman mammals,
birds, fish). In rare instances, a single strain of organism may
produce 2 toxins.

_C botulinum_ is distributed widely throughout the environment and can
be found in soil, freshwater and saltwater sediments, household dust,
and on the surfaces of many foods. The toxins produced are cytoplasmic
proteins (mass = 150 kDa) released as cells lyse. While the spores
survive 2 hours at 100 C (but die rapidly at 120 C), the exotoxin is
heat labile and becomes inactive after one minute at 85 C or 5 minutes
at 80 C.

Although the mode of entry of toxin may differ between the different
forms of diseases, once the toxin enters the bloodstream, it acts in a
similar manner to produce the clinical signs and symptoms. The toxin
binds to receptors on presynaptic terminals of cholinergic [neuron]
synapses, is internalized into vesicles, and then is translocated to
the cytosol. In the cytosol, the toxin mediates the proteolysis of
components of the calcium-induced exocytosis apparatus (the SNARE
proteins) to interfere with acetylcholine release. Blockade of
neurotransmitter release at the terminal is permanent, and recovery
only occurs when the axon sprouts a new terminal to replace the
toxin-damaged one.

When the testing on the soil/hay/samples is complete, we would
appreciate an authoritative report on the situation.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from:
. - Mod.TG]

[see also:
Botulism, canine - USA: (FL) susp. 20100208.0430
2007
----
Botulism, bovine - Australia (QLD) (02) 20070224.0673
Botulism, bovine - Australia (QLD) 20070221.0642
2006
----
Botulism, bovine - UK (England) 20060925.2743
Botulism, bovine - UK (Scotland) 20060717.1962
Botulism, bovine - Australia (02) 20060629.1797
Botulism, bovine - Australia 20060524.1464]
............................................tg/msp/jw
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE, BOVINE - CHINA (04): (SHANXI) SEROTYPE O

**************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: Sat 3 Apr 2010
Source: xxcb.com.cn, Xinhua News Agency report
[in Chinese, trans. Rappt.DS, edited]



The News Office of China's Ministry of Agriculture announced on 2 Apr
2010 that type O bovine FMD has occurred in Xinzhou City, Shanxi
Province. The outbreak has now been brought under control.

On 25 Mar 2010, the Animal Health Inspection Station of Xinxing Gorge
Highway in Xinjiang's Hami District, intercepted 18 sick cattle from
Xinfu District of Xinzhou City in Shanxi Province. No cattle had died.
On 1 Apr 2010, the National FMD Reference Laboratory confirmed type O
bovine FMD.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Dan Silver

[China submitted the information above to the OIE in its follow-up
report No 3, on 1 Apr 2010, available -- with map -- at
.

The following information, pertaining to the affected population, is
included in the said follow-up report:

"On 25 Mar 2010, 18 cattle, shipped from Xinfu district (Xinzhou city,
Shanxi province), were found to show FMD clinical signs in a routine
inspection carried out by inspectors of Xingxingxia Highway Animal
Health Supervision and Inspection Station, which is located in Hami
prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 98 cattle were destroyed
immediately including the 18 infected cattle and urgent inspections
were conducted by related veterinary departments of Shanxi province
and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region according to the related law and
regulations. No other cases were found."

This is the 4th FMDV-O outbreak reported from China since the start of
this event on 22 Feb 2010, and the 1st one found in cattle; the 3
previous outbreaks involved swine. FMD virus serotype O is generally
known to be a fast-spreading (invasive) virus, affecting multiple
animal species (bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine). Since the infected
animals were, reportedly, in transit and not yet unloaded to contact
local animals, the Chinese authorities attribute this outbreak to the
province of origin, namely Shanxi, and not to the territory where the
consignment was intercepted, namely the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous
Region. If no cases have been detected in Shanxi, the question remains
where and when have the transported animals been infected? The virus
may be more widely spread throughout China, to be discovered and
reported.

