Animal welfare continues to be at the heart of all that Novus does to develop sustainable solutions for agriculture. Not only is the well-being of all living beings an important value in itself to Novus, but it has been proven time and time again that, in an agricultural context, healthy and well-cared-for animals are more productive and deliver higher quality protein, supporting overall food production in a cost-effective way. With continuing pressures on farmers around the world to deliver higher outputs using fewer resources, investing in the health and well-being of animals yields a high economic return over time.
Novus employs more than 50 Animal Nutritionists and Doctors of Veterinary Medicine who maintain a constant focus on how our solutions affect the lives of animals and the livelihoods of farmers. Product effectiveness at Novus is determined by working closely with animals and their owners in field studies and a multitude of studies on specific species are progressed on a regular basis. These studies are usually performed in the field where the animals are and reflect the true conditions of raising animals in many different parts of the globe.
Innovation in Pet Nutrition
Through the Novus Pet Nutrition Division, Novus supplies the Pet
Food Industry with products and nutrition solutions. Customers
include pet food manufacturers, rendering companies and all
forms of suppliers of mineral premixes and other ingredients to
pet food manufacturers. Novus has an influence in this industry
through its continuous innovation and advanced specialty
products and solutions. One area of leadership is Novus's
expertise in pigments which are natural, safe and highly stable,
in an industry where pigments have always presented quality
risks for pet food manufacturers. In 2011, a major global pet
food manufacturer started to use Novus's pigments in a range of
products. Novus's leading-edge probiotic and prebiotic solutions
have achieved recognition as offering comprehensive value for the
overall gut health of animals and contributing to their well-being.
Therapeutic Nutrition represents the intersection of
animal health and animal nutrition. The interplay between
health and nutrition is not always obvious, but in fact it
is critical to the long-term sustainability of global food
production. Typically, health issues have been addressed
pharmaceutically while nutrition issues have been
addressed through diet. However, the interplay between
health and diet is complex, and understanding the mutual
influences of each and how they affect animal well-being
and productivity is a key to delivering optimum results.
Novus is developing a portfolio of products that offer
therapeutic nutritional value and these include prebiotics,
probiotics, vaccines, essential oils, protected organic
acids and more.
Arenus — We Love Your Animals
Novus's Arenus brand provides invaluable support
for the health, comfort and longevity of pets and
companion animals. The Arenus product range
includes feed supplements to support optimal
digestive health, healthy bones and ligaments, relief
from respiratory challenges, provision of essential
vitamins and a great look with healthy skin and a
smooth coat. Arenus also offers ranges of herbal
products and flower essence remedies for horses
and dogs that need a little extra physical and
emotional support. At Novus, we are keenly aware
of the benefits that companion animals bring to
many people, and in line with Novus's vision to help
achieve a better quality of life, by helping owners care
for their animals, we help them care for themselves.
Established in 2006 with just one product in the Arenus offering and growing to 45 products in 2011, marketed at
present in the U.S. and in Mexico, Arenus is a premier provider of innovative health and nutrition products for horses,
pets and companion animals. The mission of Arenus is to become the best-known source of innovative and trusted
nutritional and health products and information that help horses and pets achieve optimal health, performance and
longevity. In 2011, Arenus commissioned a brand awareness study which gave positive results, demonstrating the
Adhering to the Highest Quality Standards
Arenus is an audited voluntary member of the
National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), an
industry group dedicated to protecting the health
of companion animals including horses. NASC's
overriding goal is to promote the health and wellbeing
of companion animals that are given animal
health supplements by their owners, and to protect
and enhance the integrity of the animal health
NASC members must agree to adhere to NASC's
quality standards which include submitting to an
independent audit to ensure conformance with
quality system requirements. Compliant members,
including Arenus, may display the NASC Quality
Seal which confirms to customers that products
are supplied by a reputable company that observes
the strictest standards of quality, labeling and other
For more information about the NASC,
please visit: www.nasc.cc.
Arenus Ambassadors Raise Awareness
Arenus engages with five world class Ambassadors, who
are top riders across different riding disciplines, to represent
the Arenus brand and promote awareness for best equine
care and conditioning. All Arenus Ambassadors use Arenus
products for their horses and are happy to share their
first-hand experience of the benefits for horse well-being.
Arenus Ambassadors include:
- International dressage rider Dr. Cesar Parra, a
Colombian National Champion who rode for the United
States in the 2004 Olympic and 2006 World Equestrian
Games teams before becoming a U.S. citizen in 2008
and making history in 2010 as the first Latin American
rider to share in a Gold medal win by the U.S. Pan
American Games Dressage team.
