News of Note

i Apr 18th by

Question of animal testing goes far beyond ethics
There is a systemic lack of education about animal research and ethics, both for the public and especially for student scientists.  Perhaps our society could take a step back and acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of people suffering from illnesses on planet Earth would benefit from the simplest, cheapest solution: access to clean water and nutritious food. Not pharmaceuticals.

USDA investigating Santa Cruz Biotechnology: Animal research facility out of compliance in 2010 and 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating veterinary care at Santa Cruz Biotechnology after inspections at the research facility twice last year found a dozen sick or injured goats in pain, including one awaiting euthanization.

States Look to Ban Efforts to Reveal Farm Abuse
Undercover videos showing grainy, sometimes shocking images of sick or injured livestock have become a favorite tool of animal rights organizations to expose what they consider illegal or inhumane treatment of animals….Similar legislation is being considered in Florida and Minnesota, part of a broader effort by large agricultural companies to pre-emptively block the kind of investigations that have left their operations uncomfortably — and unpredictably — open to scrutiny.
Also see:
Bill would ban filming of Minn. farming operations

Staph in meat: Are US cattle and poultry over-drugged?
A new report, saying that risky forms of Staph bacteria are showing up in supermarkets at “unexpectedly high rates,” is raising concerns about whether the US meat and poultry industries are relying too heavily on antibiotic drugs.  Nearly half of meat and poultry samples in the nationwide study — 47 percent — were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that medical experts link to various human diseases.
Also see:
Bacteria in grocery meat resistant to antibiotics

Dog-saving stirs debate
Animal-rights activists are barking mad over news that trickled out over the weekend involving a truck full of 520 dogs that was stopped Friday on a highway en route to a slaughterhouse.  Discussion of the issue was rife over the next two days, particularly online, with people debating the merits of national laws protecting animals.

Pet rescuers brave Fukushima danger zone
“I understand the nuclear danger and everything, but they’re just being left to starve to death, basically,” said Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.  Gallaon-Aoki and others like her have been slipping into the 20-km radius around Fukushima Daiichi to retrieve pets and feed livestock left behind when their owners were forced to evacuate.

New generation of rat poisons has ripple effect in wildlife
A potent new generation of rat poisons used by California’s residents and businesses are killing not only the rodents they’re aimed at but also a growing number of the bobcats, barn owls, kestrels and other wildlife that feed on the mice, rats and squirrels. “Rodenticides are the new DDT. It is an emergency, an environmental disaster. We are killing nature’s own rodent control,” said Maggie Sergio, director of advocacy at WildCare, a Bay Area wildlife rehabilitation center that has responded to dozens of poisoning cases.

Bill mandates ‘fixing’ of cats, dogs before sale
State lawmakers are looking at a bill that would require pet retailers in Hawaii to sterilize all cats and dogs before selling them.  Passing such a law would lessen the suffering of feral cats because of overpopulation and reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters.

Designer pets come with health costs
An increasing number of pets are either euthanized or abandoned because owners can’t pay the medical bills, and part of the problem is the impulsive purchase of “designer” pets, say Ottawa animal welfare workers and veterinarians.  Designer dogs — such as the tiny dogs found in the handbags of Hollywood starlets — or any dog bred to extremes will often come with built-in medical problems.

Dutch ritual slaughter ban a step closer
In Holland, a proposal to ban Kosher and Halal slaughter methods has moved a step closer to reality, with a majority of the country’s MPs now supporting the ban.  In order to reduce stress, in the EU animals slaughtered for meat are normally stunned before they are killed. But Kosher and Halal butchery requires the animals to be fully conscious when their throats are cut.

St. Louis Zoo treating elephant Donna for tuberculosis
St. Louis Zoo says it’s a mystery how 40-year-old Asian elephant Donna contracted tuberculosis. No other elephant or keeper has tested positive for the illness.  “We assume elephants get TB like any other animal,” said the zoo’s director of animal health, Dr. Randy Junge. “An animal or human who has TB blows it out and another animal can pick it up. It takes prolonged contact. But we have a closed herd with no animals coming or going.”

All Charges Against Bryan Monell Dropped
Raw milk: Turning the clock back on science
The raw milk debate has been raging throughout the U.S. in various states and counties for several years. Proponents says can cure about every ailment known to man, woman or child, but opponents of raw milk advise consumers about the food safety issues with raw, unpasteurized milk and potential deadly pathogens that can lurk within unpasteurized milk.