Link of the Week

Link of the Week

Take 5 to Save 5

News of Note

Debate intensifies over animal undercover filming
Animal welfare groups are trying to convince Iowa’s governor to veto a bill that would make it a crime to gain access to a livestock operation to secretly record the treatment of animals.  Gov. Terry Branstad hasn’t said whether he will sign the measure, approved this week by lawmakers. The governor has until Friday to make a decision.
Iowa bans coverage on Animal Cruelty — America’s march to Fascism
Capturing undercover footage of extreme animal abuse at factory farms is soon to be illegal in Iowa, thanks to the passage of a new bill that squelches First Amendment protections for agricultural whistleblowers. In one of the fastest legislative rush-throughs in history, the “American Heartland” state’s House and Senate recently passed House File 589.

Nutrition labeling for meat becomes mandatory
In 1993, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made nutrition labeling voluntary for many types of raw meats. The labeling becomes mandatory on Thursday.  The new rule affects all ground meat and poultry and 40 of the most popular cuts of meat in the United States such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork chops, roasts, lamb and veal.

Shrimp’s Carbon Footprint Is 10 Times Greater Than Beef’s
Kaufman estimates that 50 to 60 percent of shrimp farms occupy cleared mangroves, and the shrimp that emerges from them has a carbon footprint 10 times higher than the most notoriously climate-destroying foodstuff I’m aware of: beef from cows raised on cleared Amazon rainforest.

Elephant Behavior and Conservation Issues
A thinking, reasoning species with extraordinary memories, a strong sense of family and caring and nurturing natures are increasingly at the risk of extinction. Poaching interrupts the beneficial female social relationships and could lead to lower reproductive rates for females, further reducing the species. For male elephants, age is an important predictor of reproductive success. Poaching appears to reduce the age of first reproduction for males and lead to a reproductive skew, which may increase the rate at which genetic diversity is lost from natural elephant populations.

Pacific Sea Otters’ Failure to Thrive Confounds Wildlife Sleuths
For the wildlife biologists, a clear explanation for the sea otters’ failure to thrive is proving just as elusive. Almost wiped out by fur traders, the species rebounded after an international ban on commercial otter hunting in 1911. But today, the otter population in California is just 2,700, in a mosaic of small, separate colonies off the coast, down from perhaps as many as 16,000 in the past.

Lactose Intolerant, Before Milk Was on Menu
researchers have sequenced the complete genome of the iceman, nicknamed Ötzi, and discovered even more intriguing details. They report in the journal Nature Communications that he had brown eyes and brown hair, was lactose intolerant and had Type O blood. “In early times, there was no need to digest milk as an adult because there were no domesticated animals,” Dr. Zink said. “This genetic change took hundreds of years to occur.”

Dog provides unconditional love for Oregon inmates
Max showed up at the prison a few weeks ago, the star and inaugural member of the prison’s new Animal Assisted Activity program, part of the Inmate Enrichment Program. The idea, said prison chaplain Lorinda Schwarz, is to socialize inmates, ease depression and connect them with the outside world. The men are encouraged to pet and play with Max or just sit quietly and watch him romp.  Schwarz cited research, such as a study done inside the Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, suggesting that animals increase morale and communication among inmates and reduce violent, destructive behavior.

Penguin launches ‘Madagascar’-style daring escape from Japan zoo
The hunt was on today for a penguin that scaled a sheer rock face to escape from a Tokyo zoo and was last seen swimming in a river in the Japanese capital.

Bullfighter’s Return Stuns a Hardened Sport
Mr. Padilla’s decision comes amid an intense debate in Spain over bullfighting, attacked as a barbaric ritual by animal rights activists but defended by its supporters as a central component of Spanish culture.