Updates From the World of Livestock & Poultry Research


Award of excellence for OVC prof

University of Guelph prof David Kelton received the 2017 Award of Excellence from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. Kelton is a veterinary epidemiologist at the Ontario Veterinary College.

OVC prof named Fellow of Canadian Academy of Health Sciences

Veterinarian, epidemiologist and food safety expert Dr. Jan Sargeant is being recognized for her global leadership in animal health, welfare and food safety as a fellow with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Sargeant is the founding director of the Centre for Public Health and Zoonosis at the University of Guelph. 
Order of Agronomist of Quebec award winners announced

Dr. Hélène Lapierre received an Award of Merit for Agronomy for her work on dairy cattle research with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Steve Adam and Julie Baillargeon of Valacta were both awarded with Medals of Distinction for Agronomy for their work on a training program for animal comfort. The awards were given out at a recent event in Sherbrooke, QC. 

Former OMAFRA deputy minister appointed to Ontario Genomics board

Dr. Deb Stark is one of three new members of the board of directors at Ontario Genomics. Dr. Stark is a former deputy minister at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and retired last year after a long career in the agriculture sector. Other new board members are Dr. Benjamin Rovinski, Managing Director at Lumira Capita, and Dr. Alan Winter, former CEO of Genome BC. 

Making news

Pig innovations receive highest praise at international show 

Four pig innovations were awarded two stars at the year's SPACE, the annual international animal husbandry trade show in France. The biggest winner was NoHow - a treatment for semen that increases sperm energy and improves fertility rates.

Canadian dairy startup wins big at international competition

SomaDetect, a Canadian company that helps dairy farmers monitor reproductive performance and animal health in real time, has received $1 million to establish an incubator development space in Buffalo, NY. The artificial intelligence company was awarded the money through a startup competition.

Coming events 

Oct 26 - 27, 2017: Ontario Sheep Convention,

Oct 26, 2017 Poultry Industry Council annual general meeting, Guelph ON,

Oct 30, 2017: Livestock Day with Dr. Temple Grandin, Elmwood ON, 

Nov 2, 2017: Farm and Food Care Harvest Gala, Guelph ON,

Nov 3 - 12, 2017 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Toronto ON,

Nov 8, 2017: Poultry Innovations Conference, London ON,

Nov 14 - 17, 2017 : Canadian Forage & Grassland Association Conference, Guelph ON, 
Nov 21 - 22, 2017: Canada's Farmed Seafood Policy Conference, Ottawa ON, 

Nov 28 - 29, 2017: Grow Canada Conference, Calgary AB, 

Nov 29, 2017:  Eastern Regional Poultry 
Conference, St. Isidore ON,

Nov 30 - Dec 2, 2017: Dairy Sheep Symposium, Orford QC, 

Feb 21 - 22, 2018: Beef Farmers of Ontario Annual Meeting, Toronto ON,

Apr 4 - 5, 2018: Canadian Poultry Expo, London ON, 

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Research and Innovation Driving Livestock Sector Success
Research Snapshots 

Climate change: Getting to the bottom of the impact of grass-fed beef

An international research collaboration looks at the impact grass-fed beef have on the environment. The report investigates the claims and counterclaims about whether grass-fed beef is good or bad for the environment. 

Food safety: New test shaves critical time off Salmonella testing

There's a new fast and accurate way to test for Salmonella - one of the leading causes of food-borne illness around the world. The new test was adapted by scientists at Cornell University and can detect the bacteria on a wide range of materials including feces, milk and blood, and delivers results in 24 hours, compared to previous methods that required days.

Poultry: Probiotics provide antimicrobial alternative  

University of Guelph OVC researchers are leading the charge to develop effective alternatives to antimicrobials in poultry.  They have shown that lactic-acid producing bacteria helps reduce the burden of Salmonella, and are now working on probiotic formulations for Campylobacter jejuni and Clostridium perfringens.

