Ruen to serve on AVMA Steering Committee on veterinary oversight of antimicrobials

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has established a committee to collaborate with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on issues associated with veterinary oversight of antimicrobials. Dr Paul Ruen, AASV Past President, is one of five veterinarians selected to serve on the committee.

The committee is charged with the following:

• Ascertain the FDA’s expectations of the veterinary community and limitations in terms of regulatory and statutory authority as the administration continues to establish policy on the role of veterinarians and veterinary use of antimicrobials.

• Address the advisability and feasibility of various avenues of implementing greater veterinary oversight.

• Be informed by relevant AVMA policies and, where necessary, provide scientific information and rationale.

• Provide information to, as well as solicit, consider, and thoroughly analyze, feedback from relevant AVMA entities.

• Advise on potential revisions to existing policy, as well as develop and recommend new policies as appropriate to the executive board.

The steering committee is authorized to hold up to six meetings at either AVMA headquarters or in Washington, DC, as necessary and is expected to sunset at the end of 2012 unless continued by the executive board. The committee will submit regular reports and updates to the relevant AVMA entities and the executive board. Committee recommendations will be submitted to the executive board following consideration by the pertinent AVMA entities.

The five committee members appointed by the executive board chair are as follows:

• Thomas B. Hairgrove, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, program coordinator for Livestock and Food Animal Systems, Texas Agrilife Extension Service, Texas A&M System;

• Charles L. Hofacre, DVM, MAM, PhD, professor, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Population Health;

• Paul D. Ruen, DVM, partner, private practice specializing in swine medicine and production consultation, immediate past president of the AASV;

• Joni Scheftel, DVM, MPH, Diplomate ACVPM, state public health veterinarian, Minnesota; and

• Lorin D. Warnick, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVP, professor of ambulatory and production medicine and an associate dean for veterinary education, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University.

FDA approves alternative to surgical castration for pigs

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Improvest (gonadotropin releasing factor-diphtheria toxoid conjugate) from Pfizer Animal Health. Use of this veterinary prescription product results in temporary immunological castration and reduction of boar taint in intact male pigs.

Improvest is a protein compound that uses the pig’s own immune system to provide the same effect as surgical castration, but much later in the male pig’s life. This technology is approved in 58 other countries around the world, including the European Union, Australia, and Japan, under the related global brand, Improvac. Pigs are given Improvest via injection. The first dose primes the system and should be administered no earlier than 9 weeks of age. The second dose should be administered at least 4 weeks after the priming dose.

Pigs should be sent to market no earlier than 4 weeks after the second dose of Improvest to allow adequate time for reduction in the compounds responsible for off odor in pork. Marketing pigs on the Improvest program more than 8 weeks after the second dose may increase the risk of off odor in pork. Only trained, certified technicians will be permitted to administer the product as part of the quality assurance program.

As the product is gradually introduced, Pfizer Animal Health will work with veterinarians and their producer clients to help them adopt new nutritional guidelines and best handling practices to optimize growth for intact males.

Important safety information

Improvest should not be used in female pigs, barrows, or male pigs intended for breeding. Special care should be taken to avoid accidental self-injection during administration of Improvest. Accidental self-injection could negatively affect reproductive physiology of both men and women. Therefore, pregnant women should not administer Improvest and women of childbearing age, as well as men, should exercise extreme caution when administering the product. There is no risk, however, of adverse effects in an individual who consumes pork from pigs given Improvest.

Additional product information is available at http://www.PfizerPork.com/improvest.

Company announces availability of injectable iron

Pharmacosmos Inc announced that its Uni-feron brand of injectable iron for baby pigs should be available for the US market on or around April 1, 2011, following US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Pharmacosmos will offer both Uniferon 200 (200 mg iron per mL) and Uniferon 100 (100 mg iron per mL) to swine producers and livestock veterinarians across the United States.

In recent years there has been an inconsistent supply of veterinary injectable iron dextran products in the United States. Pharmacosmos understands these demands and is committed to the high standards of FDA compliance. It has been a major goal with a required investment to assure there is an uninterrupted and quality supply of products to the US market.

As distribution partner in the United States, Pharmacosmos has appointed Ivesco, a major distribution company which has serviced the swine industry for more than 50 years. Pharmacosmos representatives indicate that the company should be able to manufacture adequate quantities of injectable iron to meet the needs of the US swine industry. The company is considering establishing a second manufacturing site for the finished product.

For more information regarding availability and pricing of the Uniferon product line, contact Ivesco at 800-457-0118.

43rd AASV Annual Meeting: Call for abstracts – Research Topics session

Plans are underway for the 43rd annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), to take place in Denver, Colorado, on March 10-13, 2012. As part of the meeting, there will be a session highlighting research projects related to swine health and production. Abstracts are now being accepted for potential presentation during the Research Topics session.

Those interested in making a 15-minute oral presentation should submit a one-page abstract on applied research related to swine health and production issues (virology, bacteriology, parasitology, environment, food safety, odor, welfare, etc) to the AASV, 830 26th Street, Perry, IA 50220; Fax: 515-465-3832; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org.

Please include the presenting author’s name, mailing address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address with each submission. Submissions may be e-mailed, faxed, or mailed to arrive in the AASV office by August 15, 2011.

Authors of abstracts selected for presentation will be notified by October 1, 2011, and must provide their complete paper for publication in the meeting proceedings by November 15, 2011.

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in the Research Topics session is at the speaker’s expense. The speaker is required to register for the meeting (at the AASV regular member rate). No speaking stipend or travel expense reimbursement is paid by the AASV.

43rd AASV Annual Meeting: Call for submissions – Industrial Partners session

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians invites submissions for the Industrial Partners portion of the 43rd AASV Annual Meeting, to be held March 10-13, 2012, in Denver, Colorado. This is an opportunity for commercial companies to make brief presentations of a technical, educational nature to members of the AASV.

As in the past, the oral sessions will consist of a series of 15-minute presentations scheduled from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, March 11, 2012. A poster session will take place on the same day. Poster authors will be required to be stationed with their posters from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm, and the posters will remain on display throughout the afternoon and the following day for viewing by meeting attendees.

Restricted program space necessitates a limit on the number of presentations per company. Companies that are members of the Journal of Swine Health and Production Industry Support Council (listed on the inside front cover of each issue of the journal) may submit two topics for oral presentation. All other companies may submit one topic for oral presentation. Each company may also submit one topic for poster presentation (poster topics may not duplicate oral presentations). All topics must represent information not previously presented at the AASV annual meeting or published in the meeting proceedings.

Topic titles, a brief description of the presentation content, and presenter information (name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address) must be received in the AASV office by September 30, 2011. Please identify whether the submission is intended for oral or poster presentation. Send submissions via mail, fax, or e-mail to Commercial Sessions, AASV, 830 26th Street, Perry, IA 50220; Fax: 515-465-3832; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org.

Authors will be notified of their acceptance by October 17, 2011, and must submit the paper for publication in the meeting proceedings by November 15, 2011. All presentations – oral and poster – will be published in the proceedings of the meeting. Papers for poster presentations are limited to one page of text plus one table or figure. Papers for oral presentations may be up to five pages in length (including tables and figures), when formatted according to the guidelines provided upon acceptance of the presentation. Companies failing to submit papers in a timely manner will not be eligible for future participation in these sessions.