News of Note

i May 7th by

Animal rights group to fight big cat lawsuit
An animal rights group can join a lawsuit and fight a challenge to a Louisiana law that bars private ownership of big cats, a state district judge ruled Monday.  Judge Janice Clark said the Animal Legal Defense Fund and two Louisiana residents can be parties to a challenge brought by Michael Sandlin, who has kept a tiger for decades at his Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete.

Exotic-animal keeper’s widow can have surviving creatures back, officials say
State officials will return five surviving exotic animals to a woman whose husband released dozens of wild creatures, then committed suicide…Once the animals are returned to Thompson, nothing in Ohio law allows state officials to check on their welfare or require improvements to conditions in which they are kept, Pitchford said


Vegan confessions
If you invented a pill that offers long life, good health, and a body to be proud of, you’d make a fortune. Bottles would fly off the shelves.  Suggest a change in behavior that achieved the same result, however, and what do you get? Catcalls, derisive comments, and rude e-mails…Studies have found that a little meat is better for you than a lot, no meat is better than a little, and a vegan diet — no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products (in others words, 90 percent of the farm economy) — is best of all. Good luck trying to sell that one. The Bad Food lobby is one of the most powerful in Washington, up there with guns and oil.


Meet Deuce Lutui, vegan
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard the coach Pete Carroll dropped a bit of a dietary bombshell on Friday by proclaiming that Deuce Lutui had become a vegan…“My whole family is vegan,” he said of his wife, Puanani, and their four children. Lutui then cracked the slightest of smiles before adding, “It’s a little different from the Tonga traditional cuisine. But it’s a lot of education, really, that has kind of opened that insight for me…Added Lutui, “It’s beautiful, and it’s true. I’ve gone vegan.”

USACE employee finds vegan diet possible in Afghanistan
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important regardless of where you live, and for Cornelius Cheatham, an engineer at the Afghanistan Engineer District-South, eating well is not negotiable but wholly possible, even in Afghanistan.

Safeway grocery says moving to crate-free pork supply
Safeway Inc, the second-largest U.S. grocery chain, said on Monday it plans to stop using pork suppliers that cage pregnant sows as part of their production process, a practice animal rights groups have called inhumane.


Activists trying to save animals at testing facility in Chandler
“Animal advocates across the country are cautiously pleased that the Covance facility is shutting down,” said animal rights activist Cathy Lasusa.  The company announced restructuring in their first quarter reports, which includes shutting down the Chandler facility, saving $20 million a year.  While cutting costs was Covance’s top priority, activists say their concern now is what will happen to the hundreds of animals tested at the laboratory.

City of Strays: Detroit’s Epidemic of 50,000 Abandoned Dogs
Estimates vary, but groups place the number of strays in the city at anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000. The latter number, which would mean 350 strays per square mile, seems quite inflated; still, there’s no question the dogs are a serious problem. Detroit remains the poorest major city in the United States, and some residents who can no longer afford to take care of their dogs turn them loose, or else leave them behind when fleeing the city themselves. (Local shelters have a euthanization rate of 70 percent, so abandoning the dogs to fend for themselves might not even be, in some instances, the least humane of options.)


Atypical BSE Has Never Led To Human vCJD – But Could It?
There is good news and bad news about the “L-type” atypical mad cow phenotype, found in the nearly 11-year-old, dead dairy cow discovered two weeks ago in California…Spontaneous vCJD occurs in humans in about one in one million cases.  Dr. Michael Hansen, a Consumers Union scientist who has long tracked mad cow disease, thinks there is a possibility L-type BSE is “not necessarily a spontaneous case.”


The Vilsacks May Disagree on USDA Plan to Revamp Poultry Inspection
Tom Vilsack reportedly told the president of the American Federation of Government Employees last month that expanding HIMP was fueled by budget cuts: “He said it’s budget cuts — we have to do it,” John Gage told the Washington Post.  But consumer advocates, government employees unions, and ABC News have been extremely critical of the plan and on Wednesday Democratic congressional candidate Christie Vilsack went on the record with her concerns as well.


Staten Island pol targets cosmetic cruelty to animals
You may have to forget those facelifts for your feline and piercings for your pooch.  Saying that she was “sickened” by a TV program about cosmetic procedures for pets, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to subject a dog, cat or other companion animal to piercings, tattoos and unnecessary appearance-altering surgeries.


Fighting season — for animals — peaks in Afghanistan
Spring marks the start of the “fighting season” for humans involved in Afghanistan’s decade-long war — but for birds, dogs, camels and even kites it reaches its peak…Animal fighting was banned as un-Islamic under the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime, but is once again a violent feature of daily life in Afghanistan — as is the war between Taliban insurgents and 130,000 NATO troops.  “No doubt the continuous fighting in the country has added to the violent character of the people,” says Dr Temorshah Mosamim, head of a mental health hospital in Kabul, referring to more than 30 years of war since a Soviet invasion in 1979.