Food security is fundamental to human existence, and ensuring global food security is one of the transformative issues of our time. Veterinary academia has a responsibility to respond to this urgent, complex, and daunting challenge, especially because solutions will not be realized without the active engagement of the developed world's veterinary medical profession and the modernization of public and private veterinary services throughout the developing world.
A recent report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services1 warns that the world's land and water resources are being exploited at unprecedented rates and that this exploitation, combined
At the Group of Eight (G8) Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in July 2009, the leaders of the world's largest economies committed to “act with the scale and urgency needed to achieve sustainable global food security.” The statement was precipitated by spikes in food prices, a rising incidence of hunger in 2008, a realization that price spikes are likely to recur, and an understanding that global food security is among the most formidable challenges facing all of humankind in the 21st century. This urgent global challenge will require a dramatic and coordinated effort by multiple stakeholders, including a crucial role for
Objective—To characterize direct and indirect contacts among livestock operations in Colorado and Kansas.
Design—Cross-sectional quarterly survey.
Sample—532 livestock producers.
Procedures—Livestock producers in Colorado and Kansas were recruited by various means to participate in the survey, which was sent out via email or postal mail once quarterly (in March, June, September, and December) throughout 2011. Data were entered into an electronic record, and descriptive statistics were summarized.
Results—Large swine operations moving animals to other large swine operations had the highest outgoing direct contact rates (range, 5.9 to 24.53/quarter), followed by dairy operations moving cattle to auction or other dairy operations (range, 2.6 to 10.34/quarter). Incoming direct contact rates for most quarters were highest for large feedlots (range, 0 to 11.56/quarter) and dairies (range, 3.90 to 5.78/quarter). For large feedlots, mean total indirect contacts through feed trucks, livestock haulers, and manure haulers each exceeded 725 for the year. Dairy operations had a mean of 434.25 indirect contacts from milk trucks and 282.25 from manure haulers for the year.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—High direct contact rates detected among large swine operations may suggest a risk for direct disease transmission within the integrated swine system. Indirect contacts as well as incoming direct contacts may put large feedlots at substantial risk for disease introduction. These data can be useful for establishing and evaluating policy and biosecurity guidelines for livestock producers in the central United States. The results may be used to inform efforts to model transmission and control of infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease in this region.
The US dairy industry is moving toward fewer dairy farms with more cattle per farm. Between 1995 and 2005, the number of dairy farms decreased by 43.9% (from 139,670 to 78,295), but the total number of milk cows decreased by only 4.5% (from 9.47 to 9.04 million).1 Consequently, the average herd size for dairies in the United States has almost doubled during the past 10 years.
It has become difficult for dairy farms to be completely self-sufficient, self-contained production units. Large dairy farms are at risk of exposure to disease agents from external sources of labor, feedstuffs, replacement
Objective—To determine the suitability and estimate the sensitivity of an immunohistochemical (IHC) test for disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc) in biopsy specimens of rectoanal mucosa–associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) for diagnosis of scrapie in sheep.
Animals—762 sheep at high risk for having scrapie and indemnified by the National Scrapie Eradication Program.
Procedures—The IHC test for PrPSc was applied to 2 RAMALT and 2 third-eyelid biopsy specimens and a postmortem RAMALT specimen from each sheep. Results were compared with those of a reference test in which results for tissues from obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes, tonsil, or both were considered in parallel.
Results—The reference test identified 139 sheep as having scrapie. Biopsy-related complications occurred in 3 sheep. Sensitivity of the IHC test in RAMALT ranged from 85.3% to 89.4%, depending on the anatomic location from which RAMALT was obtained. Results for the test applied to 1 RAMALT specimen were similar to results interpreted in parallel for 2 third-eyelid specimens (sensitivity, 87.0%). The proportion of inconclusive test results attributable to insufficient lymphoid follicles in biopsy specimens was lower when considering results for 2 RAMALT specimens in parallel (10.1%) than when considering results for 2 third-eyelid specimens in parallel (23.7%). Specimens of RAMALT that were inappropriately collected from an area caudal to the rectoanal interface yielded a high proportion of inconclusive results (33.3% to 50.0%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The IHC test for PrPSc in RAMALT was an effective means of detecting subclinical scrapie in live, high-risk sheep.