Cargill pulled a variety of animal feeds with excessive levels of aflatoxins from retail shelves from February through April 2019, but the company did not announce the action until this week.
Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that commonly contaminates maize and other types of crops during production, harvest, storage or processing, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to aflatoxin is known to cause both chronic and acute liver damage in humans. People working with or eating contaminated feeds or foods are at risk of illness.
All 14 of the recalled products were sold under the Southern States brand.
“The affected products, which were manufactured and sold in the eastern United States, were removed from retail shelves throughout February, March, and April 2019. Livestock, horses and poultry exposed to aflatoxin are at risk of exposure to several health hazards,” according to the recall notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration.
The implicated feeds were manufactured at Cargill’s Cleveland, N.C., facility. The implicated products were recalled from retail outlets and distributors in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
Consumers and other end users who have any of the affected lots in their possession are urged to return remaining product to their local dealers or retailers for a replacement or full refund. Consumers can call 800-822-1012 for additional information. Source: FoodSafetyNews.com
Are you a sheep, goat, alpaca or llama owner who has dealt with sudden unexplained losses in your herd? Maybe you’ve heard of meningeal worm, brain worm, or P. tenuis but you have questions about where it comes from and how to protect your livestock from it. Let us teach you how to determine your exposure risk, how to life hack your pasture to reduce transmission, and how to dose your prevention injections. We are even going to make sure you’ve been fed and watered for the night!
Judith Schwartz writes about the people who are trying to turn around the near disappearance of American wool processing within the United States. Ecological reasons for keeping sheep (they contribute to carbon sequestrian if pastures are managed correctly), natural dying, and efforts to make American wool products competitive (based on value not on cost) with Chinese products made from American wool.
“Ongoing surveillance continued during the winter and on April 17, 2018, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the Longhorned tick successfully overwintered in New Jersey and has possibly become established in the state,” it was stated in a news release.
Last summer, a farmer walked into the Hunterdon County health office covered in thousands of the ticks after she was shearing a 12-year-old Icelandic sheep named Hannah. Experts were called in to identify the tick which was not previously known to exist in the United States. The Department of Agriculture says it still does not know how the tick made its way to New Jersey.
When the incident was first reported, steps were taken to eradicate the insect from the farm by using a chemical wash on the sheep and removing tall grass where the they are known to dwell. The exact location of the farm and the identity of the sheep farmer is being withheld by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Although the ticks are known to carry diseases, such as spotted fever rickettsioses in other parts of the world, tests performed on the ticks and the farm animals were negative for diseases.
Local, state and federal animal health and wildlife officials, as well as Rutgers University – Center for Vector Biology, are working together to eliminate the ticks and stop them from spreading. Wildlife and livestock in the area will continue to be monitored throughout the year.
The ticks are known to swarm and infest deer and animals other than sheep, so the department is warning that it has the potential to infect other North American wildlife species. The ticks reproduce asexually by cloning themselves and just one of them is capable of laying thousands of eggs.
State and federal Department of Agriculture employees will be working with the public to determine if the tick has spread and to educate the public about protecting their livestock and pets from the pest.
The nymphs of the ticks are very small, resemble small spiders and are easy to miss, according to the Department of Agriculture. They are dark brown, about the size of a pea when full grown and can be found in tall grasses.
Authorities are asking people to contact the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 if they see any unusual ticks on their livestock.
Unusual ticks detected in wildlife should be reported to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau or Wildlife Management at 908-637-4173, ext. 120.
Any questions about tick-borne illness in humans should be directed to local health departments or the New Jersey Department of Health at 609-826-5964.
Shepherds now have a place to find all the latest information on sheep production, industry research conducted at Ohio State, and daily management tips. The recently rebuilt The Ohio State University Extension Sheep Team blog page can be found at http://u.osu.edu/sheep/.
The site is managed by Sheep Team Program Coordinator Brady Campbell and includes contributions from the more than 25 Ohio State faculty and staff who each have unique interests in sustaining the sheep industry. Once at the site, readers will find current management information, a listing of upcoming events, research summaries and a library of resources.
Sheep producers who are considering the use Artificial Insemination to improve their flock genetics might want to consider attending the 2017 Symposium of the Dairy Sheep Association of North America, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Orford, Quebec, Canada.
The first day of this year’s symposium will be devoted entirely to AI. Speakers from Canada, Europe and the United States will present on AI techniques used in France, Iceland and Canada, both cervical and laparoscopic, with both frozen and fresh semen. Presenters will also discuss protocols that will improve conception rates and litter size in ewes who have been artificially inseminated.
Furthermore, a large number of dairy sheep producers who have begun using AI to incorporate European genetics into their flocks will be in attendance. Developments in AI techniques, as well as improved availability of internationally-sourced semen, are offering American sheep producers some real opportunities to broaden and improve their breed’s gene pool.
The symposium will be at the Estrimont Suites & Spa in Orford, in southern Quebec just north of Vermont. Attendees can register for just one day (i.e., for the day of AI presentations on Nov. 30th), or for the full symposium – which includes two days of presentations, a wine-and-cheese reception featuring Canadian sheep-milk cheeses, tours of two Quebecois sheep dairies and an optional cheese-making workshop.
To support animal disease traceability and scrapie eradication efforts, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has provided both metal and plastic ear tags and applicators to sheep and goat producers – at no cost – since fiscal year 2002.
After a funding reduction in FY 2012, APHIS used specific, no-year funding (for scrapie and ADT) to continue purchasing the tags and distributing them free of cost to producers. These no-year funds were exhausted in fiscal year 2017. While the Agency remains committed to ADT efforts, beginning Oct. 1 of this year, APHIS is providing only metal tags free of charge to producers and others who handle sheep and goats. Plastic tags and applicators for metal and plastic tags will remain available for purchase directly from approved tag manufactures.
These changes will reduce APHIS tag and applicator costs while still providing sheep and goat producers with a free identification device. APHIS will provide a limited number of plastic tags to producers newly enrolled in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program who submit tissues for scrapie surveillance in order to encourage on-farm scrapie surveillance.
The agency will continue to work closely in partnership with states and industry to achieve scrapie eradication.
Note: The American Sheep Industry Association and other stakeholder groups continue to work with USDA on alternatives to this new policy, including increasing the appropriations designated to the scrapie eradication program.