Horse slaughter injunction lifted: A court decision could pave the way for the first horse slaughter operations in the U.S. in more than five years. A federal court ended an injunction barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from providing horse meat inspection services to Valley Meat Co. in New Mexico, Responsible Transportation in Iowa and Rains Natural Meats in Missouri. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the emergency injunction in Front Range Equine Rescue vs. Vilsack. The emergency injunction had been in place since early November after the plaintiffs, which include numerous animal rights groups and the state of New Mexico, appealed a federal judge's ruling in Albuquerque, N.M. Among other factors considered, the 10th circuit found that the plaintiffs "failed to establish a likelihood of success on appeal" with regard to both the directive and grants of inspection. On the plaintiffs' request, the district court entered a temporary restraining order. Ultimately, after a briefing and a hearing, the circuit court rejected the plaintiffs' arguments, vacated the restraining order, denied plaintiffs' request for permanent injunctive relief and dismissed the case with prejudice, the court statement noted. Because the order removes the emergency status of the case, it likely will delay a final decision for several months.
Pre-proposals requested on salmonella: The U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn.'s (USPOULTRY) Board Research Initiative is requesting pre-proposals regarding research on the exploration of systemic salmonella infection in chickens and turkeys and the determination of the relationship with salmonella in finished ground product. The deadline for pre-proposal submission is April 18, 2014. More information and instructions are available at www.uspoultry.org by clicking on "Research." The Board Research Initiative was created by the boards of USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation to address current issues facing the poultry industry. The initiative operates alongside the current USPOULTRY research program and augments the existing program by focusing additional resources toward defined areas of research.
Baucus to be China ambassador: The White House nominated veteran Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Baucus, who has served in the Senate since 1978, already announced that he would not be running for re-election in 2014. The news takes on increasing importance as agricultural issues with China continue to surface. It also could have an impact on congressional attempts to rewrite the tax code. As Senate Finance Committee chairman, Baucus had hoped to advance legislation in 2014, but that could be left by the wayside. Baucus said he was humbled by the nomination. "The U.S.-China relationship is one of the world's most important bilateral relationships. If confirmed, my goal will be to further strengthen diplomatic and economic ties between our two nations," he said.
FDA extends trans-fat comment period: The Food & Drug Administration has decided to extend the comment period on its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils — the primary dietary source of artificial trans fats in processed foods — are not "generally recognized as safe" for use in food. It will be extended by 60 days, to March 8, 2014. This extension is being provided in response to numerous stakeholder requests for additional time to submit comments. FDA published a notice in the Federal Register on Nov. 8 announcing its preliminary determination and had provided 60 days, until Jan. 7, 2014, for submission of comments and scientific data pertaining to the notice, including specific issues such as possible alternative approaches, time needed for reformulation, burdens on small businesses and other technical challenges to removal of partially hydrogenated oils from the food supply.
BPI case: A South Dakota judge heard arguments Dec. 17 in a defamation case brought against ABC News by Beef Products Inc. (BPI). BPI, the maker of lean, finely textured beef, alleges that ABC News disseminated false statements regarding the product, coining it "pink slime" in a variety of news reports. BPI is asking for $1.2 billion in damages stemming from the more than 130 times it says ABC News used the term pink slime, according to local news reports. ABC said the case questions the media's right to be objective. Judge Cheryle Gering will now issue a written decision indicating how the trial will proceed but did not say when the decision would be released.
Enlist corn patent: Dow AgroSciences LLC announced last week the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,598,413 for its 2,4-D herbicide tolerance event in corn. The corn event is based on one of Dow's Enlist herbicide-tolerant traits and provides robust tolerance to broadleaf and grass herbicides, including 2,4-D and the Fop family of herbicides. Pending regulatory approvals, Dow expects to launch Enlist corn in 2015 in the U.S. The patent provides proprietary protection for corn plants containing the event, methods of using Enlist corn for controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds and uses of Dow's herbicide-tolerance trait in combination with 2,4-D herbicides, Fop herbicides and other broad-spectrum and selective herbicides. The patent application also covers stacking the event with other traits.
