UK sets new antibiotics target for livestock and fish


UK has backed the recommendation of an independent review calling for a further cut in antibiotic use in livestock and fish farmed for food to help combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The Government said it is committed to a target of reducing antibiotic use to a “multi-species average of 50mg/kg, using methodology harmonised across other countries in Europe”, by 2018.

The target, which the Government said compares to the most recent 2014 level of 62mg/kg of antibiotic use, is in response to the findings of an AMR review set up by former prime minister David Cameron and led by Lord Jim O’Neill.

In a joint foreword to a Government report responding to the review’s findings, Andrea Leadsom, the UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Jeremy Hunt, the country’s Health Secretary, said: “There is a real risk that, if we do nothing, modern medicine as we know it will be undermined.”

The ministers said: “Jim O’Neill is a distinguished economist and has brought not only the skills and analysis of an economist to the problem of drug resistance, but also his understanding of emerging economies. He has identified the huge scale of the challenge, but also the concrete steps we can and must take.”

The UK “will work closely with different individual sectors to ensure that appropriate sector specific reduction targets are agreed by 2017 so that future reductions are greatest where there is most scope, and that they are underpinned by improvements which focus on encouraging best practice and responsible use of antibiotics and which safeguard animal health and welfare”, the government report said. Read more…



Proper Goat Hoof Care

goothoofcareTrimming your goats’ hooves will keep them from over-growing and allowing the goat to walk properly. Photo: Kyle Spradley, MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Flickr Creative Commons.

Trimming your goats’ hooves will keep them from over-growing and allowing the goat to walk properly. Photo: Kyle Spradley, MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Flickr Creative Commons.

Hoof care in any animal species is a vital part of their management. Goats’ hooves require regular trimming and inspection to determine if there are any hoof problems that could lead to lameness or infection that can be spread among the herd, such as contagious foot rot.

Depending on the environment goats live in, they may need more or less frequent trimming. For example, goats living in rocky conditions where the hoof will wear against the ground may need less frequent trimming than a goat that lives in a grass pasture. Be familiar with the environment your goats live in and keep accurate records of when you perform hoof care. This will help you determine an appropriate schedule for your herd.

Hooves should not be allowed to over-grow as this keeps the animal walking properly. The goal of the trim should be to make the bottom of the hoof be flat and at the same angles as the hair line at the top of the hoof. All dirt and manure should be removed from the hoof prior to trimming. Michigan State University Extension recommends using a hoof pick or the tips of the hoof trimmers to do this. The walls, or sides, and heels should be trimmed flat with the sole. To view the proper way to trim your goats’ hooves, visit eXtension’s Goat Basic Hoof Care. Read more…


Top 10 Things That Make Your Dog Happy

World's Top Canines Compete At Westminster Dog Show




A new survey found the top 10 things that make dogs happy.  Here is the list:

1.  Eating meals, 95% of owners say it makes their dog happy.

2.  Going on walks, 93%.

3.  Eating dog treats, 93%.

4.  Chewing a dog bone, 88%.

5.  Snuggling, 85%.

6.  Riding in the car, 78%.

7.  Playing fetch, 77%.

8.  Going to the dog park, 72%.

9.  Running or jogging, 71%.

10.  Being brushed or groomed, 63%.

The survey, by Beneful, also found 93% of people say their dog is one of their best friends.

In addition – 72% say their dog understands them like no human ever could! Wild! read more…


CDC Warns Against Aggressive Cat Cuddling Due to Cat-Scratch Fever Threat

The Centers for Disease Control’s campaign against unsafe snuggling continues. While we’re sure the CDC loves love, it also wants to prevent you from picking up an infectious disease.

An illness it’s currently concerned about is cat-scratch fever, a very real disease spread by infected cats.

According to CBS News, the number of pet cats harboring the cat-scratch fever bacteria known as Bartonella hensela is about 35 percent, but most do not pass it on to their owners. Regardless, the CDC still wants cat lovers to know the risks that come with catching the disease, and how to protect against it.

