News of Note

Judge dismisses lawsuit against the Woodland Park Zoo regarding ill treatment of elephants, cites technicality
The judge granted the City and Zoo’s motion to dismiss the case because the group had no standing to sue the city, and there was nothing illegal about the city’s funding of the zoo.  “As Judge Heavy ruled from the bench, he twice stated his personal belief that the zoo’s elephant exhibit is objectionable, stating at one point, “…to confine animals in small habitats, take away their freedom in grossly confined spaces, outweighs children seeing (wild and rare) animals,”

Test-Tube Burgers
In 1999, van Eelen received U.S. and international patents for the Industrial Production of Meat Using Cell Culture Methods. A new discipline, propelled by an unlikely combination of stem-cell biologists, tissue engineers, animal-rights activists, and environmentalists, has emerged in both Europe and the U.S. Teams are forming at universities around the world
also see
Burgers From A Lab: The World Of In Vitro Meat

Meat Industry Recruits ‘Masters of Beef Advocacy’ To Promote Meat Eating
The national beef industry has enlisted college students across the country in its public relations fight for America’s hearts, minds and stomachs.  The Masters of Beef Advocacy program also recruits farmers, ranchers, high-end chefs and school dietitians to spread the gospel of red meat consumption.

After food scandals, growing number of Chinese reject meat for vegetarianism
When Song Yidan, a master’s student in Chinese culture from Beijing, decided to become a vegetarian last November, her friends and family did everything they could to dissuade her…A belief that consuming meat means eating well runs deep in China, which struggled to feed itself throughout much of its history and where many followed a largely vegetarian diet because they could not afford meat.

Oregon Senate Approves Larger Cages For Hens
The Oregon Senate voted Wednesday to give egg-laying hens more room. The measure would require the three large-scale commercial egg producers in Oregon to phase in larger cages for hens over the next 15 years.

Why Do Vegetarians and Vegans Weigh Less?
This is the first year ever that the USDA has embraced a vegetarian diet. In its 2010 dietary pyramid, the USDA gave vegetarianism an outright endorsement saying in addition to improved heart health, a vegetarian diet was associated with lower rates of obesity.

Red meat raises, fiber lowers colorectal cancer risk
A report released this morning by an international team of researchers says there’s convincing evidence that eating too much red meat and processed meat raises colorectal cancer risk and that consuming plenty of fiber in the form of plant-based foods reduces that risk.

Senate passes stronger penalties for cockfighting
State legislators voted in support of two bills in the past week to curb cockfighting, an ancient blood sport animal rights advocates say is thriving in California because current laws aren’t tough enough.  “The type of elements that this activity draws is dangerous to the community,” said Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, who proposed two bills this year that would increase penalties for cockfighting.

Animal abuse registry passes Senate
A bill to create an animal abuse database in Texas passed the Senate Tuesday night 25-5. However, a last-minute amendment to HB 1103 made sure the database – similar to the state’s sex offender registry – only be available to police.  In addition to the registry, animal cruelty offenders must attend a responsible pet owner class. Some people would not be allowed to adopt pets either.

Another Day in the Hawkeye State
Later, I venture alone to a small CAFO nearby and poke around, because there’s no one there. (If the anti-whistleblowing laws being considered by Iowa, Minnesota, and Florida are passed, I could be arrested for the above photo.) Note the wooden slats, which are hosed down so the manure falls under the barn; it stinks.

The tornadoes’ forgotten victims: animals
In Smithville, about 150 homes were destroyed, so it’s possible that the same number of animals were displaced. That figure doesn’t include livestock.  Rescue workers so far have retrieved about two dozen cats and dogs from the debris and sent them either to the Amory Animal Hospital for treatment or directly to the shelter.

Pacific Nearshore Project uses sea otters as barometer
More than two dozen marine researchers — including seven from the Alaska Science Center — are at sea near Glacier Bay this week studying sea otters for clues about the ecological health of the Pacific coast stretching as far south as California.  “Sea otters are the perfect health indicators of our nearshore waters,” James Bodkin.


Ostrich flu spreads
More ostriches on seven farms in the Klein Karoo valley in the Western Cape are to be culled after the areas tested positive for avian influenza.  “Ostriches on those farms are also going to be culled by way of controlled slaughter in the abattoir,” the agriculture department said on Tuesday…”A total of 10,000 ostriches have already been culled in this way during the current outbreak.

Vick’s Compound Bought by Animal Rights Group
An animal rights group bought Michael Vick’s former dogfighting compound in Norfolk, Va., and plans to turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and penned dogs.