News briefs: Week of May 7
Legislation could tighten airline travel restrictions for pets
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., will consider tightening restrictions on which animals will be allowed to accompany passengers when they fly commercially. The bill, introduced by North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, seeks to align the definition of a service animal for air carriers with the current definition from the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the ADA, service animals are defined as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.”
CDC: Vector-borne diseases have more than tripled
According to CNN, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that diseases transmitted through the bites of blood-feeding ticks, mosquitoes and fleas are a “growing public health problem” in the United States. Reported cases of vector-borne diseases have more than tripled nationwide, growing from 27,388 in 2004 to 96,075 in 2016, according to the CDC’s “Vital Signs” report.
Amazon launches pet products brand
According to CNET, Amazon launched its own brand of pet products, called Wag, adding to the internet retailer’s expansive list of private-label brands, which has grown to include diapers, clothing and mid-century furniture. The Wag brand debuted with dry dog food, and other pet products are planned. Like some other Amazon private-label brands, Wag products may be purchased only by Amazon Prime subscribers, who pay an annual fee to receive free two-day shipping and other benefits.
Study: Genetic testing can point to likely diseases
Genetic testing can predict if a dog is at risk of developing certain diseases, according to a study involving more than 100,000 mixed-breed and purebred dogs. Published in PLOS Genetics and conducted by Wisdom Health and Genoscoper Laboratories, the research is the first to show the genetic diseases that mixed-breed dogs are most likely to develop. The study also found that fewer mixed-breed dogs than purebreds are affected by the most common disease-causing mutations tested in the study. Knowing a dog’s disease-related genetic makeup could enable owners, breeders and veterinarians to make more informed decisions about a dog’s health. The research was based on genetic testing technology that can be used at home.
Nestlé acquires control of Wamiz and Tails.com
According to PetWorldwide, Nestlé has agreed to acquire controlling interest in Wamiz and Tails.com. Wamiz is a French platform for pet owner digital media. Tails is a dog food business based in Great Britain.
Merck adds Meisinger to veterinary and consumer affairs team
Merck Animal Health named Jessica Lynn Meisinger, Ph.D., the consumer affairs account manager on the veterinary and consumer affairs team, according to National Hog Farmer. Merck created the team to serve its companion animal and food production animal industry partners. Dr. Meisinger has done extensive work with sustainability in the meat industry and animal agriculture.
Registration opens for AABP annual conference
Registration is available for the 51st American Association of Bovine Practitioners annual conference, scheduled for Sept. 13 to 15 in Phoenix. The keynote speaker will be Morgan McArthur, DVM, a large animal veterinarian, Toastmasters World Champion and Ironman triathlete. More information is available at www.aabp.org.
AVMA announces global food security policy
The American Veterinary Medical Association board of directors approved the organization’s first global food-security policy. “Veterinarians have always been key to ensuring a safe and abundant food supply around the world,” said AVMA President Mike Topper, DVM, Ph.D. “This policy commits the AVMA to bring together different groups with diverse areas of expertise to establish public and private stakeholder partnerships to achieve global food security.”
Norbrook appoints Schram as VP of sales and marketing
Drug maker Norbrook Inc. has appointed Steve Schram as vice president of sales and marketing in North American and Latin American. Schram joined Norbrook from AgriLabs, where he was chairman, president and CEO for 21 years.