Vigilance and vaccination remains the key to keeping British livestock free from Bluetongue. This is the message from the national JAB campaign group reminding farmers to protect their animals against disease in 2010. JAB is issuing a reminder to farmers and livestock keepers to vaccinate their animals against the disease, which is still causing major problems across Europe and as a result farmers in England and Wales still face a very real threat of potential incursions. A second year free from Bluetongue outbreaks is needed to see the UK declared disease-free and farmers are being urged to keep up their guard and continue with vaccination as part of their regular flock or herd plan.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has warned against a kneejerk reaction to today's report on tackling bovine tuberculosis (TB), which concludes that badger culling is unlikely to be a cost-effective way of helping control cattle TB in Britain. The report "The duration of the effects of repeated widespread badger culling on cattle TB following the cessation of culling" analyses data from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) undertaken between 1998 and 2005 by Defra. It found that incidence of bovine TB in cattle reduced during culling but that the reductions subsequently declined after its cessation. Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, said: "This paper clearly demonstrates that badger culling did have an impact on the incidence of bovine TB in cattle, which is a very positive outcome.
Dog and cat owners buying weight-control diets for their overweight pets are faced with a confusing two-fold variation in calorie density, recommended intake, and wide range cost of low-calorie pet foods, according to a study by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. The study, published this month in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, examined nearly 100 commercially available diets with weight management claims. Among their findings is that dry dog foods range in calorie density from 217 to 440 kilocalories per cup (kcal/cup) and a recommended intake that ranged from 0.73 to 1.47 times the dog's resting energy requirement.
In response to a statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is reaffirming its call for a strong, national animal disease traceability program to help maintain and improve the health of U.S. livestock. Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is creating a new strategy for animal disease traceability. This comes in reaction to a public comment period in which the program in place was heavily criticized for being too stringent. "The USDA is planning to create a new, national animal disease traceability system that is administered by the states and tribal nations.
Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, announced that Econiche(TM), the world's first vaccine developed to reduce the shedding by cattle of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157, has been cited in the February, 2010 issue of Scientific American (Vol. 302, # 2). The article, "The Art of Bacterial Warfare", was written by Dr. Brett Finlay, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories, the biochemistry and molecular biology department, and the microbiology and immunology department at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Finlay's research led to the development of Econiche.
The fatal brain disease Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in cattle and scrapie in sheep are so-called prion diseases, whereby one of the body's normal proteins, the prion protein PrPc misfolds into a pathogenic form: PrPSc. In spite of several years of extensive research, little is still known about what actually happens in this process. In spite of the fact that PrP is one of most intensely studied proteins in the human genome, its physiological function is still unknown. The pathogenic variant PrPSc arises as a result of changes in the structural folding of PrPc. We need to know more about how PrPc is expressed and treated in cells in order to understand how the misfolding of PrPc occurs and why cells die as a result.