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Articles from 2001 In October


Vets Disseminate Facts, Allay Fears about Anthrax

http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/news/stories/news1639.html

USDA Parasite Control Research

http://industryclick.com/magazinearticle.asp?magazineid=13&releaseid=5905&magazinearticleid=74442&siteid=5

Final Update on Foot-and-Mouth Disease

http://industryclick.com/magnewsarticle.asp?newsarticleid=243782&magazineid=17&SiteID=5

Watch for and Report Signs of Livestock Disease

It's 8 p.m. Do you know where -- or how -- your cattle are? In this era of heightened awareness about unusual activities, livestock health officials are asking ranchers to check their livestock regularly and immediately report signs of disease. Also, animal owners are asked to report suspicious activities, intruders or circumstances to local police or sheriff's department. Llicense plate numbers and descriptions of trespassers, should be recorded.

"We're urging producers to keep a closer watch on their animals, in light of recent events in our country," commented Dr. Linda Logan, Texas' state veterinarian and head of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state's livestock health regulatory agency. "As always, individual livestock producers and private veterinary practitioners are our first line of defense if--or when--a livestock disease is accidentally or intentionally introduced into the state. The immediate reporting of suspicious or unusual conditions can make all the difference in our ability to swiftly diagnose, control and eradicate a disease."

She said ranchers should watch for and report any of these signs:

  1. Sudden, unexplained death loss in the herd or flock.
  2. Severe illness affecting a high percentage of animals.
  3. Blistering around an animal's mouth, nose, teats or hooves.
  4. Unusual ticks or maggots.
  5. Central nervous system disorders that cause an animal to stagger or fall.

"Through teamwork, the TAHC and Texas' USDA staff for months has maintained a 24-hour hot line for disease reporting," said Dr. Jon Lomme, assistant area veterinarian in charge of Texas for the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services (USDA-APHIS-VS). "We take reports and dispatch a trained foreign animal disease diagnostician to collect samples, evaluate the situation and take appropriate measures to protect livestock health. There is no charge for the service."

"To report suspicious signs, call 1-800-550-8242. After work hours, follow the recorded instructions to page a veterinarian," commented Dr. Logan. "Be prepared to provide a description of the potential disease signs and information regarding the location, species and number of animals involved. "

Dr. Logan pointed out that a joint TAHC and USDA-APHIS-VS "first-strike" force has been preparing to fight a foreign animal disease outbreak or natural disaster affecting livestock. Known as the Texas Emergency Response Team, or TERT, this group can be mobilized quickly to address a disease situation.

"The TAHC also is a full-fledged member of the state's Emergency Management Council, giving us the ability to call on the resources of more than 31 major state agencies," said Dr. Logan. "In late June, representatives from more than 22 of the participating agencies gathered in College Station for a tabletop exercise involving a make-believe outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), a highly contagious foreign animal virus that, most recently, has greatly damaged the livestock industry in the Great Britain."

"In a livestock emergency, we could tap the manpower of state troopers to provide roadblocks to stop livestock movement, the National Guard to provide depopulation assistance and equipment, and the support services of the Red Cross to feed teams," explained Dr. Logan. She also pointed out that the TAHC and USDA-APHIS-VS have expanded the network of contacts with local emergency management coordinators, private veterinary practitioners and industry liaisons.

"While preparing to fight disease, we can never forget that our most valuable and cost-effective tool is livestock disease prevention and surveillance," commented Dr. Lomme. He listed several things livestock producers can do to help ensure the health of their herd or flock:

  • If you travel internationally, don't bring restricted products into the U.S., such as sausages, hams or other dangerous products that could spread disease. NEVER allow visitors or family members to bring these items on your property.
  • Launder or dry clean clothing and coats before you return to the US. Shower, wash your hair and put on clean clothes before heading to your flight home. Viruses or bacteria can be carried in your hair or on your skin, so it's important to bathe before traveling. Provide arriving international travelers with a clean set of clothing that can be worn after they shower.
  • Remove mud and manure from your shoes before journeying back to the U.S! Ask the Customs agent or USDA official to disinfect your shoes and other potentially contaminated items if you've been to a farm, zoo or other site where livestock or wildlife have been commingled. Provide shoes for visitors, or insist they wear only shoes that have not been worn on a ranch in another country.
  • For at least five days before you return to the U.S., don't go around farms, sale barns, zoos, fairs or other sites where livestock are kept. You could carry bacteria or viruses in your lungs, throat or nasal passages, and although you don't become ill, you could spread a livestock disease. Likewise, don't allow international travelers to have access to your livestock until they've been in the U.S. for at least five days.
  • Report suspicious activities, intruders or circumstances to the local police or sheriff's department. If possible, record license plate numbers and descriptions of trespassers.