The CDC released a report this month estimating that each year about 12,000 Americans are diagnosed with cat-scratch fever, which is transmitted by a cat bite or scratch, and out of those infected roughly 500 require hospitalization. The numbers were highest in children ages 5 to 9, who live in southern states.

A human with cat-scratch fever can experience headache, fever and swollen lymph nodes, all the way to more serious brain and heart complications.

To avoid picking up the disease, the CDC advises all cat owners to handle their pets carefully, never teach them to bite or scratch and avoid aggressive play. It’s also helpful to get in the practice of washing your hands after handling your cat. Since fleas are connected to the spread of the disease, it’s also smart to treat your feline with flea medication, even if you keep him indoors. read more…


Presidential Dog Days

24collinsweb-master768I think it’s time to talk about the presidential candidates’ pets.

Look, you need a break. And everybody — or almost everybody — likes an animal story. I’m not quite sure about Donald Trump, but we’ll get to him in a minute.

Pets, particularly dogs, pop up all the time in White House lore. Richard Nixon might never have even gotten there if he hadn’t used Checkers the cocker spaniel as a diversion from a campaign finance scandal. Lyndon Johnson posed — for reasons we will never understand — picking up his beagle by the ears. The décor at one Obama White House holiday party was many variations on the theme of Bo. This tradition goes way back. James Garfield had a Newfoundland named Veto. Calvin Coolidge seems to have acquired four cats, seven birds, nine dogs, two lion cubs, a raccoon, a bear, a wallaby, an antelope and 13 ducks. read more…


We’re For the Horse

forthehorses_bw_tcm95-202980The horse holds a unique position in the history of mankind. The horse and human bond is strong, and throughout human civilization horses have provided us with transportation, companionship and the means to explore the world. One way we can recognize the enormous scale of their contribution is to maintain and improve the health of these magnificent animals. Merck Animal Health is committed to doing exactly that.

With the world’s largest offering of equine products, ranging from vaccines to reproduction management, the Merck Animal Health Equine Portfolio is dedicated to continual innovation. Our products, research and horse owner education programs are all focused on providing a better life for our equine companions and better resources and medicines for the equine practitioner. At the heart of the Equine Portfolio is our rallying cry, “We’re For the Horse,” which showcases our goal to be a true partner to our customers and provide the best care for horses.

Keeping Horses Healthier

Merck Animal Health keeps horses healthier by providing a comprehensive package of integrated solutions for equine health.

The suite of Merck Animal Health equine products and services includes:

  • Vaccines
  • Antibiotics
  • Reproduction Management
  • Pain Management
  • Dewormers
  • Specialties and Services

As our equine customers are becoming more global, we adapt to meet their needs and develop our products and services in close collaboration with them. Our partners include allied businesses, universities, biotech companies and research institutions that also seek to develop and market innovative equine products. read more…



Feeding PPID Horses

white-ppid-horse-grazineIn the fall, measuring a horses adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels is often used as a diagnostic tool for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, also known as equine Cushing’s disease). It peaks between mid-August to mid-October as part of the metabolic preparation for winter and results in levels anywhere up to about three times those found at other times of the year. It used to be thought that this made early fall a poor time of year to use ACTH levels as a diagnostic tool. However, in recent years, research has shown that horses with PPID have a seasonal rise that is even higher than unaffected horses. Contrary to previous belief this might in fact make fall a good time of year to test due to the potential for a more profound response to the seasonal ACTH rise in horses with PPID.

Disease Overview

The pituitary tumors associated with PPID influences the adrenal glands to release cortisol, a stress-related hormone. Cortisol plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and helps to balance the effects of insulin in the breakdown of sugar for energy. It is a vitally important hormone; however, when elevated for extended periods, as in the case of high circulating ACTH, high cortisol levels could have some negative consequences. These include inducing a degree of insulin resistance (IR), muscle wasting, a pot-belly appearance, immune deficiency, and an increased susceptibility to infections.

You horse’s elevated insulin level might be the result of the effects of the elevated ACTH on cortisol levels due to PPID. Of course some horses have high levels of circulating insulin indicative of IR without having PPID. But in horses with PPID, especially those not considered to be at risk of IR, IR is commonly the result of the PPID.  read more…