- Olympic Dressage rider Steffen Peters, a native of
Germany, became a U.S. citizen in 1992 and competed
with his first U.S. team during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
where the team took home the Bronze medal. At the
2006 World Equestrian Games, Peters helped the U.S.
team capture the Bronze medal. Peters went on in more
recent years to win many prestigious riding challenges.
- Chester Weber, the eight-time United States Equestrian
Federation National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving
Champion and the United States' most decorated
combined driver, having won many world-level events.
He has riden for the United States in three World
Marketing with a Social Benefit
The Arenus Professional Referral Program (PRP), through which professionals receive rewards for referring Arenus
products, enhanced its reach and social impact during 2011 through an innovative program to support organizations
involved in animal care and well-being. Through the use of a unique code when Arenus products are purchased, Arenus
makes a donation equivalent to 10% of the purchase price to the designated organization that is tagged with that code.
As a result of this program, many animal-supporting organizations have received much-needed funds, such as the
Animal Rehab Institute, Inc., which supports education for horse rehabilitation; the DreamCatcher Horse Rescue Ranch,
Inc., which works to protect abused, neglected, stray or abandoned horses; the NRHA, a not-for-profit organization
dedicated to the promotion of the Reining horse that also maintains a foundation to advance charitable programs; and
many more. A specific opportunity arose to assist in a time of need following extensive wildfires in Texas in September
2011. Arenus engaged in a coordinated effort with the Texas Lost Pines Riding Club and non-profit BlueBonnet.org, to
help nearly 100 horses and cattle find sanctuary. Through the use of a unique Texas Wildfire Code, 10% of the purchase
income from Arenus product sales was donated to the Lost Pines Riding Club to help the horses and cattle that had
survived the fire recover.
In addition, Arenus promotes not-for-profit organizations at trade shows and horse shows, inviting customers to make
purchases using the unique codes of these organizations. This creative way of advancing positive care for horses while
providing a benefit for the wider horse community and their owners reflects the essence of Arenus and its mission:
"To deliver scientifically-sound health and nutrition products for companion
animals, in order to achieve optimal health, performance, and longevity, so
you can enjoy many happy years working, playing and competing together."
Science-Based Results for ASSURE® from the
In 2011, Arenus completed and published results for clinical field trials on ASSURE® System products, proving that
health issues such as chronic diarrhea, chronic recurrent colic, suspected gastric ulcers, sand accumulation or weight
loss in horses are positively influenced by use of ASSURE products. This was the first time that such an extensive
in-field program was conducted, engaging the support of veterinarians all over the U.S. to assess ASSURE products
over prolonged periods of time and evaluate the results, ensuring no significant bias. This model aligns with the Novus
approach of engaging with professional communities and encouraging their involvement while ensuring that product
trials are locally and practically relevant to provide substantiated results and sustainable solutions. 90% of veterinarians
who evaluated ASSURE products confirmed they would recommend this feeding program in the future.
Riding to Fight Breast Cancer
In October 2011, Arenus partnered with the National Barrel Horse Association during the NBHA 2011 World
Championships to contribute in the fight against breast cancer and demonstrate the Arenus commitment to
encouraging healthy competition and better health. Arenus created a special event, the STEADFAST® Five Times
Faster Dash, a single barrel race to support breast cancer research and awareness.
Helping Chickens to Walk Tall
Raising chickens is not as simple as one may think. One of the most common problems that causes pain
for broiler chicks is footpad lesions. Footpad lesions are sores which develop on chicken feet primarily in
wet litter conditions, and cause great discomfort as well as a real health risk, as open sores are an invitation
for bacteria and infection. Farmer productivity also is negatively affected when chicks suffer from footpad
lesions, because this can lead to a higher mortality rate and also because chicken paws are an important
food in Asia and must be free from all visible impairments to be commercially viable.
Chicken feet with footpad lesions
Chicken feet without footpad lesions
In Thailand and other parts of Asia, Novus teams became aware of significant
problems with footpad lesions experienced by different customers and
set out to develop a solution. The Novus approach was to test the impact
of supplemental minerals on performance and footpad health in broiler chicks under wet and dry litter
conditions. A 42-day trial was conducted to evaluate two levels of minerals (one of which was Novus's
MINTREX chelated trace mineral blend with zinc, copper and manganese) and three types of litter housing
(dry, mixed and moist) on footpad health in broiler chicks. The trial yielded many insights into the effects of
different mineral levels in chick diets, and the results included a stark improvement in footpad health by over
20 percentage points during the first 14 days in chicks that received the MINTREX mineral supplement. In
addition, given that this supplement also increases the bioavailability of other feedstuffs as well as offering
additional nutritional value, chicks who received MINTREX showed improved weight gain per unit of feed.
