The number of news found: 50.
04/30/2008 SOUTH KOREA TO CULL MILLIONS OF CHICKENS
South Korea plans to slaughter at least 5.32 million birds to contain its latest outbreak of avian influenza. This is the greatest number of poultry ever killed in the country in an attempt to quell the disease's spread, according to The Associated Press. Since the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu broke out earlier this month for the first time in more than a year, South Korea has killed 4.85 million birds, Agriculture Ministry official Jin Pil-sik said on Monday. By today, another 477,000 chickens were to be slaughtered near the latest outbreak site.
04/29/2008 HUNTER SHOOTS AND KILLS SON ON TURKEY HUNT
An 8-year-old-boy who recently completed a school project on hunting with his father died Saturday after being shot by his father while hunting turkey in Minnesota. The Minnesota man mistaked his 8-year-old son for a turkey and shot him in the chest. Sibley County Sheriff Bruce Ponath said that Anthony Klaseus, of Belle Plaine, and his son Hunter were hunting turkey about three miles west of Belle Plaine Saturday evening when Klaseus shot his son in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun.
04/28/2008 DENALI WOLVES WEARING SNARES
Tourists taking in the beauty of Denali National Park and Preserve could be in for a truly ugly sight - two wolves with tight snares around their necks. The wolves were legally trapped this winter on state land outside the park. The two, a large gray wolf and a smaller black one, escaped the traps and returned recently to Denali, their faces and necks swollen from the embedded snares. The large gray has a neck wound where the snare has cut into the muscle, creating a flap of skin that hangs down. The black wolf's face is so swollen he now resembles a bear.
European parliamentarians have joined forces with animal welfare organisations from all over Europe to press the European Commission for an immediate ban on seal products after fresh evidence emerged of cruel and wasteful practices in the ongoing seal hunt in Canada. Pictures and footage shot this month refute Canada's claims that new rules have made the annual hunt more humane. The graphic evidence shows hunters ignoring the regulations, failing to kill seals quickly, and hooking and hoisting live seals into boats. In addition many of the seals injured or
killed are lost to the waves as hunters are unable to reach them in time. For these reasons animal welfare organisations from all over Europe led by IFAW, Humane Society International (HSI), GAIA and Eurogroup for Animals and supported by European parliamentarians held simultaneous press conferences in their own country. The seal hunt has also been condemned by members of the Parliamentary Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals and other European parliamentarians. Animal welfare organisations and MEPs are not calling for an end to
traditional Inuit seal hunting. The ban only addresses the large scale commercial seal hunting. Moreover, it also applies to seal products deriving from commercial hunts elsewhere, such as in Namibia and Russia.
Advocates for Animals has released the findings of an opinion poll showing that 75% of people in Scotland believe that it should be made illegal for anyone to kill seals in Scottish waters. Scotland has internationally-important populations of common and grey seals around its coast and a legal responsibility to protect them. Seal-watching trips are increasingly popular with tourists and generate valuable income for coastal communities. However, the population of common seals has
declined by over 40 per cent in some parts of Scotland over the last five years. While a number of different factors are thought to be responsible for the decline, it has been estimated that fish farmers and fishermen kill thousands of seals each year by shooting and drowning. Surprisingly, nobody actually knows how many seals of each species are killed (or where, when or why they are killed) as there is no requirement for records to be kept. Animal welfare and conservation organisations are asking the Scottish Government to replace the current law, the Conservation of Seals Act 19705, with new legislation that would end the killing of seals in Scottish waters.
04/26/2008 TAMED HOLLYWOOD STUNT BEAR KILLS HIS TRAINER
The grizzly bear whom Will Ferrell playfully wrestled in his recent movie "Semi Pro" went on the attack Tuesday, killing his trainer with "a single bite to the neck" and potentially putting its own life in danger, as animals officals decide whether to euthanize the animal. The bear named Rocky is 7 feet tall and weighs 700 pounds. Without warning, the seemingly tame bear's killer instinct kicked in as three experienced trainers were working with him at a facility east of Los Angeles. "Of course these attacks are tragic, but we shouldn't be messing with these animals in the first place," said Mark Bekoff, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado and author of The Emotional Lives of Animals. "You can't just use these animals for what you want them to be and then kill them because they act as the beings they are," said Bekoff, who added that bears and all animals should not be used as actors anyway. Bekoff suggests that Rocky be placed in a sanctuary not a zoo where he can "live out his life in dignity."
