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Animal Health News & Notes for March 30, 2007 3/30/2007

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Brakke Consulting's
Animal Health News & Notes for March 30, 2007
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
earnings news
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica
other news
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica
Creekstone Farms
Global Animal Management
Lifetech Animal Health
Menu Foods (lawsuit)
Menu Foods (toxins)
Nutramax Labs
Sankyo Lifetech
Brakke Consulting will soon be publishing its annual review of the small animal pain management products market.  The new report includes 2006 product sales and advertising data, as well as news on new and developing products in the pain management area. Included are sections on nutraceuticals and prescription joint support diets.
The report also includes a survey of over 200 small animal veterinarians regarding their usage of pain management products, including NSAIDs, nutraceuticals, and the new joint support therapeutic diets.
The report will be available at the end of April.  Orders placed on or before April 15, 2007 are eligible for the early-bird discounted price of $4,995.  Orders received after April 15 will be at the regular price of $5,500.
Place your order today to get the latest information on the veterinary pain management market!
For more information, contact Dr. Lynn Fondon at lfondon@brakkeconsulting.com or 972-243-4033. 
> Boehringer Ingelheim reported results for the full year 2006.  The Animal Health business grew by 4% to EUR 374 million ($470 million). Business acquisitions and divestments played a role, as did currency effects. Discounting all these extraordinary effects, the Animal Health business rose by 8%. (company website)
> Neogen Corporation announced that its net income for the third quarter of FY 2007, which ended Feb. 28, increased 44% from the previous year’s restated third quarter to $1,990,000. Third quarter revenues increased 20% to $21.1 million, a record third quarter for the company. (company press release)
> Merial announced it has received conditional approval from the USDA for a breakthrough vaccine to treat canine melanoma. This is the first time that the US government has approved a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of cancer in either animals or humans. The vaccine was developed through a partnership between Merial, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and The Animal Medical Center (AMC) of New York. The vaccine will be administered via a new Canine Transdermal Device, which delivers the vaccine without the use of a needle.  (PRNewswire)
> Novartis Animal Health K.K., Japan, announced the completion of its acquisition of Lifetech Animal Health Co., Ltd., the former animal health business of Sankyo Lifetech Co., Ltd.  The Lifetech Animal Health business was spun off from Sankyo Lifetech in February 2007 in anticipation of the pending sale to Novartis. Through this acquisition, Novartis Animal Health will become one of the top five companies in the animal health industry in Japan. Financial terms were not disclosed. (company press release)
> Schering-Plough announced that the USDA approved g.TAG electronic ear-tags for use in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). TRI-MERIT, a single-source animal identification and data management system, is the only USDA-interim approved animal identification database to offer NAIS approved ear tags integrated within the system. The TRI-MERIT system is powered by Global Animal Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schering-Plough Animal Health. (company press release) 
> Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica announced the introduction of Seraquin natural joint supplement for dogs and cats.  Seraquin contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric extract, a natural source of the antioxidant curcumin.  Seraquin is available exclusively through veterinarians. (company information) 
> Nutramax Labs announced the launch of Denamarin nutritional supplement for liver support.  Denamarin combines the active ingredients in Nutramax products Denosyl (SAMe) and Marin (silybin). (DVM Newsmagazine)
> The FDA issued a warning letter to Iams Co. regarding chromium tripicolinate, an additive in some of its products for overweight dogs and cats. The letter stated that several Eukanuba-brand dry and canned pet food products made by Iams contain chromium tripicolinate, which is allowed as a source of supplemental chromium only in swine feed. The letter issued by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine said Iams had earlier tried to demonstrate that chromium tripicolinate is non-genotoxic, but the agency determined that data submitted by the company did not sufficiently address its safety concerns. The company will take chromium tripicolinate out of future formulations of its Eukanuba Veterinary Diets Optimum Weight Control and Restricted-Calorie dry and canned products for obese dogs or cats. The FDA did not order a recall of the products. (LA Times) 
