News of Note

i Jul 25th by

Taking a cleaver to meat for emissions in its making
The latest lob comes from the Environmental Working Group, which adds new number-crunching to the debate. The national nonprofit commissioned a life-cycle analysis of 20 common foods – meat, fish, dairy, and vegetables.  To be sure, agriculture accounts for only about 7 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  But it’s hard for many to change transportation overnight. Household energy use is easier, albeit still a tweak – adjust the thermostat, turn out some lights, and unplug devices.  But food? This part of your life you can change with one trip to the store or the farmer’s market.  The upshot: “If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, over a year, the effect on emissions would be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road,” the group says.
Read the report here:

Veggies, Fiber Keep Diverticulitis Away
Following a strict vegetarian diet seems to confer a reduced risk of diverticular disease, researchers say.  In a prospective study, vegetarians in the U.K. had a nearly one-third lower risk of diverticulitis, diverticulosis, or diverticulum of the large or small intestine over about 11 years compared with their omnivorous counterparts.

Michael Vick, Animal Rights Activist, Seeks Redemption
An interview by Greta Van Susteren with Michael Vick & Wayne Pacelle

Roundup of Wild Horses Must Stop, Court Rules
The 9th Circuit has temporarily halted the round-up of more than 2,000 wild horses from lands in eastern Nevada while it considers an advocacy group’s motion to permanently stop the culling project.  The order came late Friday after U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben in Nevada denied the Cloud Foundation’s request for an injunction to stop the round-up, which was supposed to begin on Saturday.

Law Requires Cross-Reporting Child and Animal Abuse
State agencies that deal with animal abuse are preparing to share that information with authorities that investigate abuse of spouses and children.  On Oct. 1, the law goes into effect that requires animal control officers and social workers with the state Department of Children and Families to share information on cases.

Environmental groups sue to stop Oakland Zoo expansion project
Environmentalists say they want to protect the roaming foxes and coyotes, as well as the Alameda whipsnake, a threatened species, and rare native plants such as the bristly leptosiphon and purple needlegrass.  “It’s ironic that the Oakland Zoo claims to stand for conservation,” said Ruth Malone, co-chairwoman of the Friends of Knowland Park. “The zoo’s unwillingness to go through a full environmental review process for this project is just shocking. Since the City Council shirked its duty to analyze reasonable alternatives, we were left with no options but to sue to get them to follow the law.”

Drug may revolutionize control of dog population
Although the drug is years away from being approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Mayer will soon return to India, where she has been working to eradicate the spread of rabies in stray dogs there.

Animal testing ‘requires tighter regulation’
Dr Robin Lovell-Badge, from the National Institute for Medical Research, said: “Everyone laughs at talking meerkats and cats with opposable thumbs, but if we were actually doing that in the labs I don’t think people would be so happy.”

Little Lambs, Not the Sheep, Get Early Lessons in the Rodeo Life
Mutton busting, as the sport is known, is the pint-size equivalent of competitive bull riding. Children cling to the backs of sheep, and generally speaking, whoever stays on the longest wins.  Kaden was among the 20 or so children, most 3 to 6 years old, who competed during a mutton-busting event put on by Wool Riders Only at the Arapahoe County Fair.  Would-be riders were far from exultant. Handlers shoved bleating animals into the sheep-size steel chute and hoisted children onto their mounts.

Rodeo horse dies from back injury
According to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, this is the second time a rookie saddle bronc has died at rodeo in the last three years. In 2009 a horse named Strawberry Fudge died from neck and head injuries when it fell to its side shortly after the chute opened.

Race-day medication hot topic at upcoming meetings
Breeders’ Cup Ltd. will implement changes to its race-day medication policies starting with next year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and several other industry leaders will be busy discussing the topic in the next several weeks.  The Association of Racing Commissioners International called for the end of race-day medication within five years earlier this year.

USDA to launch 2011 feedlot animal-health study
The information that feedlot producers provide will be used to estimate the use of certain management practices— such as those related to beef quality assurance—and to identify potential risk factors associated with disease on U.S. feedlots.  Understanding the risk factors for disease can improve disease prevention strategies and help pinpoint areas where additional research may be needed.

Snail bait is unseen hazard for dogs
Snail bait can be highly toxic to dogs. The most common brands contain metaldehyde, which, when ingested, initially causes nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. This can lead to severe retching and vomiting.

Former Wheaton woman tends to Alaskan wildlife
Beckmen often investigates the causes of death among wildlife populations.  “Satisfying is when I investigate wildlife mortalities … and am able to figure out why the animal died, especially when it can prevent further deaths,” she said.  “Really, wildlife management is managing people,” she said.