News of Note

Animal rights groups strike again
Anti-animal agriculture group Farm Sanctuary and the Humane Society of the United States are teaming up in Washington state on a new ballot initiative dictating how egg-laying chickens should be housed…..The ultimate goal is to take away the option of eating meat.

Slaughtered sled dogs’ mass gravesite kept secret
A hundred huskies were slaughtered because a tour firm specialising in sled rides failed to secure enough ­bookings.  Some of the dogs were shot while others had their throats slashed in the Canadian ski resort Whistler. The claims emerged yesterday in an employment tribunal brought by an unnamed worker.  Outdoor Adventures, whose policy now states dogs have to be put down humanely by a vet, said: “While we were aware of the.. euthanisation of dogs, we were completely unaware of the details.”

AVMA seeks input on Model Veterinary Practice Act
AVMA members as well as the general public are invited to submit comments on changes they would like to see in the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act. The public comment period will run until Feb. 14. The AVMA asks that all comments be specific and include suggested language for the task force to consider. Review the practice act and submit comments.

Bye Bye Blackbird: USDA acknowledges a hand in one mass bird death
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) took responsibility for hundreds of dead starlings that were found on the ground and frozen in trees in a Yankton, S.D., park on Monday.  The USDA’s Wildlife Services Program, which contracts with farmers for bird control, said it used an avicide poison called DRC-1339 to cull a roost of 5,000 birds that were defecating on a farmer’s cattle feed across the state line in Nebraska.

Report: Arkansas bird deaths tied to blunt-force trauma
A report released Wednesday by the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study lab, part of the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says the red-winged blackbirds that died New Year’s Eve in Arkansas suffered hemorrhaging “consistent with blunt trauma.” Most cases of such traumatic injuries in wild birds are caused by “flying into stationary objects such as trees, houses, windows, power lines, towers,” per the report. MSNBC/KARK 4 News