Block supplement: Purina Animal Nutrition introduced Accuration Block, a new balanced supplement for beef cows that is formulated to help cows maintain ideal body condition scores by providing the nutrients cattle need to complement available forage. The Accuration Block incorporates Intake Modifying Technology, a proprietary technology developed by Purina Animal Nutrition that encourages "snack eating" throughout the day, which supports rumen efficiency, helps address nutrient waste and aids in forage digestion. The supplement is available in different sizes and forms to fit the needs of the cattle producer, including: a 200 lb. block, a 200 lb. plastic tub and a 500 lb. block.
Remote detection: SCR announced the launch of the SCR Heatime HR-LD System, an advanced cow monitoring system. The new system builds on SCR's combination of rumination and activity monitoring, adding radio frequency-based, long-range communication. SCR said the Heatime HR-LD System delivers real-time, actionable information by transmitting activity and rumination data from each cow anywhere on the farm a few times every hour. The system enables real-time health monitoring and up-to-date heat detection reports regardless of milking shifts, which improves farmers' ability to act proactively to optimize the reproduction performance and health of their cows.
Moisture scanner: Digi-Star introduced the Moisture Tracker, a handheld near-infrared scanning device that rapidly measures the dry matter and moisture content of animal feeds. The company said the tracker provides near-instantaneous, accurate dry matter and moisture readings, which enable livestock producers to quickly react to changes in dietary dry matter, thus ensuring that the ration delivered matches the ration calculated.
PCVAD vaccine: Zoetis announced that its new Fostera PCV MH — the first one-bottle, one-dose combination vaccine that helps protect swine from porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD) and enzootic pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae — is now available. With its one-dose or two-dose protocol, the product formulation offers convenience and flexibility to swine managers, the announcement said. For healthy pigs three weeks of age or older, Fostera PCV MH is licensed for administration in either of two ways: (1) a single 2 mL intramuscular (IM) dose or (2) two 1 mL IM doses spaced two weeks apart. Fostera PCV MH is available in 50- and 250-dose vials.
Egg patent: R&D LifeSciences LLC has received a patent for its novel liquid whole-egg protein supplement, PROTEMACE Liquid, making it the only patented whole-egg protein supplement stable at room temperature in a liquid form that can be directly added to the drinking water or rations of poultry and livestock. The announcement said the product provides an antibiotic-free, all-natural source of immunoglobulins that are critical in supporting the immune system, especially in challenging environments.
Calcium bolus: MAI Animal Health introduced its new TRANSITION Calcium Bolus, the first product in its line of nutritional supplements for transition dairy cows that deliver immediate and sustained calcium to combat milk fever and provide metabolic support during freshening. The boluses contain three calcium sources: calcium propionate, calcium carbonate and calcium chloride. TRANSITION Calcium Boluses are available in 88 g (providing 22 g of calcium) and 176 g (providing 44 g of calcium) sizes. The boluses are manufactured by The Dr. Larson Co. in Spring Valley, Wis., and are marketed by MAI Animal Health.
Identical carotenoid: DSM announced that it has received a European patent for use of canthaxanthin to improve breeder performance. Canthaxanthin is a nature-identical carotenoid produced by DSM. Its use in MaxiChick — DSM's patented solution for boosting the productivity of breeder flocks — has, likewise, been granted in Brazil, China, Switzerland, Australia and Mexico. The European Patent Office has confirmed DSM's patent on the use of canthaxanthin and/or at least one vitamin D metabolite — preferably 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 — for improving breeder hatchability and fertility and for lowering embryo mortality in poultry. MaxiChick combines the antioxidant properties of canthaxanthin with the calcium-mediating action of Hy-D, DSM's specific vitamin D3 metabolite.