‘Beagle Brigade’ sniffs out African Swine Fever and other animal health threats

Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Control

African Swine Fever (ASF) has been on the move this year.

Originally endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa, the virus has caused a heightened number of outbreaks in and around China this year, moving through several Eastern European countries and eventually hitting Western Europe for the first time.

Because […]

Chlorine dioxide vs. chlorine bleach: A battle of misconceptions

Chlorine bleach: It’s convenient to purchase. It’s cheap. It’s a well-known household cleaner and disinfectant. But is it best to use as a water sanitizer in the poultry house?

Treating with chlorine is a common method to sanitize poultry drinking water and reduce concentrations of waterborne pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, molds and protozoans.

“The […]

What’s hiding in the water lines: Terminal water line cleaning in the poultry house

Picture a standpipe at the end of the water lines in a poultry house. Does it look clear? Is the pressure ball visible? Can the wall behind it be seen through the pipe? Or does it look cloudy, stained from years of use?

“Unfortunately, there are standpipes around the world in poultry houses that are […]

African swine fever spreads in Europe and Asia

African swine fever (ASF) crossed a new border last week as it entered Western Europe for the first time.

It’s been a tough year for ASF. An outbreak of the disease, which affects only pigs, began in Inner Mongolia during early August. Since then, 29 outbreaks have rocked China, which has culled nearly 40,000 pigs […]

Strong biosecurity can mitigate African Swine Fever Virus

The recent discovery and subsequent spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in one of largest swine operations in Romania (a 140,000 swine complex) is opening the eyes of epidemiologists in terms of the potential routes of contamination and spread of this virus.

It’s known that there are two most-common ways for viruses to spread. The […]

Cutting down on swine flu and bird flu at county fairs

The county fair is a good place to go to share agricultural achievements, show off animals, and maybe indulge in some kettle corn or a ride on the Ferris wheel. It’s not a place where anyone — human or animal —goes with a plan to get sick.

That said, sicknesses do happen. County fairs in […]

Understanding risks leads to a more successful calving season

It’s a wonderful time of year when baby farm animals take the stage (or, well, pasture), but it’s not a time without its risks. Fortunately, biosecurity and animal safety steps taken by farmers and ranchers every day go a long way in making sure each calving season is a success.

Experts at the North Dakota […]

Study finds African swine fever virus can survive international feed shipments

Animal producers and animal health experts often find it scary to consider the question: “What would happen if a foreign disease somehow found its way into my region?”

It’s critical to figure out the circumstances that might enable such a situation in order to prevent it. That’s why Kansas State University researcher Megan Niederwerder […]

Careful needle use prevents spread of livestock disease

In a set of training modules for veterinarians, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service touches on some important considerations for the re-use of needles when treating animals.

In the module, the agency explains the ever-present need for veterinarians and livestock producers to be careful when re-using needles. Used needles carry […]

Water troughs identified as E. coli sites on cattle farms

In any facility where animals are raised, especially for food production, a considerable amount of effort goes into completing one of many goals: preventing E. coli from getting anywhere it’s not supposed to be.

To a certain degree, E. coli is inevitable; it naturally exists harmlessly in the intestines of people and animals. The problem […]