News of Note

With some sea-lion populations in swift decline, feds call for closing Aleutian fisheries
Endangered Steller’s sea lions are faring so poorly at the tip of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands that the Obama administration is calling for emergency commercial fishing closures for two prominent species: Atka mackerel and Pacific cod.

Animal rights group wants zoo to release elephant’s records
An animal advocacy group filed a complaint yesterday with the US Department of Agriculture after the death of a beloved 36-year-old elephant at the Southwick’s Zoo, according to officials from the organization.  In Defense of Animals is calling for the Mendon-based zoo to publicly release the medical records of Dondi, who died Wednesday, said Catherine Doyle, the group’s elephant campaign manager.

Catalonia Bans Bullfighting
Lawmakers in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia voted to ban bullfighting on Wednesday, dealing the most significant blow so far to a tradition considered by many Spaniards to be an essential part of their cultural patrimony.

Feds may probe Southborough primate center after animal’s death
The federal government is weighing whether it will launch a formal probe into the practices of the New England Primate Research Center following the death of an animal there in June.  During a June 29 inspection, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services said it found the body of a primate on the floor of a cage that had been sent through a cage-washing system on June 9.

Obesity Rates Keep Rising, Troubling Health Officials
Americans are continuing to get fatter and fatter, with obesity  rates reaching 30 percent or more in nine states last year, as opposed to only three states in 2007, health officials reported on Tuesday.