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Cows get stressed when separated from best friends

30 December 2011
Technical news (uncommented clippings)
Tags: cattle, welfare

Cows have best friends and become stressed if they are separated, according to a scientist. Read the full article under the hyperlink above.


Wishing all TAFS forum members and everybody following our newsletter that you will have plenty of opportunity to see your best friends in 2012.

Best wishes,

Uli Sperling

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New tainted milk scandal in China

28 December 2011
Technical news (uncommented clippings)
Tags: China, milk, aflatoxin

High levels of aflatoxin M1 have been found in a batch of milk before release for sales by China Mengniu Dairy Group and created a new scare, following the contamination of milk with melamine in 2008.

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Schmallenberg virus causing ruminant disease in Germany and The Netherlands

27 December 2011
Technical news (commented)
Tags: technical news, cattle, insect, Schmallenberg, virus, lamb, sheep, Germany, Netherlands

A new virus has been detected in Germany and The Netherlands and is suspected to be the cause of disease and abortions in cattle and sheep. The virus has been called Schmallenberg virus (SBV) preliminarily, after the German city where the identified strain was sampled. The risk for humans seems to be low, but significant uncertainties exist.

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Who should pay to make ground beef safe from E. coli?

02 December 2011
Technical news (commented)
Tags: beef, E.coli, economics

The debate as to who should pay for food safety is a good one to have as it indicates that the problem has moved from the technological to the economic level. This may not be entirely the case with Shigatoxin-producing E. coli, but it is good to learn about advances in this field.

See http://www.usatoday.com for a recent article on the topic.

See the full news article for interpretation and comment.

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High prevalence of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (‘Indian bison type’) in animal attendants suffering from gastrointestinal complaints who work with goat herds endemic for Johne's disease in India

25 November 2011
Technical news (commented)
Tags: paratuberculosis, India, mycobacterium

Singh, A.V., Singh, S.V., Singh, P.K., Sohal, J.S., Singh, M.K. (2011)

Journal of Infectious Diseases; Volume 15, Issue 10 , Pages e677-e683, October 2011

"Conclusions: The prevalence of MAP was higher in attendants suffering from gastrointestinal problems who worked with goat herds endemic for Johne's disease, than in humans with no history of contact with animals. The risk of developing gastrointestinal problems with clinical symptoms indistinguishable from inflammatory bowel disease was higher in humans who were in contact with goat herds endemic for Johne's disease as compared to healthy humans, and the risk was correlated with the duration of association with the endemic goat herds."

(C) 2011 International Society for Infectious Diseases.

See the full news article for interpretation.

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Novel Prion Protein in BSE-Affected Cattle, Switzerland

22 November 2011
Technical news (uncommented clippings)
Tags: TSE, cattle, Switzerland

T. Seuberlich et al. (including our member D. Heim) report about the finding of a novel prion protein in two BSE-affected cattle. In April and May 2011, two cows were found BSE-positive by Western Blotting. Their PrPres phenotypes falls in none of the three previously described categories, C-BSE, H-BSE or L-BSE.

The significance of this finding is unclear.

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World Bank and TAFS forum co-publish "World Livestock Disease Atlas"

03 November 2011
Official publications
Tags: TAFS, OIE, FAO, livestock

The World Bank and the TAFS forum have joined forces and co-published a "World Livestock Disease Atlas". It contains a comprehensive, quantitative analysis of OIE and FAO data on global livestock populations and their losses due to reportable diseases. The atlas is available in hardcopy as well as downloadable from the TAFS forum website.

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TAFS involved in GRF One Health Summit 2012

05 October 2011
News on TAFS
Tags: TAFS, GRF, One Health

In February 2012 the Global Risk Forum GRF Davos holds an international health conference in Davos, Switzerland. The first GRF One Health Summit 2012 will contribute to advancing the concept of “One Health”, striving for intensive collaboration among all stakeholders related to public health. Such an approach acknowledges the systemic interconnections of human, animal and environmental health in close relation with food safety and security and will ensure sustainable public health in an era of climate change, resource depletion, land degradation, hunger and socio-economic development challenges.

The call for contributions for the GRF One Health Summit 2012 is now open. You are invited to submit an abstract for an oral or poster presentation relating to the topics of the conference. Representatives from the medical sciences, natural and social sciences, the health workforce as well as the pharma-, food- and insurance-industry are particularly addressed to register.

For further information please visit http://onehealth.grforum.org

The TAFS forum is involved in the planning and organization of the conference. We are currently working out what exactly our role will be.

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