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Teaming up for animal health

GD-magazine - April 2019 - No. 1



An age-old passion


Dutch know-how taken locally


“It is a useful collaboration”


Find The Agent (FTA cards): for convenient sample shipment Are you looking for a laboratory which: • Can receive samples from all over the world? • Provides you with independent and reliable results? • Offers you a large range of PCR tests? • Offers you the possibility of sequencing / genotyping? • Offers you not only a result, but can also offer veterinary advice? Choose GD Animal Health.

More information on www.gdanimalhealth.com/fta



A CENTURY OF KNOWLEDGE One hundred years ago, GD saw the light of day in Friesland. Being a born and raised Frisian myself, of course that makes me proud. Over all those years, we have grown along with the Dutch export market. The result, a century on, is that GD is a truly global player in animal health. They could only have dreamed of such a position all those years ago.

player, we do not restrict ourselves to the national borders. We were recently in China, for example. There, African Swine Fever has resulted in a degree of awareness that has prompted great demand for training courses on the Chinese market. This year, we want to organise such training locally, so in the country itself.

This jubilee means it’s time for celebration of course! Not only in Deventer, but also further afield. Specially for our jubilee year, various trade events and seminars will be held in the Netherlands, including ESPHM, EBC, ECVP and ISCM. Read more about this at www.gdanimalhealth.com/calendar.

However, we provide not only know-how worldwide, but also products. We do so preferably in collaboration with locals; people who can apply their own cultural vision to respond to the needs within their market. GD recently found a partner in Pakistan, and partners in other countries are of course equally welcome. In keeping with the original ideas behind GD’s foundation in 1919, we aim to continue our work for global animal health for a further one hundred years.

GD has gathered 100 years’ worth of knowledge, and has been sharing it for many years. As you would expect from a global

Jan Willem de Vries, Manager Business Development

content 04 Corporate story

CONTACT INFORMATION GD ANIMAL HEALTH If you want to know more about what GD can do for you, please contact one of our staff members, responsible for international sales:

06 GD-Plexus - A new way of working 07 Dutch know-how taken locally

Jan Willem de Vries

Ruth Bouwstra

Eveline Peereboom

Manager Business Development

Manager Contract Research and Consulting

Business manager

jw.devries@ gdanimalhealth.com

r.bouwstra@ gdanimalhealth.com

e.peereboom@ gdanimalhealth.com



08 Interview distributor Pakistan: “The products fit well into the market”

10 Project Myanmar: ‘Institutional Strengthening of Poultry Health management’

11 News and communications Jarno Smit

Fanny Nieuwenhuis

Product manager GD Academy

Senior account manager

Senior account manager


f.nieuwenhuis@ gdanimalhealth.com

a.kolkman@ gdanimalhealth.com

Annemiek Kolkman

Anita Morelisse

Monique Kleinlugtenbeld

Ellen Koetsier

Coordinator GD Academy

Sales support

Sales support

a.morelisse@ gdanimalhealth.com



Phone In the Netherlands 0900-1770, Outside the Netherlands +31 (0)570-63 33 91 | E-mail info@gdanimalhealth.com | Website www.gdanimalhealth.com 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.

12 GD specialist: Jeanine Wiegel 08


Update, April 2019 - 3


An age-old passion The Frisian vets must have seen many of them during their visits to cattle farms early last century: the wooden houses with glass doors on farmyards. Sick children would sometimes spend months recuperating in these so-called TBC summerhouses. The vets frequently visited farmers’ fields and stables to treat their sick animals. One third of the farms struggled with bovine tuberculosis back then. Farmers were hit not only by milk production suffering and their cows dying of the disease, but the bacteria also regularly spread to the farmhouse. Tuberculosis was not the only cause of concern for cattle farmers at that time. Bang’s disease (Brucella abortus) caused virtually all gestating animals to abort at many farms over a period of one to two years. In waves of five to seven years, cattle farmers were also plagued by the extremely infectious foot and mouth disease (FMD). It should therefore come as no surprise that the Frisian cattle farmers joined forces to combat these animal diseases. In 1919, this farmers’ initiative resulted in the establishment of GD in Friesland. High-tech veterinary laboratory While motivated by the same cause – working together for animal health – vets and farmers from 1919 would no doubt

