GFM Network News


In the last decade, for the first time, we saw influenza carried by birds transfer to pigs.

How did we get to this place at this time in history?

The spread of disease from animals to humans isn’t new, but reducing it will take a new approach

It’s a bewildering year and you may have wondered: Just how did we get to this place at this time in history? There are many theories that are specific to the origin and spread of the coronavirus, but few look at global history and the role of food and population change within the context of […] Read more

Brucellosis is contagious and can present in a variety of situations for either pregnant cows or newborn calves.

Bovine brucellosis abortion screening pilot

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and participating Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network laboratories are conducting a pilot project to improve Canada’s bovine brucellosis surveillance. Blood and tissue samples related to reproductive issues in cattle submitted to participating network laboratories during this time may be tested for brucellosis at a CFIA laboratory. Brucellosis is a contagious […] Read more


This photo from the Canadian Border Services Agency website shows “Detector Dog Ambrose” with pork products discovered by the sniffer dog, which is deployed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

African swine fever: It’s not the ‘lazy’ virus — it’s unthinking people

African swine fever is spreading like wildfire in Asia, but it’s because people are bringing contaminated pork home

African swine fever continues to cut a devastating swath across Asia as North American pork industry officials work to keep the deadly disease off our shores. “The African swine fever virus is spreading very quickly throughout the Southeast Asia region,” Dr. Egan Brockhoff, veterinary counsellor for the Canadian Pork Council said in a Sept. 20 […] Read more

The country’s “robust” BSE surveillance efforts are paying dividends, says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Stage set for upgrading Canada’s BSE status

Surveillance has highest numbers in five years, country eligible to apply for ‘negligible risk’ status

Canada’s BSE surveillance effort saw the highest number of tests in five years, setting the stage for an application to have its risk status for bovine spongiform encephalopathy upgraded to “negligible.” There were 30,949 samples, mostly submitted by deadstock collection operators, tested in 2018, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association said in its e-newsletter. None tested positive […] Read more


By binding a cognate antibody (a portion of which is shown in green) to a deer prion (salmon coloured) researchers were able to determine the three-dimensional structure of the prion protein.

Researchers take aim at chronic wasting disease

Finding out why prions misfold is key to finding a treatment for CWD and BSE

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) threatens populations of mule deer, whitetail deer, and elk throughout the Prairies, and scientists are working hard towards finding a solution Like bovine spongiform encephalopathy, CWD is caused by the misfolding of a mysterious class of proteins known as prions. While researchers are not clear on the function of prions in […] Read more

USDA analyzing effects of wild pigs on crops, livestock

Chicago | Reuters –– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Friday it has started analyzing for the first time data it has collected on the impact that wild pigs have on U.S. farmers’ crop and livestock operations. It is estimated by federal and state agricultural officials that there are more than five million wild […] Read more


New swine health network to track animal diseases

Network relies on vets to paint a picture of swine animal health seen in their practices

The newly created Western Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network will help keep producers informed about swine disease monitoring and disease knowledge transfer in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. “This is a wonderful system. It keeps people informed about what’s going on in the industry. We’re encouraging all vets to participate,” said Dr. Egan Brockhoff, a swine […] Read more

Keeping an eye on — and collecting physical samples from — a network of herds is giving researchers an unprecedented look into 
Prairie cattle production.

Bovine big brother: Surveillance network gives cattle researchers priceless data

Network will yield insights into improving production and herd health — 
and reassure customers if there’s a sudden disease concern

You can’t pick them out from the road, but 120 herds of cattle across the Prairies are special. They’re participants in a “living laboratory” experiment that is advancing knowledge about the health of the western herd in a host of ways. “We have a mixture of small and large herds, somewhat representative of the number […] Read more


Herders with machine guns intensify South Sudan land, food woes

Rome | Thomson Reuters Foundation — Tensions are rising in South Sudan as displaced pastoralists migrate onto lands occupied by farming communities, stoking a new series of conflicts in the war-torn nation and threatening food supplies, a United Nations official said Friday. Due to changes in migration patterns because of violence, the world’s youngest country […] Read more

U.S. researchers develop CWD vaccine

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: Protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans. The study, to be published in Vaccine online […] Read more