News of Note

i Mar 12th by

Failed backyard farms lead to growing number of homeless animals
As the local food movement takes hold and urban homesteading gains popularity, more people are giving backyard farming a try. The prospect of fresh eggs and milk inspires them to bring home adorable chicks and goats — but when chicks grow into roosters or goats begin eating the landscaping, these animals are often given to animal sanctuaries or simply abandoned.  “People have a romantic view of farming, but it takes a lot of time, energy and money to care for animals. Here, we take our chickens to the vet, and when they’re sick, we give them antibiotics. People need to ask themselves if they’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility for the life of the animal,”
Greyhound Races Face Extinction at the Hands of Casinos They Fostered
After years defending greyhound racing against attacks that it is inhumane, a growing number of track owners are, to the astonishment of opponents and the dismay of fans, joining the critics among the animal rights groups. Complaining that they are being forced to spend millions of dollars a year to subsidize a pastime that the public has all but abandoned, greyhound track owners in Iowa, Florida and Arizona have been lobbying for changes in the law that would allow them to cut the number of races, or even shut down their tracks, while keeping their far more lucrative gambling operations.


Harvard suspends primate research after most recent primate death
The primates housed at Harvard University’s New England Primate Research Center (NEPRC) have a history of neglect that unfortunately resulted in several primate deaths over the last few years.  Another primate is dead as of last night (March 4.).  Harvard is beginning review proceedings following the resignation of the head of the primate research center; the university has also suspended all new primate research projects following this latest case of neglect resulting in death.


Missouri bill would limit scope of animal rights
Missouri state representative Ward Franz has introduced a bill, HB 1513, that would prevent future legislation granting rights to animals similar to those for humans. Specifically, the proposed bill states:  “The laws of this state shall not confer upon any animal a right, privilege, or legal status that is equivalent or that exceeds a right, privilege, or legal status as that which this state confers by law upon a human being. This provision shall not be construed as limiting laws that protect the welfare of animals in the state.”


Animal rights groups seek veto of Utah’s ‘ag-gag’ bill
While showing gruesome video of abused farm animals taken by undercover activists, animal rights groups called Friday for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill that would outlaw such snooping. “If this bill is signed into law, we will challenge it all the way to the Supreme Court,” Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, said at a Salt Lake City news conference.


Meatless meals gain in popularity for budget, health reasons
Whether due to rising prices, concern for the environment or a growing emphasis on health, Americans are eating less meat.  According to recent USDA projections, the country will see a sharp drop in meat consumption this year. Americans are expected to eat 12 percent less meat and poultry than they ate five years ago.


Animal agriculture worth $8 billion to Minnesota
As farmers across the county mark National Agriculture Day on Thursday, the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council is sharing new data on the importance of agriculture to Minnesota.


Ohio Exotic Animals Bill Introduced
Legislation introduced Thursday would ban new ownership of exotic animals in the state and immediately prohibit people from acquiring new or additional dangerous wildlife.
Livestock Farming Raises Animal Rights Concerns
They are banned in the European Union, and the U.S. state of California is phasing them out. But their numbers are increasing as intensive livestock farms begin operations all over the developing world. “Instead of going the right way, they are doing what is being currently banned in other parts of the world,” says Tozie Zokufa, South Africa representative for the animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming.


Fruits, Veggies Can Be Beauty Tools, Study Says
The key to a rosy, healthy-looking complexion may be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables, researchers say. There are studies that show a high-antioxidant diet — one with olive oil, nuts, more fruits and vegetables and less dairy and red meat — helps skin resist aging changes and skin cancer.


US regulators dispute finding of cancer-causing soda
U.S. regulators said soft drinks from PepsiCo Inc and Coca-Cola Co posed no health risk, contrary to a U.S. watchdog group that reported several popular brands contain high levels of a chemical linked to cancer in animals.  “A consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents,” said Doug Karas, an FDA spokesman, in a statement.