4 - Update, April 2019

view the possibilities available to their successors to establish diagnoses and design prevention programmes with great envy. GD has since then developed a large-scale research department, with one of the world’s largest and most innovative high-tech veterinary laboratories, which is ISO certified. We conduct nearly five million lab tests each year for all types of animals: cows, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, horses and companion animals. We examine samples of milk, blood, faeces and water to detect pathogens, and our pathologists conduct necropsies on dead animals to identify the cause of death. Test results marked with the GD logo are of great value. They are synonymous with reliability: vets and farmers all count on the results provided by GD, in the past and today. Diagnostics, prevention and sharing of knowledge But we do more. More too than the founders of GD were able to do a hundred years ago. While our vets still visit farmers and their sick animals, we also conduct scientific studies and practical research aimed at diagnostics and prevention of animal diseases. We also establish animal health programmes, conduct animal health monitoring on behalf of the government and agricultural sectors, and support the government when outbreaks of diseases occur such as Q fever or avian influenza.

corporate story

We share our veterinary knowledge during courses, workshops and lectures in the Netherlands and much further afield. We are also involved in developing or improving veterinary laboratories all over the world. More and more GD clients are focusing on agricultural markets outside the Netherlands. International expertise in terms of animal health is therefore becoming increasingly important, and the Netherlands leads the international field in sustainable production and animal welfare. The combination of veterinary knowledge and expertise, the diagnostics and the health programmes, makes GD unique in the animal health world. In 1919 they had their hands full with bovine TBC and Brucella abortus; by now, we’re achieving success in combating many different animal diseases. Take the detection of the as yet unknown Schmallenberg virus in 2011 for example or the ultra-fast diagnosis of the outbreak of avian influenza in 2014. Of course, we and our clients, the farmers, always want the test results to be negative: proof that there is no virus or bacteria on the farm. Sometimes however, a positive test can also give a sense of relief. The cattle farmer whose cows had a high fever for example, breathed a sigh of relief when our investigation showed there to be BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) circulating on his farm. Never good news of course, but a lot less serious than an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, which he had feared. A century of passion We have been working on animal health for hundred years; and our dedication continues. In the coming decades, GD aims to be the most innovative and reliable animal health organisation, an international trendsetter driven by the passion to improve and safeguard animal health together. A considerable passion. If the farmers and vets in 1919 could have foreseen the future, they would not only have been envious of the ever-increasing technological opportunities, but would certainly also have been proud of the continuation of their mission for healthy livestock and a healthy society. The characteristic TBC summerhouses have luckily disappeared from the farming landscape by now. However, the mission of excellent animal health has certainly not become any less important. We shall therefore continue our concerted efforts. Using state-of-the-art technology, but in the spirit of the founders. Together with you.

Update, April 2019 - 5


Not only a tool, but a new way of working As a large integration, you are always looking for good animal health because better health means more profit. Structural data collection about flocks, antibiotics treatments, diagnoses, vaccinations and titres will give you a reliable picture of the animal health status, so you can make better decisions. GD-Plexus facilitates this. GD-Plexus is not a software package that you just install so you can lean back and wait for success. It requires a new way of thinking and working. Over the past year, we have gained a great deal of experience, resulting in the identification of the key success factors when implementing GD-Plexus. 1 The entire organisation should be familiar with the management vision about structural data collection It is essential that all employees understand the value of structured data collection, because data collection will cost effort, so you need to motivate your workers. 2 No instant success Working with GD-Plexus does not give you immediate results; you will first need to collect data in order to know where you stand. Only if you know where you are, you can decide where you want to go to next.


