GFM Network News


As meat plant infections rise, Canada lets packers choose when to close

Beef plants at heart of Alberta's largest COVID-19 community outbreaks

Winnipeg | Reuters — In Cargill’s High River, Alta. plant, supplier of more than one-third of Canada’s beef, 391 workers were sick with COVID-19 when the company suspended operations, according to provincial health officials. But Maple Leaf Foods decided to idle a poultry plant for eight days, in Brampton, Ont., after just three workers were […] Read more

Clubroot able to beat resistant canola reaches Manitoba

A strain of clubroot able to club the roots of some resistant canola varieties has made its way east to Manitoba. Manitoba’s agriculture department reported Friday that clubroot pathotype 3A — a strain that can “overcome some first-generation sources of genetic resistance” in commercial canola — has been positively identified in the south-central rural municipality […] Read more


Alberta’s PED outbreak so far held to one spot

The probe into Alberta’s first-ever outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea hasn’t yet shown any paths by which the PED virus might have got to the farm — nor any new cases anywhere else in the province. The provincial government on Jan. 7 confirmed the first case of PED to appear in hogs in Alberta, at […] Read more

U.S. study links bumblebee declines to fungicide use

A new look at the environmental factors around declining bumblebee populations and ranges points to a less-than-usual suspect: fungicides. “Insecticides work; they kill insects. Fungicides have been largely overlooked because they are not targeted for insects, but fungicides may not be quite as benign — toward bumblebees — as we once thought,” Scott McArt, assistant […] Read more


According to the Elanco “liver check” system used in packing plants, this abscessed beef liver would be condemned with an

Microbiome research an important step in beef cattle research

Cattle’s internal microbiome another place where diseases develop

Microbiome research could help answer a lot of questions about respiratory and liver abscess disease. The microbiome, a collection of bacteria, could be another place where diseases develop. “When we’re talking about respiratory diseases, a lot of the bugs that cause respiratory disease are there all the time,” Beef Cattle Research Council science director Reynold […] Read more

Bovine TB quarantines push into Saskatchewan

Two farms in southwestern Saskatchewan have been added to the list of those under federal quarantine as inspectors widen their search for cattle exposed to a new-to-Canada strain of bovine tuberculosis (TB). As of Thursday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it had “approximately 33” farms in Alberta and two in Saskatchewan under quarantine. The […] Read more


A poorly ventilated sheep barn can be “a perfect place to get Q fever,” says an infectious disease specialist.

Little-known infection could be widespread

The infection, which can affect both animals and livestock handlers, 
usually doesn’t produce symptoms but can sometimes be very serious


It’s an under-reported disease and people who catch it often don’t show any symptoms. But an Alberta medical doctor still wants to know more. Q fever, known as coxiella, is an infection that can affect livestock handlers and their animals. “In Alberta, we only have about six human cases a year that are recognized — […] Read more

Only about 20 per cent of cow-calf producers are using Category 1 antimicrobials on their animals in a given year, a new study shows.

Producers careful with antimicrobials, survey finds

Only 20 per cent of those surveyed ever used antimicrobials 
important in human medicine, but some resistance was found

Cow-calf producers are being careful with antimicrobials — and that’s a good news story the industry needs to share with consumers, says one of the researchers of a groundbreaking study of cattle production on the Prairies. The cattle health network, which has been tracking production practices of more than 100 cow-calf producers since 2012, found […] Read more


U.S. sees first case of bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic

Reuters — U.S. health officials on Thursday reported the first case in the country of a patient with an infection resistant to a last-resort antibiotic, and expressed grave concern that the superbug could pose serious danger for routine infections if it spreads. “We risk being in a post-antibiotic world,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the […] Read more

Blacklegged ticks (or deer ticks) are most commonly found within and along the edge of forests 
and in areas with thick, woody shrubs.

Take precautions to minimize risks of tick exposure

Blacklegged ticks are known to carry three serious illnesses

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and people need to remember that tick-borne diseases are completely preventable. People can protect themselves by performing regular tick checks after spending time outdoors, knowing where blacklegged ticks (also known as deer ticks) are located, minimizing the risk of exposure, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases. […] Read more