At the 87th Red Bluff (Calif.) Round-Up on past Sunday a bull scaled a fence and injured several spectators, and the defending world champion saddle bronc rider broke his leg in a non-rodeo event. A bucking bull named Blue Steel jumped over a fence into a box in the stands after workers had attempted to load the animal in the chutes. Six people were treated at a local hospital, but no one was seriously injured.
The federal government plans to pay pig producers up to $50-million in total to slaughter as many as 150,000 breeding pigs. The move is aimed at curbing the deepening crisis in Canda's pig industry. Farmers will receive $225 for every hog they kill, so long as they agree to wipe out their entire breeding herd and stay out of the hog business for three years, says a report on business news site Globe Investor. The government hopes the program will reduce a glut on the market that has helped drive down prices.
Bulls will face tighter controls for steroids and other drugs at bullfights held next month as part of Madrid's San Isidro festival, daily Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported Monday, citing organisers. Any bull that behaves in a suspect way in the ring during the festival, which will begin on May 11 and last for over a month, will undergo anti-doping testing after the bullfight, the newspaper said. Bulls were tested at the festival before, but this time around testing will be quicker and more systematic since it will be carried out for the first time at a laboratory in Madrid, it said. If an animal is found to have taken a banned substance, the rancher who supplied the bull can face a fine of up to 60,000 euros (95,000 dollars). Analysis will be carried out on blood or urine samples or on samples of the animal's entrails. The two main banned substances that are given to bulls used in bullfights are corticoid, a steroid, and tranquillizers.
Safeway, among the largest supermarket chains in the United States, has restricted some purchases of farm-raised Chilean salmon over concerns about a virus that is killing millions of fish there. Eleven of the 21 fish farms in Chile that have been affected by the outbreak are operated by Marine Harvest, which discovered the virus in July. The Chilean national fishing agency, Sernapesca, said that the number of affected farms had risen to 21, and that 17 more were under observation, 13 of them Marine Harvest’s. Chile has 1,035 salmon farms, Sernapesca said.
04/24/2008 FORECAST FOR BIG SEA LEVEL RISE
Sea levels could rise by up to one-and-a-half metres by the end of this century, according to a new scientific analysis. This is substantially more than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast in last year's landmark assessment of climate science. Sea level rise of this magnitude would have major impacts on low-lying countries such as Bangladesh. The findings were presented at a major science conference in Vienna.
04/23/2008 COMPANION ANIMALS COME FIRST
According to an Internet survey, "one in four Australians say their companion animal is the most valuable member of the family, even more important than their partner or parents", reports The Sydney Morning Herald online. One in three respondentes to a survey conducted by an Australian financial services company spent "more time and money on their companion animal than on their medical needs." Companion animals treatment option include magnetic resonance imaging, keyhole surgery, bone grafts, chemoterapy, organ transplants, hip replacement, and even brain surgery.
04/23/2008 7.3 MILLION AMERICANS ARE VEGETARIANS
The just-released "Vegetarianism in America" study published by Vegetarian Times (vegetariantimes.com) shows that 3.2 percent of U.S. adults or 7.3 million people follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately 0.5 percent or 1 million of those are veganswho consume no animal products at all. In addition 10 percent of U.S.adults or 22.8 million people say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. Data for this survey were collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau on behalf of Vegetarian Times. The poll surveyed 5,050 respondents a statistically representative sample of the total U.S. population. Vegetarian Times commissioned RRC Associatesa research firm in Boulder Colo. to perform the data analysis. The 2008 study also indicates that of the non-vegetarians surveyed 5.2 percentor 11.9 million peopleare "definitely interested" in following a vegetarian-based diet in the future. The 2008 study also indicated that over half (53 percent) of current vegetarians eat a vegetarian diet to improve their overall health. Environmental concerns were cited by 47 percent, 39 percent cited "natural approaches to wellness", 31 percent cited food-safety concerns, 54 percent cited animal welfare, 25 percent cited weight loss and 24 percent weight maintenance.