Another FMDV serotype (A) has been spreading in China since early
2009, so far, reportedly affecting only bovines. There was also a
single report on serotype Asia 1 in bovines -- see ProMED posts
referenced below.- Mod.AS]

[Xinzhou City can be located on the maps at

and the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[see also:
Foot & mouth disease, porcine - China: (GS), serotype O 20100330.0997
Undiagnosed disease, porcine - China: RFI 20100322.0912
Foot & mouth disease, swine - China: (GD), OIE 20100302.0693
Foot & mouth disease - China: susp. RFI 20100318.0866
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (03): (XJ), serotype A, RFI 20100208.0425
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (02): (BJ) OIE 20100123.0255
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China: (XJ) OIE, serotype A, RFI 20100115.0187
2009
----
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (06): (XJ), OIE 20091128.4080
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (05): (SD) serotype A 20090609.2129
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (04): (SC) serotype Asia 1 20090403.1283
Foot & mouth disease, bovine - China (03): (HB, SH) serotype A 20090223.0757]
........................................arn/mj/jw
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ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
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information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
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Friday, April 2, 2010

New Study Shows Horsemeat a Danger to Eat

April 2, 2010



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contacts:



John Holland

540.268.5693

john@equinewelfarealliance.org



Vicki Tobin

630.961.9292

vicki@equinewelfarealliance.org





Contaminated Horse Meat a Health Risk, According to Study



CHICAGO, (EWA) – A peer reviewed scientific study tracing race horses sent to slaughter for human consumption has found that 100% of the horses in the study group had been administered phenylbutazone, a banned carcinogen that can also fatally damage the bone marrow of humans. The findings appear to validate the European Union’s recent tightening of traceability requirements on horse meat from third countries.



The paper, titled Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and calls into question the reliability of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) testing programs which have consistently failed to detect the substance.



The manuscript(1), which was authored by Drs. Nicholas Dodman(2), Nicolas Blondeau(3) and Ann M. Marini(4), followed eighteen Thoroughbred (TB) race horses that were identified by matching their registered name to their race track drug record over a five year period and were given phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) on race day and were subsequently sent to slaughter for human consumption.



The study also traced records on sixteen TB race horses that were given PBZ on race day and would have also entered the food chain had they not been rescued. The study was limited to race horses because of the availability of drug records, but phenylbutazone is one of the most common drugs used in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries in horses.



Because of the bone marrow toxicity caused by PBZ in humans, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set no safe levels of PBZ and bans its use food producing animals, including horses. While PBZ is but one of the numerous banned substances that are routinely given to US horses, it is one of the most dangerous.



Defenders of horse slaughter have long pointed to USDA testing records which consistently showed no positive results for PBZ. The new study shows that the USDA testing could not have been accurate. Indeed, the study uncovered a pilot test performed by the USDA in 2004 and 2005 that used a different testing technique and found 8.3% of the meat to be contaminated with PBZ. The pilot program had been subsequently discontinued.



The study estimates that sixty seven million pounds of horse meat derived from US horses were sent overseas for human consumption in 2008. If 8.3% of this meat contained phenylbutazone residues, it would translate to over 5 million pounds of contaminated meat.



Opponents of horse slaughter have long warned that US horses are not raised as food animals and mechanisms to ensure the removal of horses treated with banned substances from the food chain are inadequate at best.

---



Equine Welfare Alliance recently issued a discussion paper with their partners, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition on the serious drug issue concerning North American horses. The comprehensive paper covers concerns over the ability to meet compliance with European Commission regulations on food safety.







(1) Article is cited as, Dodman, N., Blondeau, N., Marini, A.M., Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, Food and Chemical Toxicology (2010), doi: 10.1016/j.fct. 2010.02.021

(2) Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA

(3) Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire - I.P.M.C, UMR 6097,

C.N.R.S/Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, 660 route des Lucioles, Sophia Antipolis

06560 Valbonne, FRANCE

(4) Department of Neurology and Program in Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD.













