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Teaming up for animal health

GD Magazine - October 2016 - No. 2



Tailor-made tips and tricks in basic training course poultry


Chinese trainees at Dutch pig farm


Udder health in India

Proficiency testing schemes 2017 Cat. no.

Proficiency testing scheme

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Would you like to evaluate the performance of your laboratory, maintain or achieve ISO 17025 accreditation, provide additional confidence to your customers or identify problems within your laboratory? Verify the quality of your laboratory with our proficiency testing schemes. Proficiency testing is an inter-laboratory study to determine the performance of individual laboratories for specific tests and to monitor laboratories’ continuing performance. The demand for external quality control is becoming more and more important. Taking part in a proficiency testing scheme is a valuable part of a laboratory’s quality-control management. GD offers laboratories worldwide the possibility to participate in international proficiency testing schemes.


PTS PRRSV antibody detection


PTS PRRS virus detection


PTS IBV antibody detection


PTS IB virus detection

February VLDIA294

PTS App antibody detection


PTS PCV2 detection


PTS Mycoplasma (Mg/Ms) antibody detection


PTS Mycoplasma (Mg/Ms) bacteria detection

March VLDIA256

PTS MAP antibody detection (milk and/or serum)


PTS MAP detection


PTS NDV antibody detection


PTS EDS antibody detection

April VLDIA172

PTS IBDV antibody detection (Gumboro)


PTS IBD virus detection (Gumboro)


PTS BVD virus and antigen detection


PTS SRLVs (MVV/CAEV) antibody detection


ISO 17043:2010 GD is formally accredited according to the ISO 17043:2010 for the organization of a large number of proficiency testing schemes for antibody detection (registration number R016). All other PTS offered by GD are organized according to this guideline, but not yet formally accredited. This accreditation ensures the technical competence of GD as your PTS provider.

2 - Update, October 2016


PTS aMPV antibody detection (TRT)


PTS ARV antibody detection (REO)


PTS ILT antibody detection


PTS Brachyspira hyodysenteriae bacteria detection

October VLDIA232

PTS AI antibody detection


PTS Salmonella poultry antibody detection


PTS Salmonella porcine antibody detection


PTS SIV antibody detection


CHICKEN NUGGETS Good news for fans of fast-food giant McDonalds. At least for US and European snackers. The chain is switching in North America and Europe to using only ‘antibiotic-free’ chicken for its nuggets. For the sake of clarity, all broiler chickens are of course antibiotic-free, so we’re referring here to chickens that are not treated with antibiotics during rearing. The multinational cannot guarantee that its snacks meet this requirement on other continents. During my visit to the Feed to Food trade fair VIV China, I was asked a number of questions on antibiotics. From Chinese consumers who also want to buy ‘antibiotic-free’ snacks, but especially from producers. They wanted to know how we manage to use so few antibiotics in our Dutch livestock industry. I always refer to the Netherlands as the biggest integrator in the world for which GD Animal Health monitors animal health.

We do that by collecting data on animal diseases and using it to generate valuable information that we can use to provide health advice. We already do that within the Netherlands, but we can also offer this for major foreign integrated industries. If these companies also have laboratories, we will provide coaching from our own high-tech veterinary laboratory. We learn a great deal by working at poultry farms across the globe. This means our international operations are a genuine win-win activity. On page 10 you’ll read about what we can do for you, with our Products & Services Circle as a handy graphic overview. We do not distinguish between countries. After all, Chinese consumers want guarantees just as much on chicken nuggets and other products as US and European consumers. GD operates internationally, also because the Dutch poultry sector has a global market. We aim to contribute to safe and healthy food for everyone worldwide. Jan-Willem de Vries, Manager International and Large Accounts


04 Practical tips at Dutch training company

06 GD Animal Health at World Buiatrics



If you want to know more about what GD Animal Health can do for you, please contact one of our staff members, responsible for international sales: Jan Willem de Vries, Manager International and Large Accounts

Fanny Nieuwenhuis, Account manager Pharmacy

Annemiek Kolkman, Senior account manager Laboratories and Test kit manufacturers

Maaike Vrijlink, Sales support Pharmacy

Eveline Peereboom, Business manager Pharmacy

Phone In the Netherlands 0900-1770, Outside the Netherlands +31 (0)570-63 33 91 Fax + 31 (0)570-63 41 04 | E-mail Website | Mail address GD, P.O. Box 9, 7400 AA Deventer, the Netherlands | Delivery address for samples and post mortem material GD, CMD, Arnsbergstraat 7, 7418 EZ Deventer, the Netherlands.


