Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Developed in US PDF Print E-mail
BBC News, Saturday 26 April 2012

Hijacked planes, dirty bombs and cyber attacks are all terror threats the US takes very seriously. But there is another that many Americans may not have considered - foot-and-mouth disease. The illness is one of the world's most contagious animal viruses. Although it does not infect humans, an outbreak in the US could cost the economy more than $50bn (??31bn), experts estimate. To avert such a calamity, scientists working for the US government have spent several years developing a foot-and-mouth vaccine. It is expected to be licensed for use in the next few months.

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Spotlight on Superbugs on World Veterinary Day PDF Print E-mail
AVA media release, Monday 23 April 2012

Australia's peak veterinary organisation, the Australian Veterinary Association, is calling for more measures to combat antimicrobial resistance, a rising concern for both human and animal health. Antimicrobial Resistance, the theme of World Veterinary Day on 28 April, highlights global concerns over the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals and the important role veterinarians play in appropriate use of antibiotics to treat animal diseases.

AVA President, Dr Barry Smyth said that problems with resistant superbugs are a concern in Australia. Rigorous infection control practices and judicious selection and use of antibiotics works to reduce the selection and spread of resistant bugs. "Hygienic food preparation and proper cooking of animal products will usually remove the risk of transfer of bacterial resistance from food animals to people. Australia has one of the most stringent systems for registering antimicrobials for use in animals in the world. Antibiotics important in human medicine are not registered for use in animals and the National Residue Survey monitors food products to ensure that residues are not present in foods and to detect incorrect use of all chemicals in food animals. Another way that antibiotic use in animals could lead to antibiotic resistant infections in humans is through contact with treated animals."

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Meat Eating Behind Evolutionary Success of Humankind, Global Population Spread, Study Suggests PDF Print E-mail
ScienceDaily, Friday 20 April 2012

Carnivory is behind the evolutionary success of humankind. When early humans started to eat meat and eventually hunt, their new, higher-quality diet meant that women could wean their children earlier. Women could then give birth to more children during their reproductive life, which is a possible contribution to the population gradually spreading over the world. The connection between eating meat and a faster weaning process is shown by a research group from Lund University in Sweden, which compared close to 70 mammalian species and found clear patterns.

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Sustainable Development Goals Hinge on Hunger Battle PDF Print E-mail
FAO media release, Thursday 19 April 2012

19 April 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan - The success of efforts to shift over the longer term to a model of sustainable economic development taking place under the Rio+20 umbrella will require that the world first tackle its "most urgent" challenge -- ending hunger, FAO Director-General Jos? Graziano da Silva said today.

"We cannot call development sustainable if we are leaving almost one in every seven people behind, victims of undernourishment," the FAO chief said at the start of the Organization's biennial regional conference for Europe, taking place this week in Baku, Azerbaijan. "With the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development two months away, we have the opportunity to explore the convergence between the agendas of food security and climate change, choosing the path of a more sustainable and inclusive development model," Graziano da Silva argued.

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