How OAHN Finds Its News Items

Our OAHN swine network has recently started compiling emerging threats and public health/zoonotic concerns for their quarterly calls.  While compiling these for our industry co-lead to review, it came to light that others might be interested in how we compile information.  We scour the internet for animal health news that is relevant, timely, and credible.  We try to be a collecting house for great information about animal health and welfare issues for veterinarians and producers/owners in Ontario.

Here’s where we look for info and how we do it.  Do you have a source that’s relevant for your industry?  Think we are missing something, or not sharing news that you care about?  Let us know at oahn@uoguelph.ca.

  • Credible animal health news sites: we manually search news sites such as the HogSite,
  • ProMed: Out of the many emails that come through ProMed, we seek out relevant-to-Ontario topics, and pass them on.
  • PubMed/Research Gate: we have alerts set on these sites to seek out relevant research for each species with a focus on infectious disease.
  • Credible animal health sites: we manually search sites such as OIE, CDC, CFIA, OMAFRA, APHIS, USDA
  • Google alerts: we set up automatic alerts for each species, with key words for diseases, welfare issues, and conditions. After 2 years in the game, we ‘ve learned a great deal about what terms work, yielding credible sources, and which terms get us pictures of cute goats or other irrelevant information.
  • Ontario producer organizations such as Ontario Goat, Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency, OSHAB, etc. Many of these organizations kindly allow non-producers to subscribe, and there is some excellent information.
  • Ontario producer magazines including Ontario Farmer, Ontario Hog Farmer, Dairy Farmers of Ontario Milk magazine
  • CEZD (Centre for Emerging Zoonotic Diseases) weekly reports: this organization, a branch of the CFIA, uses a computer algorithm to search internet news sources daily. Then a team of raters (you could be one too if you want to!) rate the relevance of the article to the health of Canadian animals or public.  The weekly report consists of any articles rate 3/5 or higher for relevance. 
  • OAHN species network listservs: we trade great surveillance news, and bounce ideas off the groups on these lists: interesting articles get passed on.
  • North American veterinary listservs and newsletters including American Association of Swine/Equine/Bovine/ Poultry Veterinarians (AASV, AAEP, AAPV, AABP), North American Extension Vets, US Animal Health Association
  • Ontario Veterinary College researchers often share their recent research with us, which we in turn share link for abstracts. Want to share your research?  Email us at oahn@uoguelph.ca
  • University of Guelph Newsletters: each college puts out a newsletter, and we pull interesting articles from these, sharing relevant items with our audience.
  • Animal Health Laboratory Newsletters from laboratories across North America

What do we do with this information?  We compile what we believe would be interesting articles related to disease or welfare issues.  Appropriate posts are shared on Facebook and Twitter daily, and all are compiled and published weekly on our website weekly in our Top Animal Health Links articles, which you can find in the News Section on OAHN.ca.