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August 14, 2014

Registration Now Open

Registration Opens for NIAA Antibiotics Symposium

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture will host a symposium Nov. 12–14, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia, titled "Antibiotic resistance: Moving forward through shared stewardship. Registration now is open and can be completed online.

Appropriately, stewardship is the theme for the 2014 NIAA Antibiotics Symposium. More specifically, the symposium will focus on antibiotic use and resistance, and moving forward through shared stewardship. Historically, the NIAA Antibiotics Symposium has brought together academia, government researchers, the scientific community and stakeholders within animal agriculture, human medicine and the environment to share and learn from each other in order to seek resolution about the often misunderstood issues of antimicrobial use and resistance.

This year will be no different. The goal of the symposium is to educate attendees about minimizing resistance and maintaining antimicrobials important for animal and human health. Keynote speakers representing both the animal and human health communities will identify and prioritize key resistance issues at the human and animal interface, present stewardship programs and metrics of success to minimize resistance, and conclude with real–world solution strategies to move forward.

An integral part of the annual NIAA Antibiotics Symposium is discussion via small breakout groups and a large group session. To be a part of this meaningful dialogue, join the NIAA and others Nov. 12–14, 2014, in Atlanta, Ga. The Symposium is open to individuals who want to learn from each other, engage in productive discussion and create successful strategies to preserve antibiotic efficacy. Drovers CattleNetwork, 08/08/14

Life Without Antibiotics

Producers in Denmark and The Netherlands have had a ban on subtherapeutic antibiotic use for a number of years. While the transition was not necessarily smooth, producers and researchers there have learned how manage health and production without antibiotics (except under the direction of a veterinarian). Dr. Theo van Kempen, who is originally from The Netherlands and is an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University, spoke at the 2014 Iowa Swine Day. He shared research and experiences on the development of feeding programs when antibiotic growth promoters are not allowed, and discussed what U.S. producers can learn from Europe's experience, should the same regulations be put in place here.

After the antibiotic ban, van Kempen says initially there was an increase in antibiotics, but then there was a steady decline. He says, "The solution is 'simple' – biosecurity optimization, health, vaccination, production management – "If we have everything in place, we can deal with the issue [of raising pigs without antibiotics]." Basically, Dutch producers had to rebuild the industry from the foundation up, notes van Kempen. "Facilities are five to six times more expensive than those in the United States," he says. By JoAnn Alumbaugh, Pork Network, 08/04/14

Crawford: USDA Rule Keeps Domestic Poultry At Global Disadvantage

Rep. Rick Crawford, R–Jonesboro, on Tuesday said the U.S. Department of Agriculture should have allowed domestic poultry processors to increase line speeds under newly approved inspection rules. The speed change, which was dropped from a final rule approved last week, puts U.S. poultry producers and processors at an economic disadvantage in the global marketplace, he said. "I'm disheartened the department continues to hamstring slaughter output despite years of hard evidence disproving that increased line speeds equates to greater food safety concerns. We cannot expect our producers and processors to compete against foreign markets if we hold them back," said Crawford, who co–chairs the Congressional Chicken Caucus. By Peter Urban, Times Record, 08/06/14

The Veterinarian's Role in Nutritional Consulting

Purdue University veterinarian Mark Hilton believes nutritional consulting with cow–calf clients offers an excellent opportunity for veterinarians to expand their services and enhance their clients' profits. During the recent Academy of Veterinary Consultants conference, he outlined the potential benefits. Watch 5-minute video HERE. By John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian via Drovers CattleNetwork, 08/07/14

A 180 on 'Natural' Labeling

The self–proclaimed protector of buyer's rights, Consumer Reports, has been campaigning all summer to force USDA and the Food and Drug Administration to ban the word "natural" from all food labeling. Calling use of the term "natural" in relation to food products "misleading, confusing and deceptive," the Consumer Reports publicized a recent survey of 1,000 people in which a large majority believed that the term natural means something other than what it ought to describe. By Dan Murphy, Drovers CattleNetwork, 08/06/14

Russia Banning US Poultry Imports on Putin's Order

Russia has banned U.S. poultry imports as part of a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin, the country's veterinary service said Wednesday. Putin earlier signed an order banning or limiting imports of agricultural products from countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia.

The threat of a Russian ban on U.S. poultry imports had agriculture companies alert to the risks of a conflict that's already roiled trading of crops ranging from soy, beef and fruit to California pistachios. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman called the decision a "political move," adding that it hurt Russia's people. CNBC, 08/06/14

Poultry Firms: Russia Ban Has Little Impact on US

Poultry producers say Russia's decision to ban imported U.S. meat won't lead to a glut of the product because other countries are clamoring for inexpensive meat. The nation's poultry producers said they're confident the losses to the import ban would be absorbed by other nations.

"We're disappointed about the loss of the Russian market, but don't expect the impact to be significant since the volume we ship there can be absorbed by other global markets," said Worth Sparkman, a spokesman for Springdale, Arkansas–based Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest meat processors.

Mike Cockrell, the treasurer and chief financial officer for Sanderson Farms, said other markets have emerged to handle any losses — including the countries of Angola, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea, among others. By Justin Juozapavicius, ABC News, 08/07/14

Dr. Francisco Saraiva Gomes Joins Pontos Aqua

Based in New York, Pontos Aqua was formed in May 2014 to make and manage investments in the global aquaculture and seafood industry. Certain private investment partnerships advised by Tinicum Incorporated ("Tinicum") have made an initial equity commitment to Pontos Aqua totaling $75 million. The Fish Site, 08/08/14

How Charity Navigator Knocked HSUS Down A Peg Or Two

The Humane Society of the United States is in hot water with Charity Navigator, losing its charity rating and getting put on "donor advisory" status.

It took several years and many complaints, but the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is finally getting called out for being a wolf in sheep's clothing. Maybe it's the fact the organization spends a mere 1% of its $100+ million annual budget on animal shelters, or perhaps it was the $15.75 million settlement following a racketeering and bribery lawsuit. Whatever the catalyst for this change was, I'm pleased to see that not only did Charity Navigator drop HSUS' four–star charity ranking to a three, but now they have dropped HSUS' rating altogether, putting the organization on a donor advisory status. By Amanda Radke, BEEF Daily, 08/07/14

APHIS Sheep Priorities Outlined

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS) has developed five–year business plans to outline the priorities, objectives, strategies and field activities for each of the animal commodity groups in the VS budget line items including sheep. The plans will guide VS' use of congressional appropriations and assist in planning the future needs of each commodity. The overall objective of the sheep health program is to partner with states, tribes, industry, allied federal agencies and other stakeholders to safeguard the health of the U.S. sheep populations, facilitate trade in sheep and their products and identify and address health issues that arise at the human–sheep interface and between wildlife and domestic sheep. The core objectives identified in the plan are: Eradicate classical scrapie from the United States; Conduct comprehensive disease surveillance in sheep; Conduct foreign and emerging disease threat and disaster planning and response; Conduct zoonotic disease prevention and response; Support the viability of the sheep industry. American Sheep Industry Weekly Newsletter, 08/08/14

Quarantine Called After Horses Around Colorado Show Signs of VS Disease

The Colorado Department of Agriculture's state veterinarian's office has placed 69 locations under quarantine after horses and one cow tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis.

The quarantines are in 6 counties."Most confirmed cases are in horses, but the risk to cattle is significant as well," said State Veterinarian Keith Roehr. He said that during the past two weeks, the office has been receiving approximately 10 reports daily of animals demonstrating clinical signs that are consistent with VS. By Anthony Cotton, The Denver Post, 08/06/14

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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.