Recommendations to Prevent Unintended Self-Injection, Other Risks from Animal Antibiotic Micotil 300
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued recommendations for safe practices to protect livestock producers, veterinarians, and other workers from unintended self-injections and other hazardous occupational exposures to an animal antibiotic, tilmicosin phosphate, sold as Micotil 300®. NIOSH made the recommendations in Workplace Solutions: Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries When Handling Micotil 300®. NIOSH noted two incidents in Nebraska in which one cattle rancher died after an unintended self-injection and another was treated in an intensive care unit.
Micotil 300® is used to treat a bovine and ovine respiratory disease known as “shipping fever.” In the U.S., veterinarians may give the antibiotic to animals or prescribe it for their clients to use on their cattle and sheep. In reported cases in which exposure occurred from unintended injections, the exposure resulted in cardiotoxic effects, ranging from rapid heart beat to reducing the heart’s ability to contract, resulting in effects serious enough to cause death. In the Nebraska cases, the ranchers unintentionally injected themselves when they were jostled while trying to administer the antibiotic to their livestock.
Ropes Used to Detect E. coli O157:H7 Bacteria in Feedlot Cattle
Ropin’ the Web
Food safety division scientists have found that hanging pieces of rope in feedlot cattle pens is an inexpensive, fast and convenient way to detect and potentially manage the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in animals before slaughter.
“We’re trying to get a handle on and keep track of the contamination levels of E. coli O157:H7 in livestock to prevent outbreaks that have happened in other parts of the country,” says Margaret McFall, a food safety division (FSD) laboratory scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Food. FSD conducts similar studies regularly to support industry’s commitment to improving food safety.
The study involved hanging ropes in feedlot pens the night before the cattle were slaughtered. “The ropes were used as sampling devices,” says McFall. “When you put something strange in a pen, the animals are attracted to it and rub and chew on it, and the E. coli O157:H7 in their mouth can be transferred to the rope.”
Know the Cull Cow Grades Before You Sell
Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University
Some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. The Beef Audits have generally shown that cull cows, bulls, and cull dairy cows make up about 20% of the beef available for consumption in the United States. About half of this group (or 10% of the beef supply) comes from cull beef cows.
In a drought-plagued year, the percentage of some herds that are being culled goes even higher than the survey estimates of 20% of each cow herd. Whether we are culling because of drought or to improve the productivity of the herd, it is important to understand the values placed on cull cows intended for slaughter.
Breeding soundness examinations
by Bob Larson, professor of production medicine, Kansas State University
In order for cow-calf operations to be successful, a high percentage of cows must become pregnant in a confined breeding season, and almost all of those successful matings must occur within the first 35-40 days of the breeding season. In order to accomplish this goal, the cows must be cycling at the start of the breeding season. The bulls must be able to detect each cow in heat, mount her and deliver fertile semen to her reproductive tract. Failure of bulls to successfully accomplish mating results in very poor reproductive efficiency.
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Nebraska Cattlemen applauds proposed CAFO rule extension
Lincoln, Neb. – Nebraska Cattlemen is applauding the Environmental
Protection Agency for proposing to extend the July 31 deadline by which newly defined concentrated animal feeding operations are to seek a national Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Similarly, the deadline would be extended for CAFOs which already have a NPDES permit to develop and implement nutrient management plans.
Nebraska Cattlemen has also thanked Rep. Adrian Smith for his support in requesting that EPA propose the extensions to Feb. 27, 2009, which are needed because EPA has not finalized court ordered revisions to 2003 CAFO NPDES and Effluent Limitations Guideline regulations.
Tiny, portable biosensor to be a big gun in the fight against food contamination
As more and more chemical assistance becomes available to farmers, it becomes more and more important to be able to accurately measure if these chemicals make it through into our food and drink. And while pesticides and herbicides can have an immediate or accumulative harmful effect on our bodies, the accidental ingestion of small amounts of antibiotics through animal meat can contribute to the strengthening of bacterial resistance to antibiotics – a potentially more serious side-effect. Testing for contaminants has typically been slow, expensive and limited by laboratory location – but this tiny, portable and cheap biosensor developed in Spain makes it much quicker and easier to test a range of agricultural products on the spot.
The Michigan State Fair
By Jenny Nolan
The Detroit News
In 1839 a handful of Michigan pioneers planned a state fair, the first in the country. It was a disaster. And it probably explains why fair historians rarely if ever refer to the event, and instead start counting the fairs from 1849.
The 1839 Ann Arbor fiasco had only two exhibitors and not many more visitors. The official explanation was that “Exhibitors forgot it was opening.” Agricultural eminences conveniently forgot about the fair for 10 years until the idea came up again in 1849.
Even counting the successful 1849 fair as the first, the Michigan State Fair is the oldest in the country, but that fair was almost derailed by political squabbling. One of the foremost advocates of an annual fair was the Democratic governor of the state, Ephradatus Ransom. He also was president of the Michigan Agricultural Society, and some of the other officers of the society were members of his administration.