07 Dutch approach of decreasing antibiotic usage in dairy cows

08 First basic training poultry health, climate and feed


10 Products & Services circle 11 News and communications 12 GD specialist: Linda van Wuyckhuise


Cover photo (by Harry Neulen): pig farming in China, in which GD Animal Health is involved in consultancy projects.

Update, October 2016 - 3


Practical tips at training company Chinese trainees from GD Academy followed their first traineeship in May with pig farmer Bert Pappot. His training company is set to welcome visitors more often in the future via GD courses. “You often see that foreign visitors lack certain basic knowledge. I hope that during their week here they learn something they can benefit from directly when they get home”, said the pig farmer.

4 - Update, October 20

Pig farmer Bert Pappot from Hupsel, a hamlet close to Eibergen in Gelderland, welcomes foreign visitors on a regular basis. “From China to America, but I’ve also had Russians and Koreans”, explained Pappot. “In two weeks, I’ll be welcoming two Ghanaians, and a week later eight Brits.” Pig farmer Pappot – with 400 Topigs sows – has been carrying out trials for animal feed producers ForFarmers and Nutreco and technology concern Nedap for six years. In May, Bert welcomed the first trainees via GD: four Chinese who are attending GD


Paul de Kuyper, editor

Academy’s four-week Pig Management Course. One week of which was in Eibergen, from early morning till evening. Bert: “I always welcome my visitors into my home - they eat with us. And that’s especially important for Asians. They’ve already offered to cook for me at the end of the week. And that’s just a wonderful thing to achieve.” One-way traffic A training week at Pappot mainly involves one-way traffic for the first couple of days, said Bert. “I tell them all about my company while touring the pig enclosures. What the temperature is of the section, what the temperature is of the water, how much water each sow gets, how much feed, what their dung should look like. I make sure I repeat myself a lot. You really notice that their basic knowledge is often lacking. If you don’t know what the right temperature of a sow is, you can’t monitor how ill a sow might be.” In the beginning, Asians give the required answer, Bert now knows from experience. The third day of a visit is often a turning point, as was the case with the Chinese guests who came via GD Academy. Bert: “Then the contact begins to loosen up and they start asking questions. I’ll tell them everything. I almost always discuss with my guests the problems at their own firm.” Dry dung Day three is usually also the moment for investigating the feed schedules in greater detail in the group sheds. He sits with his four guests bent over drawings and calculators. The pigs of Bert’s guests appear to suffer from dry dung, though the sows

are getting enough water. “If I ask about the quality of the water, the answer is of course ‘good’. But if I see their reaction when I ask them if they would drink it themselves, it tells me all I need to know”, explained the teacher. “I always hope that visitors have gained something by the end of the week that they can put to good use straight away”, Bert added. “I advised them to replace 3 kilos of lactofeed with 2 kilos lacto plus 1 kilo muesli - basically horsefeed. That softens the dung and reduces pressure on the udders. And that advice will be of immediate benefit once they get home. These are small matters, but they really help, and I’d much rather they went for this option than use antibiotics.” Sharing knowledge Before the four Chinese trainees started their traineeship at Pappot, they were first treated to lectures by GD veterinarians. And the knowledge they gain at the training company is directly evaluated together with GD experts. Both Jan Willem de Vries from GD Academy and farmer Bert Pappot are enthusiastic about this collaboration. In the future, more GD trainees will follow traineeships at the pig farm, expects De Vries. Pappot loves to welcome guests in his enclosures. “I also supervise many students from Wageningen University. I find it interesting to share my knowledge, as every answer is the beginning of a new question. What’s more, the Chinese are really great people, just like the Russians and Brazilians, by the way. My guests teach me how things are run at pig farms in other countries. And that means I learn from them too.”