04/22/2008 ANIMALS FEEL THE HEAT AS MERCURY RISES
The number of birds and animals who have been admitted to veterinary hospitals for treatment for heat strokes have tripled in last few weeks. Last Sunday, Mumbai recorded its highest temperature for the season at 34.4 degree Celsius. Birds and animals are finding it increasingly difficult to cope up with the increase in temperatures because of their low perspiration rate. Nilesh Bhanage, secretary, Plant and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said, "We faced extreme temperatures during winter. With the way the mercury is rising, this summer's going to be very bad, especially for the animals."
Animal protection campaigners have renewed their call for the Scottish Government to ban snares as a new report reveals that thousands of protected mountain hares have been snared in Scotland. Commissioned Report No 278 The Distribution of Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) in Scotland (2006/07) confirms that the snaring of mountain hares has been carried out extensively, in breach of a licensing regime designed to protect the species from the indiscriminate traps. Figures in the report - provided by the estates and gamekeepers who kill mountain hares for sport, tick control or to protect forestry - show that a total of 24,529 hares were taken in 2006/07 across 90 estates. Of the total taken, 79% were shot, while 21% - a staggering 5,078 animals - were snared. Mountain hares are protected under UK and European conservation legislation and it is not permitted to use an indiscriminate means to take or kill them, except under licence.
Hunters who are willing to defy an international ban and shoot thousands of birds as they migrate from Africa to mainland Europe are being confronted by furious bird lovers in Malta. The Mediterranean island is a stopover for more than 100 species heading for northern nesting sites - oblivious to the local obsession for blasting birds out of the sky or trapping them under nets. Malta has more than 16,000 registered hunters out of a population of 400,000 who regard the spring shoot as a part of island culture under threat from outsiders. They are especially angry this year because of a European Union attempt to silence their guns for ever at the European Court of Justice, viewed as the betrayal of a hunting concession to Malta when it joined the EU in 2004.
04/20/2008 FARMER GUILTY OF 190 ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES!
A New South Wales court has heard the drought was no defence for a farmer who has been found guilty of 190 animal cruelty charges in the state's south. Paul Matthew Hamilton was in charge of Starrate Australia Limited, a company that kept thousands of animals at Bethungra in May 2005 and sold their blood for use in pharmaceutical products. The charges related to aggravated cruelty and failing to provide proper food and veterinary treatment to the animals.
04/19/2008 SWISS KILL ONE OF LAST TWO WILD BEARS
One of two wild bears in Switzerland has been shot and killed on government orders because it had lost its fear of humans, officials said Tuesday. Environmental organizations expressed dismay, but government officials said they had no choice. The 2-year-old brown bear was the younger brother of an animal that met the same fate in Bavaria, Germany, in 2006. Both were part of a project to reintroduce bears to areas of Europe where they had been extinct. "JJ3 was getting bolder and bolder, and even let people observe him," said Stefan Engler, president of the canton (state) of Graubuenden. "We saw no other way to influence the behavior of the bear." The only remaining bear in Switzerland is keeping out of trouble by staying out of sight.
A group of Gibraltar's Barbary apes has annoyed residents so much that authorities announced plans Thursday to kill them. A cluster of 25 Barbary apes - a species of monkey usually weighing about 15-25 pounds - moved to a popular beach-side area some months ago where they have been stealing food, entering rooms through open windows and harassing tourists, officials said.
04/18/2008 SCHOOLBOY EXPLODES GOLDFISH MEMORY MYTH
A 15-year-old South Australian school student has busted the myth that goldfish have a three second memory. Rory Stokes, from the Australian Science and Mathematics School in Adelaide, conducted an experiment to test the commonly held theory that goldfish have short memory spans. He was also keen to open people's minds to the cruelty of keeping fish in small tanks. Rory's experiment involved teaching a small group of fish to swim to a beacon by establishing a memory connection between the beacon and food. "My results strongly showed that goldfish can retain knowledge for at least six days," Rory said. "They can retain that knowledge indefinitely if they use it regularly." Rory also conducted a number of sub-experiments which showed that goldfish were capable of negotiating a simple maze, having them move onto a second beacon if they found no food at the previous one.