Be Extra Vigilant of Your Livestock and Property

In light of recent terrorist actions, producers need to be extra vigilant of their livestock and property. The Texas Animal Health Commission suggests producers:

  • Check livestock regularly. Immediately report signs of disease.
  • Report suspicious activities, intruders or circumstances to local authorities. Be sure to record license plate numbers and descriptions of trespassers.
  • Report sudden, unexplained death loss in the herd, or severe illness affecting a high percentage of animals.
  • Report any blistering around an animal’s mouth, nose, teats or hooves; unusual ticks or maggots; or central nervous system disorders that cause an animal to stagger or fall.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association adds these suggestions:

  • Thoroughly screen new employees.
  • Prohibit unnecessary visitors and ask employees to report unescorted visitors to management.
  • Get license plate numbers on suspicious vehicles.
  • Immediately report suspicious movements to police.
  • Keep and post a list of emergency contacts and throughout the operation.
  • Review internal safety and security procedures with all employees.
  • Report all threats, thefts, inventory shortages, vandalism and sabotage to police.

For more biosecurity information from the Texas Animal Health Commission, click here.

Here's what you can do to protect your operation.

In light of recent terrorist actions, producers need to be extra vigilant of their livestock and property.

The Texas Animal Health Commission suggests producers:

  • Check livestock regularly. Immediately report signs of disease.
  • Report suspicious activities, intruders or circumstances to local authorities. Be sure to record license plate numbers and descriptions of trespassers.
  • Report sudden, unexplained death loss in the herd, or severe illness affecting a high percentage of animals.
  • Report any blistering around an animal’s mouth, nose, teats or hooves; unusual ticks or maggots; or central nervous system disorders that cause an animal to stagger or fall.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association adds these suggestions:

  • Thoroughly screen new employees.
  • Prohibit unnecessary visitors and ask employees to report unescorted visitors to management.
  • Get license plate numbers on suspicious vehicles.
  • Immediately report suspicious movements to police.
  • Keep and post a list of emergency contacts and throughout the operation.
  • Review internal safety and security procedures with all employees.
  • Report all threats, thefts, inventory shortages, vandalism and sabotage to police.

For more biosecurity information from the Texas Animal Health Commission, click here.

Fall Price Projections

Here are my downloadable preliminary projections for fall 2001 calves, as well as preliminary implications for marketing 2001 calves.

  • To download a PDF file of my fall 2001 price projections,click here. (This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.)
  • To download a PDF file of my fall 2001 price comparison,click here.
  • To download a PDF file of my marketing alternatives for 2001 steer calves,click here.

The last week of September was a tough one on cattle prices, and these projections are influenced by those prices. Bear in mind that these projections are made in the bottom of a short-term price slump.

Given the uncertainty of the world situation, beef cow producers might consider some price risk protection with a put in the feeder cattle futures market. I would encourage them to consider an "out of the money" put with a low-premium payment with the idea of preventing any more downside price risk should another national emergency occur.

Harlan Hughes is a Professor Emeritus of North Dakota State University. Retired last spring, he is currently based in Laramie, WY. He can be reached at 307/742-2364 or at [email protected].

http://www.beefstockerusa.org

Stand up

The beef checkoff program has been instrumental in curtailing the slide in beef demand. It should continue as a valuable strategy to fund on-going industry research and promotion.

Many industry members have used the industry-funded research to improve beef quality and food safety, to develop new innovative beef products and to assist brand promotion. Losing the checkoff would seriously set back our industry's goal of increasing beef demand.

I encourage all industry participants who support the beef checkoff to contact the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) members with whom they do business. Question their intentions in challenging the constitutionality of the checkoff.

Only through voicing our collective concerns will LMA understand their actions may be long term and detrimental to the entire beef industry.

This isn't just a National Cattlemen's Beef Association vs. LMA political issue. This is an industry issue that will affect everyone.
Robert Rebholtz, Jr.
president and CEO
Agri Beef Co.
Boise, ID