“ Dr. Kai Chen, Alltech China on-farm technical manager, enjoyed a four-week pig management course at GD Academy in the Netherlands.

“I can apply the things I’ve learned at the GD Academy when I get back to China”

“I hope Chinese pig farming can grow rapidly with education and self-development. I strongly believe there is a bright future for Chinese pig farming. As a whole, this study is a wonderful example of international communication between GD Animal Health, Alltech, the Netherlands and China!”

Update, October 2016 - 5


Annemiek Kolkman & Eveline Peereboom

SUCCESSFUL WORLD BUIATRICS CONGRESS For the first time GD Animal Health was present with a booth at a ruminant congress outside the Netherlands, with a team of ten ruminant specialists and sales representatives from 3–8 July. This congress - in Dublin (Ireland) - is the official gathering of the World Association of Buiatrics. It is held in a different part of the world every two years. The first congress took place in 1960, and each congress has an average attendance of 2500– 3000 delegates from more than 75 countries. It is an ideal opportunity to engage with all aspects of veterinary medicine. The goal of the Scientific Committee was to produce a programme delivering the highest quality veterinary science with the major educational objective of promoting the health and welfare of cattle. This was achieved by attracting 32 international keynote speakers at the cutting edge of veterinary science, who will deliver peer-reviewed oral and poster presentations reflecting the latest advances in our understanding of cattle health. Speakers included our own head of R&D, Prof. Dr. Theo Lam with his lecture entitled “Reset the mind-set on antibiotic usage in dairy cows” (see next page). GD lectures Besides Theo Lam the following lectures were given by GD specialists. These lectures were all very well attended: • Dr. Annet Velthuis, “The interest of dairy farmers in mastitis diagnostics” • Dr. Christian Scherpenzeel, “The attitude of Dutch veterinarians towards antimicrobial use in dairy cows” • Drs. Frederik van Waldeck, “Comparative assessment of surveillance programs to prove the absence of BHV1 in dairy herds in a disease-free and endemic situation” • Dr. Menno Holzhauer, “Toe necrosis, risk factors and a practical surgical intervention to save a cow’s life” Animal health and welfare In total, over 1,200 abstracts were submitted from 47 different countries. The scientific themes of the programme reflect priority areas of animal health, welfare and production for the

6 - Update, October 2016

global dairy and beef industries, as well as aspects of small ruminant health. The main topics involved calf health, fertility and nutrition, mastitis control, BVD, IBR, paratuberculosis and parasite control, in addition to welfare, internal medicine, therapeutics, diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and sustainable agriculture. If you are interested please find a copy of the presentations and scientific posters presented during the WBC2016 on our website,

Winner E-reader During the five day event many visitors showed interest in the GD laboratory tests, contract research and training services by visiting our booth and talking to our experts. We also raffled an E-reader amongst the visitors of our booth who filled out our questionnaire. The lucky winner was Mrs. Geraldine van Leeuwen from Ireland. Congratulations!


Theo Lam, R&D manager


RESET the mind-set At the World Buiatrics Conference in Dublin in July, GD R&D manager prof. Theo Lam was invited to give a keynote presentation on the Dutch approach of decreasing antibiotic usage in dairy cows. Theo has extensive experience in two research fields that come together in this subject: mastitis and communication. Since 2008, national attention has been given in the Netherlands to decreasing antibiotic usage in animal husbandry. GD was heavily involved in this process in several species, including cattle. Apart from several organisational aspects in different species, a number of research projects were executed. These included studies on the dynamics of MRSA and ESBL on dairy farms, the introduction of selective dry cow therapy, and studies on point of care mastitis diagnostics. Results of the latter two were also presented in Dublin, by GD experts Christian Scherpenzeel and Annet Velthuis. Handbook In his presentation Lam not only talked about technical aspects of antibiotic usage. He also paid close attention to the mindset of farmers and practitioners. Together with Dutch scientists Jolanda Jansen and Roeland Wessels he wrote a handbook on communication for veterinary practitioners, which is called ‘Communication in Practice’. In that book they introduced the RESET mind-set model, which was used in resetting the mindset with respect to antibiotic usage in the Netherlands. The model basically tells us that, if we want to change behaviour of people, there are several approaches that can be used. These approaches are represented by the acronym RESET: Rules and regulations, Education and information, Social pressure, Economic incentives and Tools. The secret is that you