The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 100 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.





www.equinewelfarealliance.org

Thursday, April 1, 2010

TRICHOMONIASIS, BOVINE - USA (NEW MEXICO)

*****************************************
A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases


Date: 29 Mar 2010
Source: Kob.com [edited]



A deadly sexually transmitted disease (STD) affecting cattle has
popped up in New Mexico, prompting the state's livestock board to take
action.

The STD is causing concern for ranchers who depend on their herds to
reproduce.

"The name of the disease is bovine trichomoniasis, which is a
reproductive disease that affects cattle, and it causes abortions in
the cows," said Sandra Barraza, Chaves County's extension officer.

There is no cure for trichomoniasis, commonly known as "trich."

Veterinarian John Wenzel has talked to some ranchers in Roswell and
says the number of cases is growing.

"In the years 2008 and 2009, the number of calves tested at the
veterinary diagnostic lab greatly increased, almost doubled," Wenzel
noted.

Once the disease is in a herd, the results can be economically
devastating, easily wiping out half of expected calves. It's also hard
for ranchers to spot the signs.

"There really is no way to tell; usually, most livestock producers
figure out there's a problem when they have a low live-calf percent,
but by that time, it's too late. They've already lost those calves for
the year," noted Barraza.

The New Mexico Live Stock Board is trying to slow the spread of the
disease and handed down new requirements last month [February 2010],
including testing bulls for the STD.

Animals that test positive for the STD are usually slaughtered, but
officials say the meat poses no risk to anyone.

[Byline: Taryn Bianchin]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail

[Bovine trichomoniasis is a reproductive disease of cattle which can
have significant economic impact to cow-calf operations and other
cattle enterprises. Venereal transmission of the causative organism,
_Tritrichomonas foetus_, can cause one of the most commonly recognized
diseases leading to decreased reproductive efficiency in cattle. An
infected cow becomes subject to early embryonic death, abortion,
pyometra and transient infertility. In some regions of North America,
South America and Australia where open range beef operations are
common, as many as 50 percent of the herds can be infected. Although
the organism has been known to cause reproductive problems for over
100 years, there has been an increased awareness of the disease in the
past few years because of the economic impact, required testing in
some areas, and more frequent diagnosis.

_Tritrichomonas foetus_ is a flagellated protozoan which inhabits the
reproductive tract including the prepuce and distal penis in bulls and
the vagina and uterus in cows. It is a motile organism approximately
twice the size of a white blood cell. Protozoa are single celled
organisms which are structurally more complex than bacteria but with
many similar biologic characteristics including multiplication by
binary fission.

Transmission of _T. foetus_ is from infected bull to susceptible cow
or from infected cow to susceptible bull during breeding. Infection
presumably occurs by rubbing off organisms from the preputial
membrane. Unlike many other protozoan organisms, _T. foetus_ is
incapable of forming cysts and cannot survive outside the host for any
length of time. Thus, direct venereal contact is necessary for
transmission of the infection. Rarely, dirty equipment along with
unsanitary technique for genital examination can be a possible means
of transmission.

Bulls are long-term carriers of the infection. They carry the
infection in the folds of the penis or in the fornix area of the
prepuce. Younger bulls are less likely to become permanent carriers
than are older bulls but may still transmit the organism to
susceptible females. Yearling bulls, even so called "virgin" bulls,
have been found by several investigators and practitioners to be
culture positive on occasion.

Cows are also potential sources of new infections and maintaining the
organism in a herd. Usually, they only harbor the organism for a few
heat cycles after infection or pregnancy loss. Sexual rest of at least
4 months has been prescribed for infected cows. Some cows can carry
the organism through the gestation period and well into the postpartum
period.

Although not likely, transmission is possible by artificial
insemination using frozen semen. The organism does not normally
inhabit the urethra but could be found in the semen if infectious
preputial fluid drained into the artificial vagina at the time of
semen collection. A few trichomonads can survive the dilution
techniques and freezing and thawing along with the sperm. Transmission
with artificial insemination (AI) is not likely with proper technique
and because reputable semen companies regularly test their bulls. In
fact, AI is a recommended method of dealing with an infected herd.

