» 1999

Animal Health News & Notes for December 30, 1999 12/30/1999

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for December 30, 1999

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Company News Releases
 Heska Corporation announced that it has signed a letter of intent to sell its United Kingdom subsidiary, Heska UK Limited, formerly Bloxham Laboratories.  Heska UK is a veterinary diagnostic laboratory that also provides veterinary allergy products and services to veterinarians and sells Heska's diagnostic and monitoring instruments in the U.K.  The letter of intent provides for Heska to retain its veterinary allergy business in the U.K.  Heska plans to continue marketing its allergy-related products and services directly in the U.K. and to sell its veterinary medical instrumentation in the U.K. through an independent distributor network.  Heska also announced that its allergy extract and treatment set manufacturing subsidiary, Center Laboratories in Port Washington, New York, is under strategic review.
 PETsMART.com is introducing the first comprehensive online Pet Food Calculator.  Visitors to http://www.petsmart.com will be able to enter their dog's or cat's information into an interactive system and receive advice on the foods that address the specific fitness and health needs of their pet. By entering variables such as the age, weight, activity level and life stage of their dog or cat into the PETsMART.com Pet Calculator, pet owners will be able to find out all the foods fit for their pet's individual needs, the amount of food recommended and an approximate monthly feeding cost.
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Animal Health News

 A forum at Iowa State University will explore the possible effects that doing business on the Internet will have on agriculture and rural communities. The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development’s 2000 Agricultural Forum will be titled, “E-commerce: The ‘Net’ Effect on Agribusiness.”  The conference, scheduled for Feb. 28, will examine how online business transactions are changing relationships among agricultural suppliers, processors, manufacturers, marketers, retailers and consumers.  Also to be explored are the implications of e-commerce for rural America, including whether the electronic future looks bright for agriculture and rural communities.
 Biospherics Incorporated announced that it will begin selling its patented safe-for-humans pesticide, FlyCracker, to meet the 2000 fly season.  The product is exempted from the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FlyCracker operates by interrupting the life cycle at the larval stage, preventing the emergence of adult flies. Biospherics plans to enter the market using its call centers and web marketing.
 Britain's biggest producer was cited as announcing that antibiotic-free chickens will be on sale from the New Year.  The Aberdeen-based Grampian Country Food Group, which supplies 200 million broilers a year, was cited as deciding not to use antibiotics to make birds grow faster in response to consumer demands for healthier eating.  The chickens, on sale from January 1, will be packed under the Grampian brand name and clearly labelled as antibiotic-free.

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Agribusiness News
 Monsanto Company announced it successfully completed the sale of Monsanto’s cotton seed unit, Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Company, to an investment group lead by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and its affiliate Emergent Genetics, Inc.  The investment group also includes the senior management team of Stoneville.  The transaction involved the sale of all Stoneville stock for cash.  The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

We hope all of you are having a restful and peaceful holiday season.  The news wires this week did not report a lot of activity for comment in animal health.

Here in the Brakke offices, we have been busy developing the Brakke Consulting Year 2000 Animal Health Industry Overview.  The presentation will be ready for delivery at your facilities by mid-January, after premiering at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Florida on January 17.  The focus of the Brakke 2000 Overview will be industry projections for the near future, general profiles of the leading animal health companies, and a discussion of current issues affecting the industry.  It will also touch on some strategic planning issues.  Please email us or contact Roger Cummings in our Dallas office at (972) 243-4033 after the first of the year to learn more or to schedule an overview for your company.

We wish all of you a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year, and continued success in the New Millenium. 
[Ron Brakke]

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