About Theo Lam Prof. Theo Lam is R&D manager at GD and holds a chair in ‘Bovine mastitis management and milk quality’ at Utrecht University. In Dublin, prof. Theo Lam received an honourable award from prof. Emile Bouchard for having been Board member of the World Buiatrics Association for 16 years.

don’t choose among these approaches, but that you use them all. Different people are sensitive to different motivators. The behaviour of a group can therefore most effectively be changed using of a mix of different stimuli. Another important aspect of changing behaviour of groups is that same message comes from different angles. This was realized in the Netherlands by intensive cooperation between the different stakeholders active in animal husbandry. In his presentation Lam elucidated the example of dairy cows, focusing on aspects such as selective dry cow therapy, limited use of critically important antibiotics and transparency of antibiotic usage at the herd level. The public apparently was interested, as all 300 chairs in the theatre were occupied, with people queuing at the door.

Update, October 2016 - 7


Tailor-made tips and tricks For the first practical basic training on Poultry Health, Climate and Feed, veterinarians and poultry farmers came to Deventer from as far afield as Ireland and Rwanda. In the GD necropsy room, veterinarian and pathologist Naomi de Bruijn demonstrated how to perform a chicken necropsy. When giving tips, she takes account of the facilities in the home countries of the trainees. “You can’t culture bacteria or study fresh tissue everywhere.”

8 - Update, October 2016

For the first time, GD Academy organised a practical basic training on Poultry Health, Climate and Feed, together with the Dutch training centre, PTC+. The training took place at the end of the summer. Trainees from across the world attended GD’s lectures on biosecurity, monitoring and control programmes (by Merlijn Kense), respiratory infections (by Jeanine Wiegel), and digestive diseases (by Christiaan ter Veen). They also studied cases on poultry health and followed a practical training in the

Paul de Kuyper, editor

necropsy room. At PTC+, they received practical training on management and biosecurity. It’s important that poultry health is promoted, asserted Naomi de Bruijn, who is GD pathologist and poultry veterinarian, and one of the four GD poultry course lecturers. “If you look at how we’re going to feed the burgeoning global population over the next twenty years, then poultry is a real growth market. You can’t raise cattle everywhere, and not everybody eats pigs, but you’ll find poultry worldwide, and chickens are a major source of nutrition for key proteins. What’s more, the poultry market is efficient and has a small carbon footprint. You can hold poultry on both a small scale and a large scale, and it’s healthy, easy and cheap.” Hints De Bruijn demonstrated in the GD necropsy room how a clinical inspection is done. “Chicken necropsy is difficult”, she emphasises to trainees. “That’s because there’s a vaccination programme pretty much everywhere. Vaccines can sometimes mask the diseases that the animal died from. Just because you vaccinate doesn’t mean you can prevent all problems. For instance, something might have gone wrong with the vaccination or the field virus might have mutated so the vaccine no longer works.” De Bruijn compares necropsy with the game Hints: you have a picture and sometimes a couple of details from the person who submitted the animal, for instance that it was coughing a lot. “But that’s often all you have to go on. You then have to deploy all your senses. What do I see, what do I hear? What feed has the animal eaten? What does the stomach and intestinal content look like? It’s very important that you set to work systematically. That you distinguish between normal and anomalous. If you see an anomalous lung, you must bear in mind pneumonia during the necropsy. And so you keep puzzling further.” Practical tools Because the trainees come from very diverse backgrounds – in terms of culture, occupation, but especially considering the facilities available in their home country – De Bruijn ensured


