News of Note

i Aug 26th by


What’s a Monkey to Do in Tampa?
And on it went, with the monkey zigging and zagging around Tampa Bay, dodging the government agencies bent on capturing it. The state considers the animal a potential danger to humans and, like all invasive species, an illegitimate and maybe destructive part of Florida’s ecology. But the public came to see the monkey as an outlaw, a rebel — a nimble mascot for “good, old-fashioned American freedom,” as one local reporter put it. This week, tens of thousands of Republicans will pour into Tampa. There will be lots of national self-scrutiny and hand-wringing at the convention center downtown. But the most fundamental questions — What exactly is government for? Where are the lines between liberty, tyranny and lawlessness? — have been shaking the trees around Tampa for years.

By The Numbers: Disappearing Fish
90%. That’s the staggering amount of forage fish caught globally that are used for non-human activities such as providing fishmeal for aquaculture—fish farms—and agriculture, pigs and chickens. Other uses include fish oil for Omega-3 oils and pet food. A 13-member task force surveying worldwide forage fish populations suggests cutting the fishing rate by half to encourage renewal of the vulnerable fish and protect the predators that eat them. The task force report, “Little Fish, Big Impact” also calls for doubling the minimum biomass (the amount of fish by weight) of forage fish that must be left in the water.



Congressmen call on USDA to reopen slaughterhouse
Three U.S. congressmen from California are calling for the Department of Agriculture to immediately reopen a slaughterhouse closed this week after videos showed what the agency called “disturbing evidence of inhumane treatment of cattle.”….Republican Reps. Devin Nunes, Jeff Denham and Kevin McCarthy wrote Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Thursday to urge the reopening of the plant because its closure caused “enormous economic stress in a community with double digit unemployment.”


High Drug Residues Found at California Meat and Dairy Operations
Dairy and meat farms in California were among the most recent establishments to receive federal warning letters after unacceptable levels of drug residues were found in cattle that they sold for slaughter.


Animal cruelty: Why McDonald’s, In-N-Out, Wall Street now say no
In-N-Out, McDonald’s Corp., Jack in the Box, Burger King and other chains quickly cut ties with Central Valley Meat Co. this week after undercover footage from an animal welfare group showed cows at the California slaughterhouse seemingly tortured and otherwise mistreated…Major food chains are now more eager than ever to abandon suppliers deemed to be cruel to animals. Denny’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and more have pledged this year to wean themselves of pork raised in cramped gestation crates and eggs laid by chickens crowded in cages.


Seat belts for dogs? How about a humane life for pigs?
The state SPCA justifies car restraints for pets by pointing to seat belts for children. But instead of trying to apply the same standards we use for kids to animals — are you prepared to brush your cat’s teeth twice daily and pay for psychoanalysis? — let’s focus on banning practices that are clearly cruel and inhumane.  Like those of the pork industry, which keeps pigs locked for years in cages so cramped they can’t even turn around. Another bill pending in the state Assembly would simply require that mother pigs at least be able to stand up, lie down, turn around and extend their limbs.