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Animal Health News & Notes for February 23, 2007 2/23/2007

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Brakke Consulting's
Animal Health News & Notes for February 23, 2007

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
 
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
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IN THE NEWS:
 
earnings news
Maple Leaf
Nestle
VCA Antech
Vetoquinol
Webster Veterinary Supply
 
other news
BASF
Butler
Digital Angel
Doskocil
Eli Lilly
Hill's
Hubbard
Iams
Mars
Mars Veterinary
MetaMorphix
MWI
Nutreco
PetSmart
PVPL
Schering-Plough
Sergeant's
Super Pet
Webster
 
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COMPANY EARNINGS RELEASES
 
> Vetoquinol announced consolidated sales for 2006 were EUR 212 million ($280 million), an increase of 7.6% compared to sales in 2005. (Business Wire) 
 
> Patterson Companies, Inc. reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 ended January 27, 2007. Sales of the Webster Veterinary unit increased 17% in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 to $94.2 million. Excluding the December 2005 acquisition of Intra Corp, developer and marketer of IntraVet veterinary practice management software, Webster’s sales rose 15%. (Business Wire)
 
> Nestle reported results for the full year 2006.  PetCare sales were CHF 11.4 billion ($9.4 billion), representing 7% organic growth and real internal growth of 4.3%. In the premium segment, Dog Chow and Puppy Chow together achieved CHF 1 billion of sales for the first time in 2006. The high premium and super premium segments, with products such as Beneful and Pro Plan, are also developing well. (company press release) 
 
> VCA Antech, Inc. reported financial results for the year ended December 31, 2006, as follows: revenue increased 17% to a twelve-month record of $983 million; and net income was $106 million. Laboratory revenues were $258 million, animal hospital revenues were $712 million, medical technology revenues were $39 million, and intercompany adjustments were ($26 million). (Business Wire)  
 
> Maple Leaf Foods reported that, for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, net profit was C$4.5 million (US$3.9 million), compared with C$94.2 million last year. Revenues were C$5.9 billion (US$5.1 billion) compared to C$6.1 billion in 2005. (company website)
 
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COMPANY NEWS RELEASES
 
> Digital Angel Corporation announced it has signed a multi-year exclusive distribution agreement with Schering-Plough Home Again LLC to provide electronic identification microchips and scanners as part of the HomeAgain Proactive Pet Recovery Network. The new agreement with Schering-Plough replaces a contract signed in 2004. (Business Wire)  
 
> Eli Lilly and Company announced it has aligned with four national veterinary channel partners and has completed the build out of its sales and technical and customer services teams to prepare for the introduction of Lilly brand products into the companion animal health market. Channel partners that will carry Lilly brand products upon their introduction include Butler Animal Health Supply; MWI Veterinary Supply; Professional Veterinary Products, Ltd.; and Webster Veterinary Supply, Inc. (company press release) 
 
> Hill's Pet Nutrition announced the launch of Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Feline.  This new diet is the combination of Prescription Diets c/d Feline and x/d Feline, plus antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and contains no excess salt, which helps prevent aggravating undiagnosed kidney disease. (company press release)  
 
> Sergeant's Pet Care Products introduced Sergeant's Gold Flea and Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs, a fast-acting flea and tick control product formulated to kill fleas in as little as one hour, ticks in three hours, and control re-infestation for up to nine weeks. The active ingredient in Sergeant's Gold Flea and Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs is cyphenothrin (Gokilaht), which is exclusive to Sergeant's, as well as pyriproxyfen, an insect growth regulator that kills flea eggs and larvae. (PRNewswire) 
 
> Iams announced it has relaunched its Eukanuba brand, offering a line of pet nutrition customized by breed type, size, health requirements and performance needs. Eukanuba's Breed-Specific formulas are scheduled to be available at pet specialty stores in March 2007. (Pet Food Industry) 
 
> Mars Veterinary, the newest division of MARS Incorporated, announced that this summer it will launch a comprehensive DNA-based mixed breed test for dogs. The Wisdom Panel MX identifies more than 100 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds that may be present in mixed breed dogs, through analysis of more than 300 distinct genetic markers. This test will allow veterinarians to answer one of the most frequently asked questions by pet owners, “What is my dog’s breed mix?” (company press release) 
 
