• Agroterrorism: A Threat to US Animal Agriculture

    The agricultural industry in the United States contributes about 13% to the gross annual domestic product.1 The United States Department of Agriculture reported that the cash receipts for livestock, poultry, and crops for 1996 exceeded 200 billion dollars.2 Over the last 3 decades, improved agricultural technology, farm efficiency and practices has benefited Americans; an average American paid about 11 cents per dollar of disposable income on food in 1996, as compared to about 14 cents per dollar in 1970. The cost of food is lowest in the United States as compared to the rest of the world.2,3 The recent terrorist attack on United States has raised serious concerns on the vulnerability of plant and animal agriculture in the United States. The deliberate introduction of a pathogen (fungus, bacterium, virus, or insect pest) into U.S. livestock, poultry, or crops could cause a disease outbreak. The outcome of an outbreak could be devastating, resulting in loss of livestock, disruption of animal agriculture industry and decreased food production. This would drive food prices up, halt valuable exports, and ultimately cost taxpayers billions of dollars in lost revenue and industry renewal costs.More »
  • Mechanism and Isotypes Involved in Passive Immunoglobulin Transfer to the Newborn Alpaca (Lama pacos)

    Crias, newborn alpacas (Lama pacos), that were almost agammaglobulinemic at birth had a 70% increase in total serum proteins within 24 hours largely because of absorption of gamma globulins from colostrum. Immunoglobulin G was the isotype in highest concentration in colostrum and in serum from 24-hour-old crias. The serum IgG concentration of 10 crias increased linearly (r = 0.97) from a mean of 0.3 mg/ml (+/- 0.1 SD) for serum collected before crias suckled to a maximal mean of 30.1 mg/ml (+/- 8.1 SD) at 24 hours. The 24-hour concentration decreased by half in 10 days. Immunoglobulin M also was absorbed from colostrum and increased linearly (r = 0.99) from a mean of 0.5 mg/ml (+/- 0.1 SD) for serum collected before crias suckled to a maximal mean of 4.2 mg/ml (+/- 2.2 SD) 24 hours after birth. The 24-hour serum concentration of IgM decreased by half in 7 days. Therefore, on a weight basis, 7 times more IgG than IgM was transferred to crias; IgG accounted for greater than 85% of the passively transferred proteins in serum of 24-hour-old crias. Absorption of functional antibodies of IgG and IgM isotypes from colostrum of immunized dams by crias also was demonstrated. Immunoglobulin G and IgM antibody titers to chicken RBC increased linearly to maximal geometric mean titers of 1,139 and 843, respectively, 24 hours after birth. The 24-hour IgG and IgM antibody titers decreased by half in 6 and 3.8 days, respectively. Purified alpaca IgG had a molecular mass of 166 kilodaltons, a predominant gamma mobility, and an extinction coefficient of 14.1.More »
  • National Farm Biosecurity Reference Manual – Grazing Livestock Production

    The National Farm Biosecurity Reference Manual – Grazing Livestock Production is an important tool for meeting our shared responsibility for biosecurity. It has been developed to help reduce the risk to farming operations of disease entering a property, spreading through the livestock population, and/or being passed to surrounding livestock operations.More »
  • New Biosecurity Tool for Alpaca Producers

    Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the Australian Alpaca Association have developed a new tool in the fight against disease, with the introduction of the National South American Camelid Declaration and Waybill.More »
  • On-Farm Biosecurity Plan Template

    A check list of biosecurity reminders for improved on-farm biosecurity.More »