Poultry: Extending the research on VSD with avian influenza

New emergency funding from The USPOULTRY Foundation will support continued work on using ventilation shut down (VSD) as a rapid and humane depopulation method during an avian influenza outbreak. The follow-up study will look at the method in broilers and turkeys - the original work was done on layers. 
Poultry: Hens prefer fresh air for foraging

University of Guelph researchers tracked the foraging behaviour of laying hens exposed to naturally-sourced ammonia, artificially-sourced ammonia and fresh air. Hens prefer fresh air to ammoniated air, and naturally-sourced ammonia to artificial when foraging for a mixture of raisins, mealworms and feed, used in the experiment.
Swine: PEDV survives in feed

Researchers have uncovered the mystery of how porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) showed up in swine herds with the highest level of biosecurity. The live virus was found in feed delivered to the affected farms, and follow up research found PEDV survived best in soybean meal where it could live for up to 180 days.

Swine: Swine flu vaccine not linked to autoimmune risk 

A new study of children in Sweden and Finland found the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix did not increase their risk of developing autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, as previously feared. Researchers at Lund University found the H1N1 vaccinations reduced the risk.
Full Article

Swine: Finding where fibre fermentation takes place

University of Illinois researchers have determined precisely where pigs ferment fibre in their digestive tract. They'll use the information to look at ways for pigs to get more energy of their feed early in the digestive tract, and look to target enzymes and other additives to help microbes ferment more fibre.
Full Article

Beef: Tiny protein plays big role in foot-and-mouth 

Researchers at the University of Leeds have identified a protein that plays a significant role in replicating the virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease. They hope this discovery will aid in finding more effective vaccines to fight the disease.

Beef: Presentation make a difference in feed intake

Spanish researchers released a new study that looked at the impact of feeder design and feed composition on intake and animal performance in a beef feedlot. They compared feeder design (collective or single) and concentrate presentation form (meal or pellet). The best strategy to improve performance was to feed animals in a collective feeder with the concentrate in pellets.

Dairy: Milk replacement drinks lack iodine

In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Surrey tested the iodine content of 47 milk-alternative drinks marketed to adults and compared it with cows' milk. Most of the milk alternatives had inadequate levels of iodine, about 2% of the amount found in cows' milk.

Dairy: Studying stall design and how calves interact with automatic milk feeders

University of Guelph researchers compared two stall designs of automatic milk feeders - open sided and closed panel - to see how calves adapted to the style of feeder. Specific features of stall design appear to have a significant impact on how well calves learn to use the automated feeders.
Full Article (scroll down to page 26)

Dairy: Assessing animal care for hock, knee and neck injuries

University of Guelph researchers are characterizing the severity of hock, knee and neck injuries in dairy cows, and how quickly these injuries heal. The researchers hope to raise awareness of how these injuries are caused, and precautions that can be taken as part of animal care standards. 
Full Article (scroll down to page 44)

Dairy: Managing high iodine levels in milk

Groundwater is a key source of iodine in certain regions of Canada, and University of Guelph researchers are looking at ways to decrease it. Iodine is an essential nutrient for dairy cattle (and people), but can be toxic at high concentrations. It is estimated that 5% of dairy farms in Canada produce milk with higher than acceptable levels of iodine.
Full Article (scroll down to page 43)

Sheep: Building up immunity to intestinal parasites

Gastrointestinal parasites can be deadly in sheep, and University of Guelph researchers are working to identify sheep that are better able to develop immunity to the parasites. The team is looking at how sheep pastured in Ontario develop immunity to parasites. Their work could reduce dependence on anthelmintic drugs .
Full Article

Whatever next?!? A look at the weird and wacky

You're going to need a bigger streaming draws huge cheese crowds
When a Dutch cheese shop broadcast live, their shop was bursting at its virtual seams. Broadcasting live for five days brought in nearly 57,000 visitors and 500 orders.
Tailgate parties just got a lot more sophisticated

For his family on the go, chef Jamie Oliver has a one-of-a-kind Land Rover that slow-cooks under the hood, churns butter, makes ice cream in special wheel drums, and has numerous other culinary tricks up its sleeve.

Pheasants need to learn to look both ways

It could be their small brains...but pheasants would do well to avoid road crossings, according to researchers at universities in Exeter and Tardiff. Over decades of pheasant research, they've found peasants are disproportionately more likely to be run over, compared to other birds.