News of Note

New Mexico Dairy Pollution Sparks ‘Manure War’
http://tinyurl.com/ye95v3j (npr)
“The picture on many milk cartons shows cows grazing on a pasture next to a country barn and a silo — but the reality is very different.  More and more milk comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where large herds live in feedlots, awaiting their thrice-daily trip to the milking barn. A factory farm with 2,000 cows produces as much sewage as a small city, yet there’s no treatment plant.”

77 percent of European pigs are castrated without anesthetic
http://tinyurl.com/ybggwzk (eurekalert)
“The castration of pigs prevents the “boar taint” smell in the meat and allows them to contain more fat. However in practice this can be very different. Now, for the first time, a scientific team has collected information on the conditions of castration on European pigs. The main conclusion of the study, that forms part of the PIGCAS project, is that these animals are castrated directly by the livestock farmers, without anaesthetic and in some cases, without respecting the European legislation.”

Mice holding back muscular dystrophy research
http://tinyurl.com/ycwt5s7 (press release)
“Humans and mice have previously unknown and potentially critical differences in one of the genes responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology have found that two major features of a key DMD gene are present in most mammals, including humans, but are specifically absent in mice and rats, calling into question the use of the mouse as the principal model animal for studying DMD.”

In Birthplace of Local Food, Fish Imports Take Over the Menu
http://tinyurl.com/y8kwl88 (nyt)
“San Francisco’s situation is part of a national phenomenon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last year that more than three-fourths of the fish Americans eat comes from other countries, mostly China. Yet the trend has special resonance around San Francisco. Robert E. Ross, executive director of the California Fisheries and Seafood Institute, a trade group, estimated that Bay Area residents eat, on average, about double the amount of fish consumed annually by most other Americans.”

Greyhounds chasing rabbit for last time in Mass
http://tinyurl.com/yctfmap (ap)
“Greyhound racing has been a form of entertainment in Massachusetts for 75 years, but not for much longer. The last card at Raynham Park is expected to be Dec. 26, and the state’s other dog track, Wonderland in Revere, stopped racing earlier in the fall.  It may, in fact, be the last time greyhounds run anywhere in New England.”

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