> The law firms Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP and Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff LLP has filed a class action complaint on behalf of consumers nationwide, alleging that Menu Foods, Inc., Menu Foods Income Fund, and Menu Foods Midwest Corp. manufactured and sold poisoned pet food products, and failed to inform customers that these products were toxic, and potentially lethal, to their pets. Menu Foods has recalled approximately 60 million containers of pet food and close to 100 different brands of "cuts and gravy" (pet food consisting of pieces of meat in gravy) style dog and cat food. (eMediaWire) 
> The FDA reported on March 30 that it found melamine, a chemical used to make plastic and used in fertilizer, in samples of the recalled Menu Foods pet foods, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient. A March 23 press release from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets had earlier stated that scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory had identified aminopterin as a toxin present in cat food samples from Menu Foods. Aminopterin is a folic acid inhibitor found in some rodenticides available outside the USA. It is not available in the US as a rodenticide. (FoxNews, AVMA news)  
> Cargill Meat Solutions announced it is implementing an online tracking system with its camera vision grading technology to verify carcass attributes that qualify product for its Sterling Silver and AngusPride premium brands. By the end of the year, all of Cargill's North American fed-cattle plants will be equipped with the latest camera vision grading technology and will use the online tracking system. (Meating Place)
> OmniLytics Inc. announced that the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a no objection letter for use of Salmonella-targeted bacteriophage applied as a mist, spray or wash on live animals prior to slaughter.  The BacWash branded bacteriophage products will be utilized to reduce the level of Salmonella contamination on the hides of livestock prior to further processing. (AnimalNet - Yahoo news)
> Creekstone Farms announced that a federal district court has ruled that the USDA’s action of prohibiting Creekstone Farms Premium Beef from voluntarily testing cattle for BSE is unlawful. Unless USDA appeals the decision, Creekstone can start testing for the disease on June 1. (CattleNetwork)
> US - NEW AVMA EXECUTIVE VP   Dr. Ron DeHaven, administrator of the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), has been named the new executive vice president at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Dr. DeHaven brings to the AVMA his national leadership skills and over 25 years of public service and public health experience. Dr. DeHaven will succeed Dr. Bruce W. Little, the AVMA's longest serving officer, who has held the position of Executive Vice President since 1996 and is retiring at the end of this year. (Goodnewsforpets.com)
> CANADA - BSE SOURCE IDENTIFIED  Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced that the case of BSE discovered in February was most likely caused by suspect feed.  According to CFIA the case confirms what was already known about an extremely low level of BSE infectivity having existed in Canada's feed system during the late 1990s and early 2000s. (Meating Place)
> US - HORSE SLAUGHTER   A federal appeals court has blocked the USDA from providing horse meat inspections for a fee.  In 2005, Congress removed funding for horse meat inspections, but USDA created a plan to provide inspections for slaughter plants for a fee.  The judge found the agency did not follow federal procedures for setting up the inspection fee program. (Meating Place)
> KUWAIT - AVIAN INFLUENZA  Kuwait has ordered the culling of about 1.1 million chickens at farms owned by three major companies in Wafra, south of Kuwait City.  Since the avian influenza outbreak began last month, authorities have culled close to 200,000 birds.  No human cases have been detected. (AnimalNet - Agence France Presse) 
The end of the first quarter of 2007 is here.  Boy!! Did that go fast!!  It’s been an interesting first three months.  A number of new companies and products entered the US companion animal market place.  How are they each doing?  Well, it depends on who you talk to. The competition has one view and the new entries have another view.  I’m sure the truth is somewhere in the middle.  We’ll have a better idea by mid-year. 
We did note that all the major trade shows during the first quarter had record attendance and participation, which we believe says something good about the future.  Whether it’s a veterinarian, retailer, distributor, or producer, all seem to be on the upward swing and willing to invest in the future.  The economics for the first quarter look positive, and in a couple of weeks the financial reports for the public companies will be available.
We expect several additional new product entries in the second and third quarters of the year, which should continue to fuel the growth in sales.  Here in Texas we’re experiencing some excellent rains which will assist in resolving the drought conditions and take the pressure off herd liquidations.  The only dark cloud we see remains the possible impact of $4.00 per bushel corn in the feeding of beef, poultry and pork.  Most experts all indicate that the bio-fuels are here to stay and the producers will need to adjust to the new environment.
Have a great weekend!!
Ron Brakke
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