3 There is no right or wrong data; it is about completeness of data Record all treatments carried out: be objective and register everything you do, even if you think it will show that you use a lot of antibiotics. The GD specialists are aware that they cannot compare Dutch statistics with your statistics. But If you do not record what really happens on the farm, you will not be able to improve. Plexus delivers Proofpoints of Production A lot of integrations need to meet the requirements of their customers to be transparent in the use of antibiotics, so they need proof points of production. When using GD-Plexus, proof points of production are being generated. The integration can show their customers how they produce and can convince them by being transparent about the production process. We already received the first demonstration request from Quick Service Restaurant chains and Retail Chains. These chains are being challenged by society, asking questions about animal welfare/health and also antibiotic use. When using GD-Plexus you can show your customers that you work on the Sustainable Development Goals (www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment).

Success with GD-Plexus What we see in practice is that integrations that implement GD-Plexus and take in account the above Key success factors, achieve better performance, better animal health, use less antibiotics and in the end are more profitable. GD-Plexus is also a great help to show your customers how you are managing your antibiotic reduction strategy: a valuable asset in today’s consumer demand GD-Plexus is a way of working that can add great value to your business. GD can help you implement this way of working. Interested in a demo call? Contact Floris Ruiterkamp (f.ruiterkamp@gdanimalhealth.com) or Jan Willem de Vries (jw.devries@gdanimalhealth.com). MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GD-PLEXUS? VISIT WWW.GDANIMALHEALTH.COM/PLEXUS

6 - Update, April 2019


Dutch know-how taken locally GD Academy provides education and training related to animal health for farm staff and their veterinarians, the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, the feed industry and the government. These open and custom-made training courses were traditionally only organised in Deventer. The times are changing however, as the GD experts are now also flying to you. “We’re now providing the open and custom-made training courses in China, but if we would receive requests from Russia or Africa for example, we’ll fly out there tomorrow,” explains Jarno Smit, product manager at GD Academy. He recently checked out the options abroad. “Together with our partners, such as distributors and pharmaceutical companies, I looked into facilities and visited laboratories that may prove suitable for our training courses.” The same know-how, less time consuming The idea behind this new step is simple enough, Jarno explains. You can send 20 participants to Deventer, which can be quite

Sjaak de Wit, European Specialist in Poultry Veterinary Science of EBVS and GD Academy teacher: “Involving both our own experts and external speakers, we can cover multiple disciplines at a high level. The available knowledge is extensive and we like to share this with our participants, in order to contribute to healthy and sustainable farming worldwide.”

time consuming. The two experts we send abroad provide nearly the same know-how and sometimes it’s more convenient for the participants to join a course in their own country.” Another great advantage according to Jarno, is the fact that the participants can immediately put their new-found knowledge into practice. “Instead of demonstrating how things work in a poultry farm in the Netherlands, you accompany the participants to a local farm. That allows you to immediately identify any bottlenecks and to relate the know-how to day-to-day practice.” But in the end, he explains, it’s up to the customer to determine which training fits its needs best. Both are equally as interesting. “In Deventer of course, we can more easily invite different experts to give lectures and we have our own necropsy room which we can use during the training. Most courses attract a worldwide audience, which provides nice discussions/difference in insights. Taking this know-how locally, is a good addition to the training possibilities of GD Academy.” Suitable training for everyone GD Academy hopes to provide the first training courses abroad in 2019. The training programmes focus on pigs, cattle, poultry and small ruminants. During his trip to China, Jarno spoke with a number of parties to determine their requirements, and whether open-style or customised training programmes would work best. “Once a party shows an interest in participating, we always look at the type of training that is suitable, and the subject. By entering into this dialogue, we can determine which GD expert is required. Each of our experts has their own field of expertise.”

