Corralling Fescue Foot
Especially during the cold months, Eldon Cole, a University of Missouri livestock specialist, advises watching cattle closely for signs of Fescue Foot. Untreated, the painful condition can result in frost bite, or even hooves sloughing off. Folks familiar with grazing endophyte-infected fescue know this is the result of poor blood circulation that stems from ingesting fescue that has produced large amounts of ergot-like toxins. “The most effective thing to do when you notice the limping on the rear legs is remove the cattle from the fescue pasture. Even putting them on another fescue field that may have lower toxin levels can help,” Cole explains. In more severe cases, he says moving the affected cattle to dry-lot and feeding them legume hay and grain can help. According to Cole, “Antibiotic treatments are of little value other than preventing infections that could arise. So far, there are no magic formulas to correct the problem. Toxin levels in the fescue tend to decline into the winter.” For more details about managing fescue, go to: muextension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/crops/g04669.htm and click on “Tall Fescue Toxicosis.” You can also go to www.beefcowcalf.com and enter “fescue toxicosis” into the “Search for” box on the opening page. The Web site is a BEEF magazine resource site with links to more than 2,000 articles and fact sheets on cow-calf production and management issues. In addition, don’t forget to visit www.beefstockerusa.org, a cooperative site between BEEF and Kansas State University devoted exclusively to news, information and research for the U.S. beef stocker segment.
USDA To Build “Metadata” Portal For NAIS
From Beef Cow-Calf Weekly
Last August, USDA announced animal movement-tracking data for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) would be collected and held in an industry-designed database. This week, citing input from an Oct. 16 stakeholder meeting, Deputy Administrator John Clifford proposed a USDA-developed and maintained “metadata” repository. Clifford says the component would allow USDA to work with multiple databases collecting info on animal movement. In very basic terms, metadata is an info-technology solution that stores data about data. This “single portal” option could provide an effective means for USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to send queries for animal movement records only to those databases that have information on a subject animal or animals, he said. “This enhances the efficiency of any potential animal disease investigation. Additionally, it would provide a single format, as well as technology standard requirements, helping APHIS interface or communicate with the participating database systems. We will thoroughly evaluate the metadata technology solution prior to any actual development,” he said. As the NAIS project proceeds in finalizing and developing the system requirements, Clifford says USDA will begin evaluating the animal movement-tracking databases of organizations wanting to participate. He says the process will involve confirming that:
- The defined data elements are compliant with NAIS standards,
- Technology architecture meets the technical requirements and
- The proposed databases submitted for review meet the other USDA-specified criteria.
“Then, if all is in order, we would initiate a formal agreement (rather than a single memorandum of understanding) with each entity responsible for the databases,” he says. The agreement would also detail access rights and the safeguards for preserving data if the organization ceases operation. For more on NAIS visit animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/index.shtml. – Joe Roybal
Advanced screening system for BVD introduced
Jan. 30, 2006
Animal Profiling International (API), a technology company dedicated to the improvement of animal health management, today announced a novel-screening tool to detect cattle persistently infected (PI) with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) screening technology offers producers an extremely accurate, yet cost-effective method to clear BVD PI animals from their herds in an effort to reduce the estimated two billion dollars in annual losses suffered by the cattle industry due to BVD in both 2004 and 2005. BVD PI animals are difficult to recognize due to the fact that they rarely show visible symptoms. Approximately 10% of beef cow herds have at least one PI animal that anonymously infects others by spreading the virus in the herd. Studies show that the additional expense incurred once this virus in introduced into a herd runs as high as $56 per head. API’s unique PCR screening allows large pools of samples to be screened at a significantly reduced price to current standard testing methodologies. “The tragedy of this disease is that it costs the industry billions of dollars even though excellent vaccines are available,” stated Bruce Hoffman, DVM and president of API. “A persistently infected animal can shed up to 10 million virus particles a day over its lifespan, achieving infection rates that literally overpower other animals’ immune systems. Our screening method provides a low-cost approach to locate and remove the persistently infected carriers and enhance herd health and performance.” API’s dedicated laboratory provides clients with next-business-day results. The expedited service provides management with the information necessary for quick decision-making in order to protect their herd. “The extraordinary sensitivity and specificity of our assay methodology provides remarkably high levels of accuracy, giving our clients the comfort they need in order to make difficult treatment decisions in a timely manner,” said Gary Rosenberg, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of API. “Using the PCR screen allows us to continue our goal of providing management over medicine approaches to the cattle industry.” Ray Rogers, chairman of API, adds, “There are current initiatives by the National Cattlemen Beef Association, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, The Academy of Veterinary Consultants, plus state livestock associations to develop effective control programs for BVDV. We’re glad to support these efforts by providing our PCR screening method to help aid the success of these programs.” For more information on Bovine Viral Diarrhea and the tests API provides, visit www.animalprofiling.com.