that she provided tailor-made tips and tricks. “Aside from theoretical knowledge, participants were especially keen to learn a number of practical insights, tools they can use when they get home. You have to take account of the possibility that the technical options we have access to are not available everywhere. We are used to combining PCR tests, bacterial cultures and necropsies, but that’s not possible in every country. You can’t culture bacteria or study fresh tissue everywhere, at least not if you first have to travel two days in temperatures of 35 degrees before reaching a laboratory.” Vaccines in drinking water The facilities determine to a large degree which studies you can do and which health measures you can take. Adapting your strategy to the circumstances can often make a world of difference. During a foreign consultancy project, for instance, De Bruijn saw with her own eyes how two vaccination strategies for poultry can turn out very differently. “A poultry farmer kept the drinking water reservoir for his chickens in a large black tank on a roof, in the full glare of the burning sun. He administered the vaccine via the drinking water, but when the water is so warm, there’s very little left of the vaccine once the chickens get to drink it. His neighbour tackled it differently: he administered the vaccine via containers containing iced water. He had a mortality rate of 0, the first farmer 90 percent.” “I want to use this to illustrate how important it is that during the training courses we provide advice as much as possible on an individual basis. Trainees must be able to derive some practical benefit from this when they get home.”

Second edition of poultry course in February 2017 After the first successful basic training course on Poultry Health, Climate and Feed, GD will be providing this course anew in February. This course will take place from 6 to 10 February 2017. Keep an eye on our website for further information.

Update, October 2016 - 9

products & services

GD ’S PRODUCTS & SERVICES AT A GLANCE The principal goal of GD Animal Health is ‘Teaming up for animal health, in the interest of animals, their owners and society at large’. Good health is in the interest of animals and contributes to sustainable farming. In this infographic, we now present a clear overview of all the products and services we offer.

1. GD Animal Health operates one of the largest and most modern veterinary laboratories in the world. 2. Proficiency testing is an interlaboratory study to determine the performance of individual laboratories for specific tests, and to monitor laboratories’ continuing performance. 3. GD Animal Health offers a large number of antigens, monospecific antisera and reference sera, carefully selected to obtain optimum results in laboratory tests. 4. Based on our expertise in the laboratory and from the field, we develop new products for our clients and try to further improve existing products. 5. In our facilities, we perform many in-vivo and in-vitro laboratory and field studies on biologicals and pharmaceuticals with full scientific support and quality control. 6. Specialised veterinarians and other experts support farm managers and their veterinarians with specific disease problems. Additionally, GD Animal Health acts as partner in many (international) programmes related to animal health. 7. We provide training courses related to animal diseases for farm staff and their veterinarians, the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, the animal feed industry and the government.

10 - Update, October 2016

From lab tests to training courses Veterinary laboratory tests

Training courses

Proficiency testing schemes

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Contract research

Visit our website for more detailed information:


Research & Development

Diagnostics: biological reagents

news & communications

World Dairy Summit 2016 ‘Dare to Dairy’ The World Dairy Summit took place in Rotterdam from 16 to 21 October. We attended with a stand, where visitors could take a traditional Dutch photo, wearing giant clogs. Of course, our colleagues also had a great deal to say about what GD has to offer the dairy industry worldwide, such as our consultancy projects, courses, our veterinary laboratory and R&D. Prof. Ynte Schukken DVM, PhD, and prof. dr. Theo Lam were invited to speak. Theo Lam, heavily involved in the program to reduce antibiotic usage in cattle in the Netherlands, gave a presentation on the subject ‘Challenges and consequences of restricted antibiotic use in dairy cattle’. Visitors who had registered for one of the technical tours were treated to an explanation at the GD Animal Health offices in Deventer about the role of GD in food safety & quality. This provided further information on our programmes for animal-health monitoring and antibiotic reduction. All things considered, a very varied trade-fair programme!

Poultry Conference Lviv Ukraine On behalf of GD Animal Health, Tatiana Kopnyak and Wil Landman gave a presentation during the XII Poultry Conference on 13 September. In a short presentation, they were given the opportunity to explain how GD is active worldwide in the poultry sector, but also how we can help Ukraine specifically.