Update, April 2019 - 7


“The products fit well into the local market” Teaming up for animal health does not stop at the national borders, and that’s why GD is working to establish an international distribution network. Mr. Usman Naeem Khawaja, our distributor at Pharmakon International in Pakistan, explains why this collaboration is useful for them. Pharmakon International Enterprises (PIE) is a unique entity which primarily serves as the ‘House of Vet Diagnostics’ in Pakistan. It is the sister concern of Pharmakons Group, which was established in 2003 for the supply of veterinary drugs, vaccines and diagnostic reagents. PIE is dedicated to fulfilling the diagnostics-related needs of veterinary practitioners, researchers, laboratories, teaching institutions, farmers and other allied animal food industry partners. First of all: how did you get to know GD? “Our R&D Director has over 35 years of experience in Veterinary Diagnostics and Research, where he also became acquainted with GD products. Based on his recommendations, we have been importing and providing these products to our local clients in recent years. The satisfactory experience of those clients encouraged us to take on the distribution of GD products in our country.”

Usman Naeem Khawaja Main Director of Pharmakon International

8 - Update, April 2019

The Dutch market, for example, is characterised by small-scale farms. How does the Pakistani market compare to this? “It’s quite divided, I must say. The commercial poultry sector is relatively organised, with quality environmentally-controlled housing facilities. State-of-the-art feed production units, hatcheries and processing plants are the hallmark of poultry production in this sector. On the other hand, more than 70 million heads of cattle and buffalo and 110 million sheep and goats are raised annually in a sector characterised by small-scale farms. There are, however, positive developments in the organisation of the dairy sector. To support these huge poultry and dairy sectors, more than 10,000 vets are employed at various public and private institutions. Those working in animal health monitoring positions form the primary market for diagnostics-related products from GD.”


Turkey, Azerbaijan and North-Cyprus POLİMED İlaç ve Tav. Tic.ve San.Ltd.Şti. www.polimed.com.tr

Iran Golbid Co www.golbid.com

Pakistan Pharmakon International Enterprises (PIE) www.pharmakon.com.pk

Egypt Bio-Lab pharma Abo Nabhan for import and export www.biolab-eg.com

Saudi Arabia ARTAT Enterprise www.artat.com.sa

How do the GD products fit into this market? “Some of the GD lab products are very specific and unique. Especially the antigens and antisera used in avian serology work and those antigens which serve as positive control for PCR reactions are extremely applicable in the local market. Similarly, PTS offered by the GD lab is of great value for those labs which require some sort of certification related to their quality management system.” Why is it useful to work as a distributor? “When undertaking lab diagnostic work, you need a very reliable source of reagents. While you can import all types of diagnostic reagents/kits from any number of sources, it’s difficult to ensure their quality without testing them yourself, and validating the protocol by which they are recommended under local conditions. We therefore set up our own diagnostic lab under PIE, allowing us to identify major suppliers of Vet Diagnostic products, perform in-house testing of their products, and then stick with the most reliable company. Once we were satisfied as ‘consumers’, we were also able to supply the required material to the end user as a bulk ‘importer’. We have also successfully applied this system for our other reagent providers (three other international companies). The time, effort and finance invested in this regard requires us to enter into long-term relationships with our suppliers as a distributor.”

Thailand Chakmartin Intervirontech Ltd.www.chakmartin.com

And in what way does GD provide you with support? “In GD, we have found excellent support for providing technical information about the product, provision of each batch test reports at the time of supply, and in case of any deviations in test results, we get full support in settling the issues professionally with the end user.” Would you recommend other companies to work with a distributor? “Many lab diagnostics products are of some specific nature and therefore possibly not required in bulk on a regular basis. The average lab will have a relatively small requirement for such reagents. However, it is usually more cost effective to arrange shipment of larger quantities, whereby shipment and storage temperatures are also well monitored. A good distributor can testify to the quality of supplied products and would have facilities to maintain reasonable stocks of routine antigens/ antisera, making it useful to source your small supplies through such a distributor.”



