(CIDRAP News) In the influenza literature, it's a given that ferrets are the best animal model for influenza in humans. They show similar clinical signs of disease, such as fever, coughing, and sneezing, and flu viruses that spread among humans usually spread in ferrets as well.
(CIDRAP News) In an unprecedented move, the US government, following an advisory panel's advice, has asked the journals Science and Nature to omit key details of two studies on the transmissibility of dangerous mutant strains of H5N1 influenza viruses in ferrets on grounds that the information could be misused by bioterrorists.
(CIDRAP News) – A national biosecurity board that monitors "dual use" research is apparently worried about an as-yet-published study in which a mutant form of H5N1 avian influenza virus was found to be easily transmissible in ferrets, which are considered good models for flu in humans.
(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied a pair of long-pending petitions from consumer and other groups to limit the use of several antibiotics in farm animals, saying a voluntary approach the agency proposed last year will lead to more "judicious use" of the drugs in agriculture.
(CIDRAP News) Although no successful attacks on the US agriculture and food system have been reported in the past decade, the nation's efforts to defend the system came in for a barrage of criticism yesterday about a lack of coordination and various other shortcomings.
(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today proposed a new system to improve the tracing of diseased and at-risk livestock, aiming to replace a previous national animal identification program that met widespread opposition from livestock producers.