New ELISA robots

Not one, but two ELISA robot systems will be running from late 2016 in the updated laboratory of the GD Animal Health Immunology department. ELISA tests are used to demonstrate antibodies in blood and milk samples. GD’s hightech veterinary laboratory is currently being updated and Immunology is one of the first departments to move into the new building. Immunology will account for 3.2 million of the over 4 million lab tests carried out annually at the GD lab. Previously, Immunology had a single large ELISA robot system. In the new lab, that machine has been replaced with two slightly smaller but newer ELISA robots. “This makes us much more flexible”, explained Iwan Kristens, Immunology department head. “We can now run four different tests at the same time, twice as many as previously. And we are now also less susceptible to malfunctions.” The waiting times for ELISA tests will also be shorter. “The full plates with samples can be tested sooner. We are less dependent on the test day, which means the machine can run faster. And we will be able to process different tests, provide results sooner, and offer shorter run times. These new ELISA robot systems perfectly meet our needs going forward.” In addition to the two new robot systems, Immunology also has ELISA equipment that is suited to fast, individual tests of one or two sample plates.

Inaugural lecture Prof. Gerdien van Schaik GD Animal Health researcher Gerdien van Schaik aims to drive the monitoring and surveillance of animal diseases to a higher level, she stated in her inaugural lecture on 11 October. A year ago, she was appointed Professor ‘Monitoring and Surveillance of Farm Animal Health’ at the University of Utrecht. At GD Animal Health, Prof. Van Schaik is head of the epidemiology department. In her inaugural lecture, she talked about the importance of animal health monitoring. “The Netherlands is a densely populated country – both with people and animals – with high export volumes. It is absolutely essential that we have healthy products from healthy animals.”

VIV International China Conference 2016 During the International Pig Forum China 2016 in Bejing, Ruth Bouwstra (GD) gave a presentation in early September on Monitoring Pig Health 监控猪健康. This covered the GD Animal Health monitoring programmes with specific examples and results, emphasising the importance of these programmes. One example included an outbreak of Porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) from 2015: how did we gain insight into the spread of the disease and how do you then ensure control and eradication? Bouwstra closed her presentation with practical tips on how China could use monitoring programmes.

Update, October 2016 - 11

GD specialist: Linda van Wuyckhuise The specialists of GD Animal Health focus their daily work on gathering and spreading their extensive knowledge of animal diseases. Every edition of the GD Update we interview one of them. This time: Linda van Wuyckhuise, senior cattle veterinary health specialist, who recently visited India to share GD’s knowledge on udder health and fertility problems. “I have been a veterinarian for 37 years, almost 30 years of which at GD Animal Health. My main expertise is surveillance and monitoring of cattle health. I regularly give presentations about cattle diseases and their prevention. Improving udder health and fertility were the main topics of presentations and farm excursions during a three day visit to the Punjab province in the northwest of India. Dutch dairy farmers produce around 70 percent of their milk for export. In contrast, India has a huge shortage of milk and milk products – it has to increase its production drastically to fulfil national demand. Raising awareness on udder health, milk quality and fertility, topics on which GD is successful in the Netherlands, could help Indian farmers to improve their results. Additionally, in the Punjab province farmers have specific regional problems like feed quality and husbandry. High temperatures (over 40 degrees centigrade in summer) result in a high demand on housing facilities. During my visit I learnt that cattle are kept indoors and often cooled with water, which result in muddy paddocks. This implies high care on cleaning udders, milking hygiene and teat-dipping to prevent udder infections. I experienced that Punjab farmers have a high demand for knowledge about udder health. Lots of companies expressed their interest in GD’s expertise in improving production and reducing the bulk somatic cell count, which is absolutely essential for improving the quality of the milk and, as a result, getting better prices for their products. GD Animal Health can play a role in this by giving workshops and courses. Next to that, sharing GD’s knowledge on building laboratory facilities could help Indian farmers get access to bulk milk quality information. And that opens up many possibilities for taking action to reduce the somatic cell count and improve production. The laboratory could then also be used for monitoring diseases by bulk milk (or blood) testing.”

P.O. Box 9, 7400 AA Deventer, The Netherlands, T. +31 570 633 391, F. +31 570 634 104,

Update No 2 - 2016  
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