GFM Network News


The coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China, is new and until now, had not been found in humans.

Simple goes bad

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, a public health emergency. It’s just another stop on the Zoonotic Highway, a simple respiratory infection that matured into a global health emergency. Health agencies around the world have tried to smother the threat, but efforts seem flawed. History repeats itself: the novel […] Read more

The real issue around the red meat study is scientific credibility

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Dr. Bradley Johnston, an associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, escalated the protein war when he published a report contradicting existing nutritional guidelines related to red meat consumption. According to Johnston, “Most adults shouldn’t worry about how much red or processed meat they eat. This is not just another study of […] Read more


Controlling disease will become more difficult as new diseases constantly emerge, and novel environmental, social and financial pressures across the globe change the face of disease control.

Addressing zoonotic diseases on a global scale

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

In March 2019, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health launched a guide for countries using a One Health approach to control zoonotic diseases. The guide became available internationally in multiple languages in October 2019. Zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza, rabies, […] Read more



It’s important to keep in mind that animals don’t have to be completely parasite-free to be healthy and productive.

Managing resistance to internal parasites in cattle

Producers need to tailor parasite control to align with their herds and management systems

Managing internal parasite resistance starts with asking the right questions and understanding the principles of antiparasitic resistance and the range of control products. From there, a producer needs to develop a deworming strategy and pin it to the spring and summer grazing calendar. A veterinarian can help. Antiparasitic resistance is typically defined as the genetic […] Read more

Livestock should not be allowed to consume feeds containing more than 0.5 per cent nitrate if they have not been previously exposed.

Got livestock feed with high nitrates? Here’s how to manage it

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Hail, drought, spray drift or frost can all disrupt the normal growth of plants, causing nitrate accumulations that can lead to nitrate poisoning. This year, depending where you’re from, had them all. The number of animals affected by acute nitrate poisoning on the Prairies is usually low, but when losses occur, they occur suddenly and […] Read more


When anthrax spores get inside the body, they are “activated.” Bacteria rapidly multiply and produce powerful toxins resulting in vascular collapse and death.

Anthrax: A disease of antiquity spread by ancient human migration

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Historians think anthrax originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Biblical scholars suggest that during Moses’ time and through the 10 plagues of Egypt, anthrax may have caused the fifth plague, captured in ancient script as a sickness affecting horses, cattle, sheep, camels and oxen. Homer described a plague that many believe to be anthrax in The […] Read more

Ionophores are used most extensively in feedlot cattle diets, but are generally considered a good investment regardless of the diet fed.

The complicated life of an ionophore

Ron Clarke outlines the basics of how these widely used feed additives work

Ionophores are a class of compounds frequently talked about in animal nutrition, yet infrequently understood by many. First marketed in the 1960s and derived from soil-borne organisms, ionophores are best described as feed additives that reversibly bind ions — chemical entities possessing an electric charge — then subsequently facilitate their transport across membranes. Commonly used […] Read more


Sweet clover is high in coumarin, which converts to dicoumarol – a potent vitamin K antagonist and anticoagulant– if the plant is spoiled or damaged.

Vet Advice: Avoiding sweet clover poisoning

A variety of bacteria and moulds can grow in sweet clover once baled or put up as silage

Preparing forages and getting them stored in perfect condition seldom happens. Spoilage is often linked to the production of moulds and a broad spectrum of mycotoxins in grains. Syndromes in domestic livestock following consumption of feed containing mycotoxins varies depending on the species of animal involved, the stage of the production cycle when it is […] Read more

U.S. vaccine supplies are sufficient to control foot-and-mouth in only about four per cent of Iowa’s swine herd or 14 per cent of Texas’s cattle herd.

Foot-and-mouth disease remains a threat to North American livestock

North America needs to prepare better for an outbreak of this economically important disease

Foot-and-mouth disease virus and the disease it causes have been intensively studied for decades. Although we know a great deal about the virus and vaccines used to prevent foot-and-mouth disease, it remains endemic across large parts of Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia, and is a constant threat to North America. Globally, it […] Read more