Beekeepers, veterinarians face problems with FDA’s new ABX rules

Starting this month, U.S. beekeepers will need a veterinarian for certain bee medications. Under the FDA’s new Veterinary Feed Directive rules, which took effect January 1, vets oversee the use of most antimicrobials in beehives — and both beekeepers and veterinarians are confused.

The best veterinarians on earth come from Mars

Best known as a candy maker, privately owned Mars Inc. is buying VCA, a nationwide chain of animal hospitals, for $7.7 billion in a deal that will make pet care the biggest sales sector for the company, surpassing candy and gum sales, says The Washington Post. Mars already owns Banfield, which operates 1,000 veterinary clinics and hospitals.

USDA helps veterinarians pay off school debts

In exchange for working in rural areas with a shortage of veterinarians to treat food animals, 48 veterinarians will share in $4.3 million to retire part of their veterinary college loans, said USDA. The awards, made through a loan repayment program, will bring additional veterinarians to 27 states.

USDA names Shere chief veterinarian

Two months after getting the job on an interim basis, Jack Shere was named USDA chief veterinarian. “Today, I’m pleased to announce his appointment is permanent,” said Kevin Shea, head of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in a notice to stakeholders. Shere succeeds John …

Not enough vaccine to stop foot-and-mouth disease

The United States has not recorded a case of foot-and-mouth disease in nearly 90 years. The livestock industry, pharmaceutical companies and the government "would not be ready to handle an outbreak of the disease if it were to hit," says DTN.

Drugmaker Merck buys innovator Harrisvaccines

Merck Animal Health, part of global pharmaceutical giant Merck, is buying privately owned Harrisvaccines, the companies said in a joint announcement. Merck said it has a "robust portfolio of vaccines across all animal species" and Harrisvaccines' specialty of vaccines for food-bearing animals and pets would strengthen the Merck line.

USDA pays part of veterinarians’ school loans

Some 49 veterinarians will receive $4.5 million from the USDA toward their school loans in exchange for their working for three years in parts of rural America that are short of veterinary coverage.

Many livestock antibiotics will soon need vet approval

A large number of the medically important antibiotics given to cattle, hogs and poultry now sold over the counter to livestock producers will come under veterinary control in the next couple of years, says the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Pew: Loopholes allow “injudicious” livestock antibiotics use

The FDA program to phase out use of antibiotics as a growth promotant in food animals "may allow some injudicious uses to persist," says the Pew Trusts' Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming.

Veterinarians prefer town to rural practice

Increasingly, veterinarians prefer to practice in cities rather than rural areas, says a paper at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development.