The U.S. Department of Agriculture will devise a new tracing program for livestock as it drops the National Animal Identification System. The new rules are expected to take more than two years to create.
The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday proposed requiring farmers and ranchers to attach unique identification numbers to poultry and livestock moving between states in an effort to easily track the source of disease outbreaks. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the proposed mandatory tracking system would help restore foreign meat buyers' confidence in the way U.S. authorities control animal diseases.
Agricultural officials in Michigan have developed an e-mail alert system to get the word out about local disease outbreaks among animals. Systems such as the Animal Health Network could save livestock industries millions of dollars, an emergency planning specialist says.
As pets live longer, due in part to advances in veterinary care and nutrition, they also become more prone to developing dementia in their later years, according to a veterinarian in South Yarmouth, Mass. While a few prescription drugs have been reported to help slow the progression of the disease, "there is some anecdotal evidence that diet can help early to moderate cognitive dysfunction," the veterinarian said.
The Mississippi State Senate approved a bill that would make animal cruelty toward dogs and cats a felony in the state. Under the bill, violators could be fined as much as $10,000 and imprisoned for up to five years.
Backed by scientific data mostly from veterinarians in academia, AVMA supports the use of antibiotics "for therapy" as a way to ensure food safety and animal health, according to Christine Hoang, assistant director of the group's scientific activities division. "The overarching guideline is that we would expect that antimicrobials would be used judiciously to protect both animal and human health," Hoang said.