News of Note

i Oct 31st by

Animal testing losing favour
The Netherlands is at the forefront of a global trend turning away from using animals for scientific and commercial tests. Technological advances are making animal testing less necessary and, at the same time, a vibrant animal rights movement is mobilising public opinion.  Recent developments in the Netherlands underpin this trend. Major Dutch research centre TNO has announced it will immediately cease testing on all species of primates (testing on the primates most closely related to humans was banned in 2003).

Animal testing defended as UBC releases data
The disclosure that almost 212,000 animals were studied last year at UBC – more than double the previously acknowledged total – brought howls from animal-rights supporters.  Brian Vincent, director of Stop UBC Animal Research, said the new data revealed nothing about instances where monkeys were subjected to electric shocks and titanium screws inserted in cats’ spines.  “Some animals have endured horrific pain and suffering. It is quite startling that UBC is causing so much cruelty with taxpayers’ dollars,” he said. “The information they have released is not very helpful because it is so vague.”

Pet Lovers, Pathologized
while politicians continue to channel  “Joe Six-Pack” by hunting and killing animals to prove that they are tough providers, animal lovers are often infantilized, pathologized and derided. It is true that White House pets have often become celebrities, but they are usually there for the children, part of the pretty picture of the all-American family. This is part of a complicated and often hypocritical view we hold toward animals.

Young vegetarians: Getting the nutrition they need
While many parents worry whether their vegetarian or vegan children will receive adequate nutrition for their growing bodies, the American Dietetic Association says such diets, as long as they are well-planned, are appropriate for all phases of life, including childhood and adolescence. “Appropriately planned” vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, the dietetic association says.
Ohio case renews old questions about exotic pets
Sanctuaries have neither the space, nor the financial wherewithal, to come to the rescue of overmatched owners who can no longer care for their big cats, monkeys or even parrots. Some sanctuaries have closed their doors, contributing to the population of unwanted, difficult-to-place beasts that can cost $10,000 a year or more to maintain….demand for sanctuary space has always outstripped the supply…Long before the current economic slump, private owners, biomedical research facilities and sanctuaries that accepted more animals than they could handle were all sources of castoff exotics.

Supreme Court to hear ‘downer cattle’ meat processing case which originated in Chino
At issue is whether California can create its own laws to safeguard its food supply and prevent farm animal abuse, while preempting federal law which regulates slaughterhouses and prevents the slaughter and processing of cattle which cannot walk, according to court briefs.  Meat industry representatives, which filed a lawsuit against the state in National Meat Association v. Harris, argue that California law attempts to preempt federal law, takes a cow issue and applies it to other animals, and could raise costs for meat processors.

Slaughter of Horses Goes On, Just Not in U.S
That shift is one of the many unintended consequences of a de facto federal ban on horse slaughter, according to a recent federal government study. As the domestic market for unwanted horses shrinks, more are being neglected and abandoned, and roughly the same number — nearly 140,000 a year — are being killed after a sometimes grueling journey across the border.  The study’s findings have been fiercely contested by animal welfare groups, which argue that most of the problems stem from the economic downturn and the high price of feed. The study also breathed new life into the long-smoldering battle over whether to allow the resumption of domestic horse slaughter or, alternatively, to prohibit the animals from being shipped abroad for their meat.

Case sheds light on horses’ plight in hard times
Three members of an Appleton, Minn., family were each charged with a felony for cruelty to animals this summer, the first felony charges ever in Minnesota for the alleged starving of horses, authorities say.  “I realize that horses die, and I understand the changing economics and changing rural demographics,” Jost said of animals that the Minnesota Legislature last year classified as livestock, as opposed to domestic animals. “But it’s about time that somebody stood up for these defenseless animals.”

Humane Society of U.S. alleges Ky. livestock board acted in secret
The Humane Society of the United States filed a formal complaint Wednesday with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture alleging that the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission has violated the state’s Open Meetings Act.

US broiler production expected to decline through end 2011
U.S. broiler production is expected to decline at the end of the third quarter in 2011 and moving into the fourth quarter as reductions in the number of chicks placed for growout more than offset higher average weights, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

National Zoo employee found guilty of attempted animal cruelty
When a National Zoo employee was charged with trying to poison stray cats around her Northwest Washington apartment complex this year, she, too, turned to the powerhouse lawyer. Nico Dauphine guilty of attempted cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor. She faces a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine and is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 21.

Why We Love Ozzy Osbourne Going Vegan
Ozzy Osbourne, the former heavy metal singer who once made headlines for eating a bat, has now declared himself a vegan. On The Talk this week, Ozzy explained to his wife and her other co-hosts about his decision:  My assistant showed me a video called Forks and Knives or something, about (cutting out) meat and dairy products, so I thought, ‘I’ll give this a shot!’