> Goodlife Recipe Pet Care Company, a division of Mars, Inc., launched a new line of dog and cat food and treats under the brand The Goodlife Recipe. The initial line includes 12 SKUs of dry dog food and snacks and eight SKUs of dry cat food and treats.  The products will reportedly have price points comparable to NestlĂ© Purina's Beneful brand, and will be carried by retailers such as PetSmart, Petco, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and most major supermarkets. (Pet Food Industry)  
 
> Hubbard S.A.S. and MetaMorphix announced an alliance to jointly develop a set of genomic markers for desired broiler performance traits. MetaMorphix has similar alliances in the beef (Cargill) and swine (Monsanto) areas. (Poultry Times) 
 
> PetSmart announced plans to acquire 19 Super Pet retail stores in 17 eastern Canadian communities. The company reached an agreement in principle to acquire the assets of substantially all the retail business conducted under the Super Pet name, including the leases, inventory, property and intellectual property. PetSmart currently operates 33 retail stores in four provinces in Canada. (Pets International) 
 
> BASF announced it is selling its animal nutrition premix business in eight countries to Nutreco.  The premix sites involved are in the UK, Poland, Italy, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Guatemala and the US. Financial terms were not disclosed. (AnimalNet)
 
>  Doskocil Manufacturing announced the launch of a new line of heated pet beds under its Petmate brand.  The beds are available in indoor and outdoor varieties. (Pet Business)  
 
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ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS
 
> RUSSIA - AVIAN INFLUENZA   Russian officials confirmed that five different outbreaks of avian influenza near the capital city of Moscow were caused by the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain. The outbreaks, each in different villages around Moscow, were traced to birds bought at the capital's best-known pet market, which is now under quarantine. This is Russia's second outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza this year and the nation's first outbreak near Moscow. (Meating Place)
 
> US - COOL LEGISLATION    Senators from Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and New Mexico are sponsoring legislation in the US Senate to advance the implementation of the mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling law to September 2007. A similar bill has been introduced in the House.  The current deadline is September 30, 2008. (Food Systems Insider - Prairie Star)
 
> US - CANADIAN CATTLE IMPORTS  The Cattle Producers of Washington has obtained documents showing that hundreds of cattle from Canada, where officials found a ninth case of BSE this month, have entered the US without government-mandated health papers or identification tags. The records, including correspondence between state officials and US cattle and meat operations, indicate Washington and perhaps other states are having trouble tracking hundreds of cattle crossing the border weekly. USDA recently initiated an investigation into the matter based on the documents. USDA officials claim the errors are minor. (Meating Place)
 
> US - PETITION TO WITHDRAW POSILAC APPROVAL Three advocacy organizations filed a citizen's petition with the FDA, seeking the withdrawal of Monsanto's approval for its recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) product marketed as Posilac. The groups claim there is evidence of increased risks of cancer from the consumption of milk from cows injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone (also known as rBGH, or rbST). They said their petition is also based on other abnormalities in the composition of rBGH milk. The petition requests immediate suspension of approval of the product based on imminent hazard and cites a section of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act to request the commissioner of the FDA to label milk and other dairy products produced with the use of the product with a cancer risk warning. The petition was submitted by the Cancer Prevention Coalition, the Organic Consumers Assn. and Family Farm Defenders. (Feedstuffs online)
 
>  US - PCV2 VACCINE RESEARCH   Kansas State University researchers have evaluated what appears to be a promising vaccine against porcine circovirus Type 2. In a recent study, researchers found that pigs receiving the vaccine showed significant declines in mortality, increased growth rate during the finishing-pig stage and fewer light weight pigs at market. (Pork Alert)
 
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BRAKKE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT
 
Those of you that were not in Las Vegas for the Western Veterinary Conference missed a great meeting.  Congratulations to Dr. Crane and the staff of the WVC group for organizing and managing an excellent meeting in the face of a number of diversions.  It again proved to me that individuals involved in the animal health industry are a cut above other segments of our society, particularly the NBA crowd.  I’m not a ticket holder of an NBA team and I can understand now why I’m not. 
 
As it relates to this week's news, it appears that several of the big players in the pet food industry are trying to spread their wings into new categories and additional product lines.  We also had another leading US veterinary distributor report sales increases for 2006 in the range of 15%.  In our discussions with a number of you in Las Vegas, we continue to hear positive reports related to the results in early in 2007.  Keep up the excellent marketing and sales activity; as we expressed in our Industry Overview, we believe there is still a lot of room for growth in the marketplace. 
 
Have a great weekend!!  It looks like the weather will be reasonably nice in many parts of the US, enjoy it!!
 
Ron Brakke
 
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