Update, April 2019 - 9

Ed van Klink (WBVR) and Teun Fabri (GD)


‘Institutional Strengthening of Poultry Health management’ Over the past year, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) and GD jointly conducted the ‘Institutional strengthening of poultry health management in Myanmar’ project. It focused on improving opportunities within the Myanmar veterinary structure in order to more effectively deal with animal health issues in poultry farming. Poultry farming in Myanmar is a rapidly developing agricultural branch that meets the growing demand for animal protein products. The sector is quickly intensifying but is now confronted with major animal health bottlenecks. This one-year project was therefore mainly aimed at training, while at the same time contributing towards establishment of a national poultry health plan. Several training activities The training activities were concentrated on three subjects: laboratory diagnostics, practical clinical and pathological diagnostics, and epidemiology and surveillance. An inception mission, a second fact-finding mission and two training missions were conducted for that purpose. During the first and second training missions, a total of 44 staff of the central veterinary laboratories, the Veterinary University of Yesin and of a number of sec-

toral partners, were trained in laboratory techniques and diagnosis of relevant poultry diseases. The know-how among the laboratory staff proved to be sufficient. Instead, the problems lie with the poultry farmers who cannot be persuaded to submit samples for diagnosis. The emphasis of the second training mission was on practical diagnosis and on recognition of pathological deviations. The ‘Epidemiology and surveillance’ course was also organised during this training mission, for seven staff members of the veterinary government department and the Veterinary University of Yesin. The focus was mainly on data collection in the poultry sector and organisational aspects of the collection process. Designing follow-on project During the project, there were frequent dialogues with representatives of the Myanmar government and the poultry farming sector. It became clear that while the interests of the corporate sector and the government were closely related in terms of the future of poultry farming, a number of important differences in insights needed to be bridged. WBVR and GD are therefore jointly determining how any follow-on project should be designed. Such a project would need to pay attention to the differences in insight, while the system for management of animal health problems in the poultry sector requires design and testing.

10 - Update, April 2019

news & communications

Review Voorjaarsdagen One of the anniversary activities that are held in 2019, were the ‘Voorjaarsdagen’, planned together with the European Veterinary Conference Voorjaarsdagen. On Wednesday April 10, GD organised a special conference on small ruminant health management. In the morning, the group went for a guided tour through

Let’s meet up! the recently renovated GD laboratory, one of the largest veterinary laboratories in Europe. After lunch, a visit to a large dairy farm goat near Deventer was planned. The Dutch dairy goat industry has changed enormously in the last decades, and it was an unique opportunity to walk around with the farm manager and specialists and discuss the challenges in goat health. On Thursday the conference ‘Another century of small ruminant health challenges’ was planned in The Hague, where papers on nematodes and liver fuke, ticks and the dairy goat industry were presented. On the last day, after two days of conference, the guests participated in an additional outdoor activity: sheep farm visits on the isle of Texel. All in all; a various and interesting programme.

Celebrating jubilee with anniversary congresses In celebrating our jubilee year, we organise various large conferences in the Netherlands. Throughout the year, you can find us at the following events: • European Symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM) – 22 to 24 May 2019 in Utrecht The 11th edition of the ESPHM is a cooperation between the European College and the European Association of Porcine Health Management and the local Dutch organisation committee. GD is a sponsor. More info and programme: www.esphm2019.org • European Bovince Congress (EBC) – 11 to 13 September 2019 in Den Bosch The scientific programme will be organised around our core theme: “Your Veterinary Toolbox 2025”. What will a veterinary practitioner need in her/his toolbox to serve her/his clients in 2025? How do we attract sufficient numbers of appropriately qualified cattle veterinarians? Who will own the veterinary practices and what will be the consequences of that?

