News of Note

Seattle taxpayers file appeal in lawsuit against the city for supporting the cruelty to Woodland Park Zoo elephants
Concerned citizens represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund are filing an appeal in the Washington State Court of Appeals in their lawsuit against the City of Seattle and Woodland Park Zoo. The Animal Legal Defense Fund intends to stop the City’s unlawful use of taxpayer dollars to support the Woodland Park Zoo’s treatment of elephants in violation of Washington State and Seattle animal cruelty laws.

Meatless Mondays Catch On, Even With Carnivores
For whatever reason, chefs and restaurateurs say, the big outside money that fuels economic life here, often flying in by private jet from places like Malibu or the Main Line, tilts heavily toward the carnivorous…A new nationwide pro-veggie effort, however — aimed at persuading people to go meatless at least one day a week — has been embraced here more than in any other city in America. At least 20 institutions and restaurants, including Syzygy, are offering vegetarian choices on Mondays under a plan announced this month.

Petting-Zoo Animals Are Walking Petri Dishes of Disease
KOMO reports that four people are sick from E. coli contamination after visiting Everett’s Animal Farm at Forest Park. One child was apparently hospitalized for three days. Turns out this kind of thing is pretty common.  The most recent study listed by the Centers for Disease Control analyzed data from 2005 and found a host of infections in the three states that were sampled.

E. Coli: Blame the Meat, Not the Sprouts
While E. coli 0157H7 has ridden leaves of lettuce and spinach into infamy, this is an enemy whose origins we have met, and we know they are all about meat, not vegetables. When it comes to public health mayhem from mutant germs, plants are innocent bystanders. Feed animals are raised as an industrial commodity, rather than as creatures. Their natural diets are disregarded, and they are fed whatever leads to the fastest growth and greatest profit. The origins of E. coli 0157H7 are not mysterious; they relate to changes in the feed of cattle.

Activists march against overseas abattoir cruelty
Up to 1000 animal rights activists have marched from Sydney’s Hyde Park to Parliament House, to protest against cruel slaughter practices at overseas abattoirs.

San Francisco Mulls Goldfish Ban
San Francisco’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission is recommending that the City ban the sale of goldfish, tropical fish and guppies in its borders.  The recommendation to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is part of the commission’s ongoing efforts to discourage “impulse buys” of animals.

Governor New Dog and Cat Breeder Law Signed
A new law, signed by Governor Rick Perry Friday, takes aim at dog and cat breeders in Texas. Lawmakers want to eliminate “puppy mills.” Included in the new law were provisions for licensing, background checks for breeders, facility inspections and a public directory of licensed breeders, so potential buyers will be able to seen which breeders have faced disciplinary action.

In It for the Long Run: Vegan Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek
Scott Jurek, 37, is an ultra ultramarathoner. He’s the U.S. record holder for the 24-hour run, fitting 165.7 miles into a single day. Twice he’s won the brutal Badwater race — that’s 153 miles through Death Valley — and he’s won the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run seven times. He does it all on a diet devoid of animal products.

NYC to send airport geese to food banks for the poor
New York City plans to round-up geese that could threaten planes at its airports and ship them to Pennsylvania to be cooked as meals for the poor, The New York Times reports.

Japan’s ageing pets spark elderly care boom
Pets are said to be like their owners, and in fast-ageing Japan a generation of greying pooches and tabbies has sparked a boom in elderly care for the four-legged friends.  Better pet food and veterinary services have allowed dogs and cats to live longer, spawning an industry that ranges from animal diapers and walking aids to 24-hour emergency care and research into pet tissue-engineering.  The market is huge. Japanese keep 22 million dogs and cats, according to the latest data from the Japan Pet Food Association — outnumbering children aged under 15 by about 30 percent.

Your Dog Is Watching You
Dogs are constantly learning from the reaction of human owners, picking up facial cues and anticipating their owner’s behavior, new research suggests. The findings, published online in the journal Learning and Behavior, show that dogs essentially are always in training, and help explain how many owners unknowingly teach and reward their dog’s bad behavior.

Communities try to control cat population
A growing number of animal advocates and local communities are stepping up efforts to curb the overpopulation of cats by offering low-cost or free spaying and neutering.  Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says a number of factors are contributing to the booming cat population

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