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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 13 February 2013

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Wednesday 13th February 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Brazil Given Official Approval to Maintain 'Negligible Risk' Health Status

After weeks of diplomatic struggle the Brazilian government has received cattle health status clarification following confirmation from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The OIE passed the decision on Monday in their Paris headquarters, meaning beef exports should resume unimpeded.

Fears developed after a BSE scare on 6 December 2012. A chain reaction of embargos followed.

Chile, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa, South Korea, China and Taiwan banned beef imports from Brazil.

Over a month ago initial approval given by Director General of the OIE, Bernard Vallat, vouched for the safety of Brazilian beef and called for all embargoes to be lifted.

"According to the standards of the OIE, embargos should end as soon as possible," Mr Vallat announced in January.

"One case in a population of 200 million head of cattle does not justify the classification change."

The BSE case was monitored by UK scientists who discovered prion proteins in the carcass of a 13 year old cow raised in Parana on an 'exclusively grass-fed diet' which died in 2010.

Prion proteins are abnormal, misfolded isoforms strongly linked to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Prions cause a chain reaction producing other proteins of similar misfolded forms and can result in fatal neurodegenerative diseases in some mammals.

After rigorous testing at the National Reference Laboratory in Brazil and at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, UK results were inconclusive although confirmed an atypical type of BSE that had developed in the ageing bovine.

"Although the poor quality and the indeterminate fixation history of the sample compromises interpretation, we note the sample appears to have some characteristics of H-Type rather than L or C-Type of BSE," the laboratory report stated.

Alarm spread through the Brazilian government when the beef industry was snubbed. Ban effects had the potential to be economically detrimental with nearby Chile importing over 45,392 tonnes at a value of over US$ 262.5 million between January and September 2012 and Saudi Arabia purchasing around half that quantity.

ABIEC, the Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters, announced last week that 64 per cent of Brazilian beef is bought by Venezuela, Hong Kong and Russia meaning economic impact from the bans was slight.

Last year Brazilian beef and agribusiness sectors enjoyed record breaking figures for income and production and the sector is now set to remain strong as beef remains at 'negligible risk'.

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This Weeks Articles and Analysis

Going Beyond the Barnyard to Stop Flies
Arthropod pests can cause discomfort in cows and result in lower milk yield, weight gain and feed efficiency. Researchers at the University of Nebraska report on what new solutions might be available.

Comparison of the Effects of Three Different Dehorning Techniques on Behaviour and Performance in Feeder Cattle in a Western Kansas Feedlot
Dehorning is a familiar subject for cattlemen and is a long practiced technique done to ensure farm safety of both farmers and animals. The three methods, tipping, dehorning, and banding are evaluated here by looking at how individual animals reacted after treatment by researchers C.D. Neely, D.U. Thomson, C.A. Kerr, D.E. Anderson, and C.D. Reinhardt.

Emerging Global Diseases
The increasing demand for animal protein and the rapidly growing markets in Latin America and Asia are driving an increase in the production and trade of food animals globally.

Hypovitaminosis A Coupled to Secondary Bacterial Infection in Beef Cattle
A team of researchers has been looking into vitamin A deficiency in calves and its effect on infection and immunity.

BVD in Free-ranging Wild Ruminants in Switzerland
In the frame of an eradication program for bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) in Swiss livestock, the question was raised whether free-ranging wildlife could threaten the success of this sanitary measure.

Market Reports

Animal Feed Statistics for Great Britain - December 2012
USDA WASDE - February 2013
USDA Feed Outlook - February 2013

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