animal health

Happy cows don’t make headlines

Another undercover video of farm animal abuse – this time on a BC dairy farm – means another black eye for farmers in the media. Those of us in farming know these terrible incidents are by far the exception and not the norm – but the many millions who see or read the bad news […]

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Alberta Pork’s H1N1 challenges, responses

This post is a continuation from yesterday’s H1N1 topic that explored Alberta Pork’s experiences at the centre of the H1N1 media storm earlier this year. The information is based on a presentation I attended by Lee Funke of Torque Communications at the recently held Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation conference in Edmonton. He outlined some of […]

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An inside look at Egypt’s reaction to pigs and H1N1

A freelance science writer from Egypt speaking at a conference for science journalists helped shed some light on that country’s extraordinary decision to slaughter its entire pig population when H1N1 influenza was first announced earlier this year. Nadia El-Awady, Program Manager with the Arab Science Journalists Association, spoke about the events that led up to […]

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Ending the flu frenzy over pigs and pork

They’ve finally listened. Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that they were re-naming what everyone’s been calling “swine flu” to H1N1 Influenza A. Pandemic frenzy has taken hold as we grapple with this new flu that has emerged. It was quickly dubbed “swine flu” even though it really has nothing to do with pigs or […]

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Backyard chicken flap

Tough economic times and increased environmental awareness mean we’re seeing things we haven’t seen in decades. Things like the return of the laundry line, the resurgence of the vegetable patch and even the re-appearance of backyard chicken coops. Municipalities are generally encouraging of anything that promotes environmental awareness and sustainability – but some are drawing […]

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Canadian e.coli vaccine approved

Food safety in Canada received a boost today with the announcement that an e.coli vaccine with the potential to reduce risk to human health has been approved for use in Canada. Econiche, a livestock vaccine that greatly reduces the shedding of e.coli O157:H7 by beef and dairy cattle, is now available to Canadian farmers.

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A cattle vaccine with human health benefit – who should pay?

The following article was first published in Ontario Beef Farmer magazine, July 2008: It sickens thousands of people every year, killing some and leaving others with permanent health damage. But it doesn’t affect the animals that harbour and shed the bacteria, making the disease invisible to farmers. Now, a new, made-in-Canada cattle vaccine to reduce […]

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Innovative E.coli vaccine granted conditional US approval

A Canadian-made cattle vaccine against a deadly form of e.coli has been given a conditional licence for sale by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Developed in Canada and already conditionally approved for sale in this country, this vaccine is the first that can be used on-farm to reduce the shedding of e.coli 0157:H7 […]

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Keeping bugs out of the barn

A simple and relatively low cost Danish procedure may help Ontario pork producers in their fight against a devastating disease – Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS).PRRS has been a challenge in Ontario’s hog industry since the early 90’s when it was still called mystery swine disease. In 2004, new and more virulent PRRS strains […]

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