GFM Network News


An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19. (Nexu Science Communication via Reuters)

Mexico to stop sending workers to Canadian farms hit by COVID-19

Assurances of worker safety sought, FARMS says

Mexico City | Reuters — Mexico will stop sending temporary workers to Canadian farms that have registered a coronavirus outbreak and that do not have proper worker protections, Mexico’s labour ministry said on Tuesday, although it will not completely suspend the program. The decision came after a coronavirus outbreak in Ontario hit at least 17 […] Read more

File photo of Smithfield Foods’ pork plant at Sioux Falls, S.D. on April 16, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

U.S. meatpacking workers often absent after plants ordered to reopen

"There's still so many risks"

Chicago/Washington | Reuters — Smithfield Foods is missing about a third of its employees at a South Dakota pork plant because they are quarantined or afraid to return to work after a severe coronavirus outbreak, according to the workers’ union. Tyson Foods was forced to briefly close its Storm Lake, Iowa plant — a month […] Read more


This file photo shows a rack of blood samples being tested for bovine tuberculosis in New Zealand dairy cattle. (Lakeview_Images/iStock/Getty Images)

On-farm tests wrap up in bovine TB probe

CFIA investigation turns up just four positive B.C. cattle

The “trace-in” phase of Canada’s latest bovine tuberculosis (TB) investigation has ended with just four cattle from one British Columbia herd testing positive for the disease. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency last week announced all on-farm testing has been completed in its probe, which dates back to November 2018 when lab tests confirmed TB in […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

McDonald’s to curb antibiotic use in its beef supply

Reuters — McDonald’s Corp. said Tuesday it plans to reduce the use of antibiotics in its global beef supply, fueling projections that other restaurants will follow suit. The move by the world’s biggest fast-food chain addresses concerns that the overuse of antibiotics vital to fighting human infections in farm animals may diminish the drugs’ effectiveness […] Read more



(MDurson/iStock/Getty Images)

EU backs plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Brussels | Reuters — EU member states backed a plan on Wednesday to combat antimicrobial resistance, an increasing global health issue, that would reduce the use of antibiotics in the food chain and limit certain drugs to humans. Antimicrobial resistance threatens the effectiveness of medicines such as antibiotics to treat infections in humans, as bacteria […] Read more


(Stephen Ausmus photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Chicken farmers to expand phase-out of antibiotics

The national body for Canada’s chicken producers has set new targets to phase out preventive use of the antimicrobials deemed next-to-most important in human medicine. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) on Tuesday announced that, following the “successful elimination” of Category I antibiotics for disease prevention in chickens, its antimicrobial use strategy will next focus on […] Read more

Consult with your herd veterinarian to determine which antibiotics are most effective, or whether they are needed at all.

Don’t overuse antibiotics in livestock

Cattle sometimes heal themselves, but get veterinary advice

Ranchers often wonder which antibiotics they should have on hand for calving. They like to be prepared, in case a calf becomes ill, a cow needs treatment after a difficult birth, or develops mastitis or some other infection. Dr. David Smith of Mississippi State University says cattlemen probably need to use fewer antibiotics than they […] Read more


A heifer calf leaves the squeeze with flair after being tagged and vaccinated.

Antimicrobial myths and facts

Drug-resistant bacteria a “wicked problem.” Get to know the facts on this file

Antimicrobial resistance is a “wicked problem,” says Dr. John Campbell, requiring cooperation from many stakeholders. The livestock industry’s contribution to antimicrobial resistance is hard to pin down, but hospitals and care centres for seniors are a much more common source of resistance, Campbell said during the Canadian Farm Writers’ Federation conference in Saskatoon in October. […] Read more

finished animals-Glen Nicoll
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Untreated pinkeye can be costly

Reduced weight gain on calves means fewer marketable pounds

It’s a funny thing about walking among beef cattle — I tend to catch things that I wouldn’t otherwise see by staring at them from a truck. Take spotting cattle with pinkeye for instance. The other week, I was walking along with the feedlot manager after the feedbunk was filled. Most of the beef finishers […] Read more