Following this trial, in order to provide customers with a useful tool, Novus developed a standardized model
to determine the impacts of nutrition and housing conditions on foot health in chickens. Farmers can use
this model to determine optimal feed composition as well as preferred housing conditions required to
raise healthy chickens that do not suffer from infected footpads, as well as maintain cost-effective poultry
production. In this way, Novus demonstrated a commitment to providing holistic solutions to customers in
response to their overall needs, well beyond the core business of Novus, which is related to feed and not to
the housing conditions of chicks.
Caring for C.O.W.S.
Following the 2010 completion of the initial benchmarking phase of one of the most
significant studies ever conducted on the welfare of cows, Novus has continued to
consolidate the learnings from this program and expand its reach. In the Novus 2010
C.O.W.S. (Comfort • Oxidative Balance • Well-Being • Sustainability) study, many
aspects of cow well-being were analyzed and a comprehensive benchmark for cow
well-being was created using data from 140 dairy cow herds in the United States. For
more information about the first phase of this program, see the Novus Sustainability
Engaging with Farmers:
Farmers have a vested interest in the well-being of their herds. Through the C.O.W.S.
program, Novus has the opportunity to engage closely with customers to understand their needs and provide
appropriate solutions. Novus connects with farmers through the C.O.W.S. program in two ways: First, the C.O.W.S.
team visits the farm to conduct the on-farm assessments. Second, the Novus Sales Team follows with a customized
report of results and recommendations for presentation to the dairy management team. The discussion generated by the
C.O.W.S. report is often enlightening for farmers and offers the opportunity to review solutions for improved well-being
levels which also will contribute to the farmer's overall productivity and cost-effectiveness.
Maintaining the Pace in 2011:
During 2011 and early 2012, Novus completed C.O.W.S. assessments on 90 dairies
and has provided training and education for over 40 animal feed nutritionists through training workshops for six nutrition
groups, and two producer seminars.
Case Studies Prove Results:
In a farm in upstate New York, the C.O.W.S. Assessment Report of 2010 played an
integral part in a producer convincing his business partners and banker that a change to his free-stalls was needed to
improve cow comfort on his farm. A C.O.W.S. re-assessment was completed in 2011 to quantify these improvements
and the results demonstrated incredible improvements in key well-being parameters, includes a reduction in overall costs
to the farmer and increased dairy cow sales. These improvements were the result not only of specific changes made on
the farm, but of a heightened general awareness of well-being needs as a result of the C.O.W.S. assessment.
C.O.W.S. Assesment in a New York Farm, 2010-2011, Before and After
"Together we can build a strong
"poster" farm for cow comfort,
longevity and sustainability, all of
which is already so important to
us and has become our passion."
Owner, Spring Lawn Farms (Lancaster, PA)
Similar results were obtained in other farms that were re-assessed in 2011. For example, on another U.S. farm, overall
lameness was at an unacceptably high rate of 85% in the first assessment, and this dropped to 8% in the following
year after adjusting the footbath protocol and improving sanitation, among other things. In addition to cow well-being
improvement, the farmer also noticed that feed efficiency improved, enabling an important reduction in overall costs.
Some of the conclusions that the Novus C.O.W.S. team reached during two years of experience with this program
include the fact that many changes are simple and do not necessarily require major cash investment. Changing just one
aspect of cow management relating to milk yield, reproduction, culling rates, feed efficiency, milk components, lying
time, lameness, etc., can be enough to deliver a significant change to the well-being of the cow and the productivity of
the farm. By helping farmers develop action plans that are self-directed, farm-specific, feasible for each dairy and often
creative, Novus advances both animal well-being and sustainable food production.
Sharing C.O.W.S. Research-Based Knowledge:
Data from the C.O.W.S. assessments are used by Novus's
partner in the C.O.W.S. initiative, the University of British Columbia (UBC) Animal Welfare Program. Based on the initial
benchmarking data developed in first and second round assessments, two papers were presented in 2011 by Alejandra
Barrientos and Dr. Nina von Keyserlingk from UBC:
2011 Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and American Animal Science
Association in New Orlean: This research paper presented results showing considerable variation in lameness
and leg injury prevalence among freestall farms in North America. The very low prevalence of these ailments on some
farms shows great opportunity for improvement on other farms.
5th International Conference on the Assessment of Animal Welfare at Farm and Group Level at the University
of Guelph, Ontario: This research paper presented results showing that variation in lying behavior was associated
with the risk of lameness and hock injuries on dairy farms.
Further research is ongoing and additional results will be presented in 2012, thereby advancing the body of scientific
knowledge for the benefit of sustainable agriculture and promoting the value of a creative, collaborative business
model. In addition, Novus has sponsored a post-doctoral researcher who is currently working at UBC with C.O.W.S.
data to deliver additional knowledge and insights.