Study: Horses are happier housed together

Horses_MistyFence2_blogEyes will be locked on televisions around the world this weekend as many eagerly anticipate the running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby. While for two solid minutes these racehorses are all business, it’s easy to spot them mingling with each other before and after the race.

That is why it comes as no surprise that research is showing horses don’t actually like being separated from other horses and show more physiological signs of stress when they’re housed in individual stalls, whether they act like it or not. [ More … ]

India’s answer to climate change: Cows that belch less

AuburnCow3_blogIndia is home to more than 280 million cows and 200 million more ruminant animals like sheep, goats, yaks and buffalo. According to analysis of satellite data, all those digestive tracts send about 13 million tons of methane into the atmosphere every year — one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

So, to combat this issue scientists are working hard on finding a way to make these animals less flatulent. Scientists at the Cow Research Institute in Mathura, around 100 miles south of New Delhi, are tinkering with cattle feed, seeking a formula that will create less gas for the cows to belch out. [ More … ]

Stricter animal welfare standards proposed for organic chicken, meat

MultiChickensThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed stricter animal welfare standards for organic chicken and meat in the multibillion-dollar market that is rapidly expanding each year.

The rules would ensure that all livestock, including poultry, have enough space to lie down, turn around, stand up and fully stretch their limbs. In addition, beaks must remain intact, tails cannot be cut and poultry houses must have fresh air and ventilation. [ More … ]

Evolving viruses in pigs pose new swine flu threat

Cute pigWhile swine flu viruses have long been considered a risk for human pandemics, and were the source of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus, attention has recently turned to the transmission of flu viruses from humans to pigs.

“Once in pigs, flu viruses from humans continue to evolve their surface proteins, generically referred to as antigens, resulting in a tremendous diversity of novel flu viruses that can be transmitted to other pigs and also [back] to humans,” explains Nicola Lewis, the lead researcher of a new study published in the journal eLife.
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Monday links

Plate_DANGER_blog2Don’t have time to scour the internet for the latest animal science, food safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Food Safety

“Health risk’” warning over fall in food safety checks – BBC
Food hygiene inspections in the U.K. have fallen by 15% since 2003, research shows — with experts warning of risks to public health.

California Farm Use Of Oilfield Waste Water Prompts Food-Safety Inquiry – CBS News
Some popular California-grown fruits and nuts are irrigated with waste water from oilfields. No one has been checking if the practice is actually safe — until now. [ More … ]

Neogen acquires Preserve International and Tetradyne

Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that it has acquired Preserve International and Tetradyne LLC, sister companies owned and operated by the private Nevada-based Preserve International corporation.

Founded in 1991, Preserve and Tetradyne offer the livestock and food processing industries cleaners, disinfectants, and associated products. Preserve has focused primarily on the swine, poultry and food processing markets, and Tetradyne’s major focus has been on the dairy industry. The company holds patents on innovative disinfectant technologies and more than 100 EPA/FDA registered products. [ More … ]

New research finds soy can limit growth of Listeria

Soy Beans_blogSoybeans are known for their essential amino acids, high protein content and as a good source of fiber and calcium. But, it turns out, soy also has the ability to naturally protect people from foodborne illnesses such as Listeria.

Recent research from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada found soy can limit the growth of some bacteria, such as Listeria and pseudomonas, and it can be more effective than chemical-based agents. [ More … ]

Studies show marred fruit may pack more nutrition

Apple_wMagnifyingGlass_blogThe old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover may also hold true for fruit as some studies are showing that unsightly scars on the outside of nature’s candy might actually reflect a higher nutritional content within.

Take apples, for example. The scars and other blemishes you sometimes see on their skin are a result of the fruit fighting fungus, heat and pests as they grow. While many are quick to turn their back on these less appealing looking fruits, others are showing that some blemished produce pack an unexpected nutritional punch — courtesy of its own battles to survive. [ More … ]

Drones help farmers deal with natural disasters

FloodedField_blogIn an effort to stay ahead of the negative impacts of climate change, floods and typhoons on food security, the government of the Philippines and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have started using unmanned aerial drones to assess where farmlands are most at risk from natural disasters and to quickly assess the damages after natural disasters strike.

Under a pilot phase funded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Philippines and the FAO, two drones have already been sent soaring over the Philippines provinces that have been affected by the current El Niño. [ More … ]

Neogen acquires Brazilian animal genomics company

Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that it has acquired Brazil-based Deoxi Biotecnologia Ltda (Deoxi) — a leading animal genomics laboratory in the country with the most cattle in the world.

The acquisition of Deoxi is intended to help accelerate the growth of Neogen’s GeneSeek animal genomics in Brazil, which is home to more than 200 million cattle (as a comparison, the United States is home to approximately 90 million cattle). Deoxi was founded in 2008, and was a competitor of Neogen’s in the livestock genomics market. [ More … ]