Weekly livestock news: January 9, 2023

Vermont struggles to meet demand for large animal veterinary care

Vermont veterinary professionals say recruiting and retaining livestock veterinarians is an ongoing challenge for the state. In addition to federal and state aid to help veterinarians repay their student debt, offering scheduling flexibility may help, as one equine doctor told WCAX. “Just thinking outside the box making sure that people know that they don’t have to work from 6 to 9 every day or on call every day” can help, said Dr. Betsy Colarusso, co-owner of the Vermont Large Animal Clinic, where work hours are shifting to keep doctors onboard.

Iowa State University seeks funding to finish construction of veterinary laboratory

Iowa State University’s president is asking the state’s governor and legislature to provide $62.5 million over the next four years to complete construction of the university’s new Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The laboratory “provides absolutely vital support to Iowa’s $32.5 billion animal agriculture industry,” said ISU President Wendy Wintersteen. She said that after the first phase of construction ends this year, another phase will be necessary to add more space for laboratory testing and research.

Sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials remain down for food animals

Annual sales and distribution by volume of medically important antimicrobials for food-producing animals remain down since a substantial decrease in 2017, new data shows. According to the FDA’s recent “2021 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals,” the volume of domestic sales and distribution by weight of medically important antimicrobial drugs approved for use in food-producing animals decreased less than 1% between 2020 and 2021. Compared with 2015, the peak year, sales and distribution in 2021 were down 38%. The AVMA has more details.

Can dogs sniff out bovine respiratory disease?

A Texas A&M researcher wants to find out if dogs can sniff out bovine respiratory disease. Courtney Daigle, an animal welfare specialist in Texas A&M’s Department of Animal Science, is working with doctoral student Aiden Juge to begin their second round of training to determine if dogs can routinely and accurately detect BRD in cattle. The team recently published its first study results, in which they determined accuracy could have been limited by various factors. Daigle said further research with increased control and precision in certain areas is necessary. Canine olfactory capacity has been successfully used to detect and diagnose human diseases, and the Texas A&M team hopes to expand on that success.

Taiwan says it’s on track to be first Asian nation to eradicate swine flu

Taiwan is on track to be declared free of swine flu by 2024 and to become the first Asian nation to eradicate the disease, a government official said. Chen Chi-chung, minister of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture, said that as of January 1, 2023, pigs bred for meat in Taiwan no longer need to be vaccinated against swine flu. The COA also plans to suspend all vaccination programs for breeding pigs by July 2023. If there are no outbreaks or complications, Taiwan will apply to the World Organisation for Animal Health for international recognition as a country free of swine flu. Taiwan News reports.

Last year’s biggest ag law developments

Texas A&M agricultural law specialist Tiffany Lashmet reviews major legal issues the industry saw in 2022, with implications reaching into the new year. Carbon contracts, the definition of Waters of the United States, a forthcoming Supreme Court ruling on California’s Proposition 12 animal confinement law, lawsuits filed over alleged claims of producer “greenwashing,” and changes to the Endangered Species Act are highlighted in Lashmet’s roundup in Southwest Farm Press.