More info and programme: www.europeanbovinecongress2019.com • ECVP/ESVP (European College/Society of Veterinary Pathologists) en ECVCP/ ESVCP (European College/Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathologists) – 25 to 28 September in Arnhem The ESVP/ECVP Annual Meeting will focus on veterinary pathology and veterinary clinical pathology. The event will be held at the Safari conference centre of Burgers Zoo. More info and programme: www.vetpathvetclinpath2019.sites.uu.nl • International Symposium on Avian Mycoplasmosis and Infectious Coryza (ISMC) – 13 to 15 November in Leusden Mycoplasmosis and Infectious Coryza are both bacterial respiratory poultry diseases known globally for their clinical and economic relevance for the poultry industry. The interesting programme will provide many opportunities to socialise and interact with the ISMC community. More info and programme: www.gdismc2019.com

In 2019, we will be present at CAHE (18-20 May in China), WAVLD (19-22 June in Thailand) and WVPA (16-20 September in Thailand). Let us know if you are there. It would be great to meet up! FURTHER DETAILS WWW.GDANIMALHEALTH.COM/CALENDAR

Distributor ahoy! GD is working to establish an international distribution network. We’ve recently added Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to our network. However, we are still looking for distributors in different countries. With GD, you add a big name with international reputation to your package. If you are interested, please send your partnership proposal to a.kolkman@gdanimalhealth.com.

Let’s go digital In these times of digital media, we publish the Update magazine on paper as well as online. Do you prefer to read the magazine online? Please send your email address to support@gdanimalhealth.com and we will send you our future Updates digitally!

Update, April 2019 - 11

GD specialist: Jeanine Wiegel The specialists of GD focus their daily work on gathering and sharing their extensive knowledge of animal diseases. We pay special attention to a specific sector in each edition of the GD Update. This time: Jeanine Wiegel, poultry vet. Her work mainly concerns animal health monitoring, and she directs a great deal of attention towards antibiotics and bacterial resistance in the poultry sector. This monitoring process results in a variety of research projects. “Livestock farming is becoming increasingly internationally oriented, and GD is therefore focusing not only on the internal market, but also on the foreign markets. The idea is to apply the monitoring programmes as we know it, in countries that are lacking an organised animal health programme,” Jeanine explains. And so she ended up in Ethiopia last year, to check whether there was room for a customised programme. “We always head out with the Dutch style of animal health monitoring in the back of our minds, but you can’t simply duplicate this system,” she explains. “Certain things are similar in Ethiopia, but much of it is totally different; the climate for instance and the infrastructure. But wherever you are, the basics remain the same. You want to identify sick animals, discover the causes and draw up a plan.” According to Jeanine, it’s important to stick to this basis, wherever she is in the world. One aspect she always exports from the Netherlands is the importance of good communication. “The government and sector need to cooperate. Even the best ideas can fail if their practical application is not coordinated effectively. Hence the government sometimes needs to act in the interests of the sector.” There has been contact with Ethiopia since 2015; initially to educate vets and laboratory technicians. The governmental strategy is to focus on increasing the poultry production in order to supply animal proteins to their population. In order to get this sorted, GD is helping to establish an organised system of poultry health management. “The government is looking for a rapid expansion of the poultry sector over the coming years. It’s an ambitious plan, but we looked at the steps to be taken together and how we can assist them.” This way of working is not only relevant in Ethiopia, but is also applied in large companies in Eastern European countries, for example, Jeanine explains. “Thanks to the position we hold in the Netherlands, we know how important it is to keep all the links in the chain in contact with each other. In most countries, you’re confronted with a massive pile of lab results that are to be assessed by someone who’s never seen the chickens. Like in Ethiopia, they too miss the communication between links in the chain, but at a different level.” GD has a great deal of experience with this, according to Jeanine. “That’s why we know how to establish connections and links between parties.”

P.O. Box 9, 7400 AA Deventer, the Netherlands, T. +31 570 633 391, F. +31 570 634 104 www.gdanimalhealth.com, info@gdanimalhealth.com

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Update - April 2019  

Update - April 2019