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US salmonella scare

5 July 2002

US salmonella scare

AN antibiotic-resistant salmonella strain wreaking havoc in the US could be the next disease to threaten UK cattle herds.

Present in US cattle for two years, Salmonella Newport is causing large numbers of deaths in herds across the Atlantic and is also a serious public health concern, said Giles Paiba, of the Vet Lab Agency.

"The worry is Salmonella Newport could find its way to the UK via infected people, meat or imported feed. DEFRA is currently putting together contingency plans to keep it out."

Salmonella Newport is resistant to even the most advanced antibiotics, added DEFRA vet officer Josep Bis. "We are encouraging vets to send samples to the VLA from animals with suspected Salmonella and to determine the strain.

"It is also likely animals imported from the US will have to be tested for Salmonella Newport before they enter Britain." &#42

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US salmonella scare

5 July 2002

Birth feed impact

US salmonella scare

WHAT you feed animals around the time of conception could have a lifelong impact on their offsprings performance, according to new research.

SAC researcher Cheryl Ashworth told visitors to the Royal Show that unfertilised eggs are particularly sensitive to nutrient supply. "Producers usually pay most attention to feeding in late pregnancy when nutrient demand of the foetus is highest. But nutrition around mating time has an impact on which genes are switched on in the developing embryo," she said.

"This can influence vigour of newborn animals, as well as growth and reproductive performance in later life."

The importance of ensuring sheep have adequate cobalt around mating to promote lamb vigour has already been proven, but further work is needed before recommending suitable diets or supplements, said Dr Ashworth. &#42

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