There is no consistent observable sign to help with the diagnosis of
the disease. Unfortunately, there is no good therapeutic agent for
treating bovine trichomoniasis. In the past, ipronidazole was used,
but it was never approved for use in cattle and is no longer
available. Other related compounds do not seem to be as effective as
ipronidazole, and they, likewise, are not approved for use in cattle
and/or are not available. Although the possibility exists for new
therapeutic agents, control of this disease has to be by other means
at the present.

By itself, vaccination will not clear up a trichomoniasis problem.
Currently, one killed whole-cell vaccine is available for use in the
U.S. (Trich Guard or Trich Guard V5-L, Fort Dodge Laboratories). These
products, when used according to label directions, show effectiveness
in the female but none whatsoever in the bull. It is important to
realize that the vaccines will not prevent transmission of _T. foetus_
or infection with the organism but it will limit duration of infection
and result in more pregnancies being carried to term. Vaccine is best
used in situations where bulls cannot be tested or removed, when
desirable management practices cannot be employed, or in other
high-risk situations.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from
and
.
- Mod.TG]
....................................................tg/msp/jw
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information, and of any statements or opinions based
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using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
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Beef producers slam Ottawa over BSE cases, File Class Action

March 31, 2010
By CBC News

Lawyers, seeking compensation for thousands of beef producers across the country, blast the federal government's failure to keep BSE out of Canada at a meeting in central Alberta.
Lawyers, seeking compensation for thousands of beef producers across the country, blasted the federal government's failure to keep BSE out of Canada at a meeting in central Alberta.

About 150 Alberta beef producers gathered in Red Deer Wednesday to get an update on a class-action lawsuit over Ottawa's handling of the BSE crisis.

Canada's first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a fatal disease which affects the brains of animals, was discovered in Alberta in 1993. Lawyer Cameron Pallett pointed out it was a British cow, despite the fact the Canadian government set up a surveillance system to monitor British cattle in the country.

"What kind of monitoring program is that? They kept graphs, they had charts, knew where they were and all this stuff," said Pallett, who is heading up the lawsuit, told the crowd in the Stockmans Pavilion at Red Deer's Westerner Park.

"All they had to do was make sure [infected animals] don't get rendered, turned into calf starter, [and] fed to Canadian calves. How hard is that?"

'Our argument is the risk was there.'-Clint Docken, lawyer
The lawsuit, which began in 2005, alleges negligence by the Canadian government led to BSE spreading in Canada.

After an outbreak of mad cow disease in the United Kingdom in 1987, the Canadian government stopped importing British cattle and set up a program to monitor more than 100 British cows already in Canada.

It wasn't until 1997 that Ottawa banned the use of brains, spinal cords and other animal parts, known as specified risk material, or SRM, in cattle feed.

"Our argument is the risk was there. The government's own internal risk managers advised them of the risk, advised them that if SRM material got into the cattle it would shut the border and it would be an economic disaster," said Clint Docken, one of the lawyers involved in the action.

Devastated beef industry
The discovery of BSE in Canadian cattle led to countries including the United States and Japan shutting its borders to beef imports. The crisis sent prices plummeting, devastating many Canadian beef producers.

Larry Sears, a rancher and one of the litigants, said the crisis was preventable, if the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had done a better job.

"We believe that there were measures and steps that could have been taken that would have prevented taking the SRM material from entering the food chain and infecting the cattle and thereby taking us out of the international marketplace," said Sears.

The allegations contained in the class action lawsuit have yet to be proven in court.

The lawsuit is proceeding in the Supreme Court but it's likely to be years before it reaches a courtroom.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is not commenting on the matter as it's currently before the courts.





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USDA Cites NY Dairy Farm (Again) 4 Antibiotic Drug Abuse of Cows

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