News of Note

January 12th, 2010

UW monkey starved to death in lab last year
Staff at the University of Washington’s National Primate Research Center allowed a monkey to starve to death last year.  A U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection report says the male pigtailed macaque had lost a quarter of his body weight, and had not been weighed regularly as required by the university’s own protocols.  The death is the latest blow for animal research programs at the UW, which is one of the nation’s top institutions in terms of biomedical funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Farmers Fight Back Against Animal Rights Groups
It’s little wonder that farmers fret about the future of the livestock industry. In the past two years, feed costs skyrocketed, pork and dairy prices plummeted, and animal rights groups stepped up efforts to improve living conditions for farm animals.  Some farmers are hoping to strike back with proactive efforts to ward off unwanted legislation and boost the struggling industry.

Goodnight, Nocturnal House: Woodland Zoo will close night exhibit
The shut-down of the exhibit will save Woodland Park $300,000 a year, at a time of significant budget problems for the zoo. Despite near-record attendance last year, Woodland Park has suffered from a decline in charitable gifts and revenues. It has already cut staff, started furloughs and eliminated its Wildlife Adventures travel program.  Some people have wondered why the zoo recently opened a new penguin exhibit during an economic crisis. They’ve also asked why the zoo is unveiling a new meerkat exhibit and entry way for visitors this summer, at a time of staff cuts and exhibit closures.

Three Views of Violent Clash Over Whaling
There is now a third video viewpoint on the collision between the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling speed boat Ady Gil and the Shonan Maru No. 2, which is described as a security boat in the Japanese whaling fleet. Sea Shepherd contends that this vantage point clearly shows that the Japanese ship was intent on closing with and ramming the protesters.
Whale defenders send message to Tokyo
The Sea Shepherd conservation group will not be changing tactics when it comes to its clashes with Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean, a group leader said at an Auckland protest yesterday.

The New Age Cavemen and the City
The caveman lifestyle, in Mr. Durant’s interpretation, involves eating large quantities of meat and then fasting between meals to approximate the lean times that his distant ancestors faced between hunts. Vegetables and fruit are fine, but he avoids foods like bread that were unavailable before the invention of agriculture. Mr. Durant believes the human body evolved for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and his goal is to wean himself off what he sees as many millenniums of bad habits.

Gluten-free vegan diet helps rheumatoid arthritis
Eating a gluten free vegan diet may help patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a study in Arthritis Research & Therapy has suggested.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease which affects multiple joints of the body. The vegan diet was found to be atheroprotective and anti-inflammatory.

More Perils of Ground Meat
About eight years ago, a company called Beef Products Inc. had the novel idea of injecting its ground beef with ammonia to kill deadly E. coli and salmonella. The Agriculture Department pronounced the idea effective and exempted Beef Products Inc. from routine tests. The company’s beef began appearing regularly in grocery stores, fast food restaurants and school lunch programs. It turned out the beef was not safe.

Are Zoos Prisons? Habeas Corpus Filed for Chimp
Jimmy is a 26 year old chimpanzee who has spent several years alone in a cage, where he’s on exhibit at a zoo in Niterói, Brazil, just outside of Rio de Janeiro. Just last week, animal protection groups filed a motion to have Jimmy released on grounds of Habeas Corpus, arguing that he is being denied his rights to freedom of movement and to a decent life, in Rio’s Criminal Court.

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