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Animal Health News & Notes for July 11, 2008 7/11/2008

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Brakke Consulting's
Animal Health News & Notes for July 11, 2008
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
other news
O.K. Foods
Smithfield Foods
TR BioSurgical
Executive and Sales Force Recruiting
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> TR BioSurgical announced the commercialization of TR Matrix, a collagen-based scaffold that contains no cells or drugs and is classified as a medical device.  Cells binding to TR Matrix have been shown to increase production of a variety of tissue repair factors. (company press release)  
> Smithfield Foods announced it will sell 4.95% of its stock (7 million shares) to COFCO Ltd., the largest agricultural trading and processing company in China. The transaction is intended to provide Smithfield with the funds needed to pay down debt and cash as the company awaits the sale of its beef operations to JBS. COFCO's investment in Smithfield is passive in nature, and the purchase agreement contains standstill provisions. (Pork Alert) 
> O.K. Foods announced plans to reduce its broiler egg sets by 7.5%.  As the reason for the reduction, the nation's 10th largest poultry processor cited record high prices for corn and soybean meal, which it attributes to the US government's mandated ethanol policies along with recent flooding in the Midwest "Corn Belt" region.  O.K. Foods already reduced its chicken production by 8% in April. (Meating Place) 
> Cargill Meat Solutions announced the introduction of Good Nature pork, a new all-natural, antibiotic-free pork brand available to both retail and foodservice operators. Animals selected for Good Nature are never administered antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones. (Meating Place) 
> UK   Genitrix announced the UK launch of Osteokine, a new treatment system that speeds up wound healing in horses. Osteokine produces platelet-rich plasma (PRP), an autologous solution containing high levels of platelets to accelerate the healing of injuries. PRP is already widely used in human medicine. Osteokine was developed by Orthogen, a German company that also manufactures the joint therapy Irap, which Genitrix launched in the UK in 2006. (Animal Pharm) 
> US - TICK FEVER   The Texas Animal Health Commission announced it is expanding the preventive cattle fever tick quarantine area in south Texas by 307,000 acres, after the ticks were detected on cattle outside quarantine areas in Starr and Zapata counties. Fever ticks have been detected on livestock or wildlife on 139 Texas pastures during the past 12 months. (USAgNet)
> US - FDA RULING   The FDA announced the publication of a final rule that prohibits the extralabel use of cephalosporin antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, including cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys.  According to the FDA, the prohibition of extralabel use of cephalosporin antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals will protect the public health by preserving the effectiveness of cephalosporin-class drugs for the treatment of human infections. (AnimalNet - FDA)
> US - BIOTECH INDUSTRY REPORT  A new report released by the US Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which represents the interests of businesses working in the sector, claims that GE animals offer "tremendous benefits" to animal health. "Genetically Engineered Animals and Public Health – Compelling Benefits for Health Care, Nutrition, the Environment and Animal Welfare", concentrates on the possible applications of genetic modification in animal breeding. These include improving food production through the development of more efficient, higher-quality and lower-cost livestock and creating new human pharmaceuticals. (Animal Pharm)
Even with all the turmoil in the marketplace created by the high price of food grains in production animals and the economics impacting pet owners, it's a rather quiet summer.  One starts to wonder what the next surprise is around the corner that could negatively impact the animal health business. 
Maybe in my travels I've been to the wrong places, but I still pick up a reasonable amount of optimism for the industry.  We're in a period of high inflation and financial uncertainty, so managing a company requires a steady hand on the wheel and a rational, planned approach to the emotional issues.  Go slow and make sure the lines of communication are open within your company or organization.  It's a challenging time for everyone involved and some groups need less high-test caffeine and more support.  After all, it's election year and the politicians have one or more answers to all of our concerns!  And if you believe that, it's time for your vacation!!
Have a great weekend!!
Ron Brakke
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