News of Note

i Feb 13th by

HBO show Luck attacked over horse deaths
Animal rights group Peta has called for TV and film safety rules to be tightened after two horses were put down during filming for HBO drama Luck…The AHA said in a statement that the fatal accidents had taken place several months apart – one during the filming of a pilot episode and another during the filming of the seventh show.

Return of diving horse act on Atlantic City Steel Pier has animal rights activists saying ‘nay’
According to The Press of Atlantic City, Steel Pier owner Anthony Catanoso plans to bring back the diving horse act, where a horse ridden by a stunt diver leaps from a platform 30 to 40 feet in the air into a 12-foot deep tank. Animal rights activists are promising to fight the return of the show.

Norfolk pig farmer criticises secret filming
A farmer has spoken out against an undercover animal rights investigator who secretly filmed one of his pigs being beaten to death with an iron bar.  The RSPCA said it had started an inquiry after seeing the “shocking” images of pigs being beaten at Harling Farm, East Harling, Norfolk.  Farmer Stephen Brown said when the Animal Equality activist was filming he was not looking after the pigs.

Animal rights group criticizes magazine
A leading outdoor magazine has reacted to plans by an animal rights group to use a small, remote-controlled aircraft, nicknamed “Angel,” to videotape live pigeon shoots Feb. 9-12 at Broxton Bridge Plantation near Ehrhardt.  SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness) and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are protesting the live pigeon shoot being held during the 20th Anniversary Flyer Shoot, an invitation-only event at the privately-owned plantation where a wide variety of hunting and sporting activities are held throughout the year.

McDonald’s Set to Phase Out Suppliers’ Use of Sow Crates
The McDonald’s Corporation said on Monday that it would begin working with its pork suppliers to phase out the use of so-called gestational crates, the tiny stalls in which sows are housed while pregnant. McDonald’s has asked its five direct suppliers of bacon, Canadian bacon and sausage to provide their plans for reducing reliance on sow stalls. It said it would assess those plans and announce what steps it might take in response in May.

Rhino dies under sedation in South Africa during procedure meant to deter poachers
An attempt to protect a rhinoceros from poachers in South Africa by sedating it to treat its horn ended with the animal’s death Thursday in front of journalists and others who had been invited to learn more about anti-poaching efforts, conservationists said.

A wild herd is no place for tame horses
Strapped owners are dumping horses in what is now the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, apparently thinking they will be warmly received by the wild bunch that runs the thousands of public acres along the Current and Jacks Fork rivers.  The Wild Horse League, which foiled the National Parks Service’s efforts to remove the animals in the mid-1990s, tries to find the orphaned horses and adopt them out. But lately there have been too many.  “They don’t know how to forage,”  They will literally starve to death.

Chimps Can Get Inside Others’ Heads Just Like Humans
Chimps know what tools others need to get work done and can help them select the right instruments, suggesting the apes have the ability to understand the minds of others, scientists find.  The capability to consider the goals and share the perspective of others, known as “theory of mind,” has long been considered unique to humans. This aptitude may be why humans cooperate in an altruistic, “prosocial” manner to develop societies.

Maritime noise causes stress in whales, study finds
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, ship traffic precipitously decreased and so did stress among North Atlantic right whales. Researchers used trained dogs to find whale feces floating on the water and analyzed the feces for the presence of stress hormones, finding that glucocorticoid levels dropped immediately after 9/11, mirroring the decreased sea traffic.

The Pet Problem
The pet trust is a little-known legal option for the elderly and caregivers worried about what will happen to beloved animals following the deaths of their owners. In the document, the owner specifies a “guardian” who will carry out the owner’s wishes for care, including instructions for what food the animal should eat and how the pet should live. Funds or property, or both, must be set aside to pay for the care.

Jocks go VEGAN
Meagan Duhamel credits diet with renewed skating success
The 26-year-old figure skater from Lively, Ont., who recently captured the Canadian pairs title with partner Eric Radford, became a vegan three years ago.  Her diet, she says, is a big reason for her good health and skating success.