Source: Animal Profiling International
Food safety boss demands stricter inspection of U.S. beef
The head of Japan’s beef safety panel said Tokyo should only import U.S. beef from slaughterhouses inspected by the Japanese government after it lifts a ban on American meat, according to a news report.The comments by Yasuhiro Yoshikawa, head of the Food Safety Commission’s panel on beef safety, came nine days after Tokyo reinstated a ban on U.S. beef imports after a shipment was found to contain banned parts at risk of mad cow disease.”I didn’t expect the latest incident to happen as I had believed the Japanese government would conduct inspections and make sure (the import conditions were met) before the actual importing,” Kyodo News agency quoted Yoshikawa as saying Saturday.Yoshikawa also recommended separate processing lines for beef destined for the Japanese market due to different rules in the U.S. and Japan regarding what cattle parts are acceptable, Kyodo said.Food Safety Commission officials were unavailable for comment Sunday.Japan’s latest ban on U.S. beef imports came just weeks after inspectors found banned spine bones, which can carry mad cow disease, in a shipment of U.S. veal.The Food Safety Commission late last year approved lifting the previous ban, which was imposed in 2003 following the discovery of the first case of mad cow disease in the U.S.Japanese officials have criticized the American inspection system and refused to reopen the country’s lucrative market until the mishap is fully investigated and Washington comes up with sufficient countermeasures.On Thursday, Vice Agriculture Minister Mamoru Ishihara said Japan was considering limiting U.S. beef imports to about 10 facilities that Japanese officials had inspected.U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns pledged Saturday to conduct a “no-holds” barred investigation into how prohibited cuts of meat were sent to Japan.Mad cow disease — whose medical name is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE — is a brain-wasting disease in cattle.In people, eating meat or cattle products contaminated with BSE is linked to a rare, fatal human disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. (AP)January 29, 2006
Canadian officials trace 67 herdmates of BSE cow
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan 27 (Reuters) – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said on Friday it has traced 67 herdmates of an Alberta cow that tested positive for mad cow disease as it investigates Canada’s latest case of the deadly brain-wasting condition.
“At this point I’ve had no indication that any cohorts have been exported … The record trace will indicate that,” Darcy Undseth, a veterinary specialist with the CFIA, said of the cows, which were born on the same farm as the diseased animal.
The on-going investigation was spurred after the CFIA confirmed Canada’s fourth home-grown case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as BSE or mad cow disease, on a western Canadian farm earlier this week.
Official apologizes for not fully inspecting U.S. beef plants
Associated Press Writer
For The Grand Island Independent
TOKYO — Japan should have inspected U.S. cattle facilities more thoroughly before easing a ban on American beef last month, the agriculture minister said Monday.
Japan has again halted U.S. beef imports after finding banned spinal bones in one shipment this month. Japan considers such bones to be at risk for mad cow disease, the concern behind the initial ban.
Officials have criticized the American inspection system and refused to reopen the country’s lucrative market until the latest mishap is fully investigated and Washington comes up with sufficient countermeasures.
Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa admitted that inspections were conducted at only 11 of about 50 U.S. facilities that were supposed to be inspected under a Cabinet requirement for resuming imports of American beef.
“I apologize for not fulfilling the requirement to conduct inspections,” Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa told a parliament committee. “I will think about how to take responsibility for that.”
The ban was first imposed in 2003 following the discovery of the first case of mad cow disease in the United States. Japan eased the ban on Dec. 12 on the recommendation of its Food Safety Commission.
Mad cow disease — whose medical name is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE — is a brain-wasting disease in cattle.
In people, eating meat or cattle products contaminated with BSE is linked to a rare, fatal human disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Canadian beef, cattle exports likely unaffected by recent BSE discovery
by John Gregerson
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it does not believe Canadian cattle exports will be affected by the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Alberta last week. “Based on the guidelines and certification recommendations of the World Organization for Animal Health, this finding should not affect Canada’s ability to export live animals, beef and beef products,” CFIA indicated in a news release. CFIA officials were meeting Japanese officials last week to explain the situation, according to news accounts. Thus far, only South Korea has dropped discussions with Canada regarding imports of Canadian beef. Canadian beef has been banned in South Korea since 2003.