GFM Network News



African swine fever – watch and learn

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Many human infectious diseases travel at the speed of the fastest airplane. It’s critical for those involved in the animal protein business — be it beef, poultry or pork anywhere on the globe — to remain vigilant of what’s happening with international neighbours struggling with highly infectious diseases in animals, and learn. No one in […] Read more


High-risk calves a welfare concern

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) accounts for 65 to 80 per cent of the morbidity (sickness) and 45 to 75 per cent of the mortality (deaths) in feedlots. Dr. Dan Thompson of Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine 2018 Beef Cattle Conference on managing high-risk calves, highlighted the […] Read more

A process to mass-produce penicillin was discovered by USDA scientist Andrew Moyer, shown here in his lab in Peoria, Ill. (Photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Vet Advice: New regs to preserve old and new drugs

I’m often asked why even older antimicrobials are still considered medically important to human medicine. The premise, right or wrong, is to preserve antibiotic effectiveness by reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance attributed to wholesale use in animal agriculture. While debate still rages over the impact new legislation will have on preserving antimicrobial effectiveness in […] Read more


Sustained intake of ergot contaminated feed will shut down blood supply to an animal's extremities, and over time, worsen its condition.

Ergot poisoning: An ancient scourge remains a problem in modern rations

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The negative impacts of ergot contamination in food were recognized as early as the fifth century AD. Ergot, a plant parasite, commonly affects rye grass, but wheat, rye, barley, oats, brome, fescue, blue, timothy, western and intermediate wheatgrass and other grasses can also be infected. Environmental conditions associated with a cool wet spring followed by […] Read more

A scanning electron micrograph of Salmonella enteritidis cells. (P.J. Guard-Petter photo, digitally colourized by Stephen Ausmus, courtesy ARS/USDA)

The battle against AMR drags on

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

The CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) has embarked on an exercise to script another chapter into the debate on prudent use of antibiotics in animals. Its plan: participation in an antimicrobial use (AMU) workshop of Canadian veterinarians, veterinary researchers and educators, government officials and species-group stakeholders working in the areas of swine, poultry, beef, dairy, […] Read more


E. coli.

Fighting AMR: A true test of human resilience

The ongoing explosion of antimicrobial-resistant infections continues to plague global health care. Our inability to mount significant countermeasures to resistance, while at the same time enduring the decline in research and development of new antibiotics creates a “perfect storm” and the fear we may be on final approach to a pre-antibiotic era of serious and […] Read more

A cluster of E. coli bacteria. As an alternative to using antibiotics for fighting E. coli infections in newborn and weaned pigs, scientists are finding promising results from introducing mixes of beneficial bacteria, obtained from other pigs, into the gut of young pigs.

Vet Advice: Exploring the ‘hygiene hypothesis’

As a veterinarian, I wondered for many years if animals and humans could function normally in an environment free of pathogens, free of stress and devoid of all things considered harmful. What might the balance be between not enough and too much? Are city kids raised in a semi-sterile milieu advantaged or disadvantaged compared to […] Read more