04/18/2008 A NEW CHARITY TO SUPPORT OLDER VEGETARIANS
Vegetarian for Life is a new charity which aims to improve standards of catering for older vegetarians and vegans throughout the U.K. Tina Fox, Company Secretary of VfL, and former Chief Executive of The Vegetarian Society says: "These are people who for years have tried to lead a life based on kindness: kindness to animals, kindness to the environment and kindness to themselves. Vegetarians and vegans may be a minority in society but our lifestyle choice is strongly held. Like all older people, vegetarians and vegans deserve respect towards the end of their lives, and our task at VfL will be to raise awareness and to assist those responsible for catering for older people to see how easy it is to satisfy vegetarians and vegans." VfL will offer a range of services including an active website and information service; catering guides; a recipe service; and menu and nutrition advice. And it will build up the Vegetarian for Life - UK List of establishments which sign up to its Code of Good Practice.
Moscow is spending $64 million to castrate as many as 50,000 stray dogs because of a rising number of attacks on people. A Soviet-era policy of shooting homeless animals was abandoned in 2002. Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, under pressure from animal-rights groups to uphold the ban, has now decided on a two-year program to stop the dogs from breeding, said Natalia Sokolova, the city's top animal official. Moscow's 10.5 million residents are more likely to be attacked by a dog than by a mugger, according to the mayor's office. More than 22,000 Muscovites were bitten last year, a rate of 60 a day. One-third of those were hospitalized with severe injuries and more than 90 percent were inoculated for rabies, says the Federal Service for Consumer Protection and Welfare.
Powerful towkays in Sarawak cities are paying good money to native trappers to capture endangered animals to put on display in their homes as "status symbols." Their demand has resulted in an increasingly active black market in exotic wildlife in certain parts of Sarawak, according to information received by environmental-conservation and native rights group Borneo
Resources Institute. Rare animals like the sun bear, certain species of monkeys, rare birds and rare reptiles are being hunted to be sold to towkays who keep them in cages and show them off as "status symbols," say environment groups in Sarawak.
04/16/2008 RUSSIA TESTS MONKEYS FOR MARS TRIP
The macaques will be the first to experience the radiation that poses a big risk to astronauts - or Russian cosmonauts - on any flight to the Red Planet. The Sochi Institute of Medical Primatology, at Vesyoloye near the Black Sea, has a history of involvement in the Russian space program. The institute will select macaques that may eventually fly to Mars before humans do. After two years of experiments the "most suitable" 40 monkeys will be sent to the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow, where scientists study aerospace biomedicine. Experiments on the monkeys will be carried out at the same time as the Mars-500 project. That project - due to start early next year - is aimed at simulating the conditions of interplanetary flight. Volunteers will have to spend 17 months in a mock-up "spaceship" in Moscow.
04/15/2008 INTERNET TECHNOLOGY TO REPLACE VIVISECTION
Developed in close cooperation between Transinsight, Dresden, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin, the knowledge-based semantic search engine www.go3r.org is now available online. It enables information transparency for the prevention of animal testing. In only four months development time, Transinsight from Dresden, Germany, succeeded in making available online Go3R, the worldwide first knowledge-based search engine for alternative methods to animal experiments. Via Go3R scientists from all over the world can
take advantage of the benefits of semantic searches for the area of alternative methods in accordance with the 3Rs principle. The Search engine can from now on used as Beta version.
The EU's environment chief Stavros Dimas will propose to ban imports of all seal products resulting from culls where animals suffer, he told Reuters, setting up a possible trade conflict with Canada. "We will propose a ban of seal fur imports if (a country) can't prove they were obtained in a humane way," Dimas said late on Saturday on the fringes of an April 11-12 informal meeting of environment ministers in Slovenia. When asked on the timing of a ban he said - "It takes some time." The plan would need the backing of the rest of the EU's executive Commission, and would apply to all seal products including furs, skins and health products including vitamins. Dimas declined to comment on what constituted inhumane killing, saying he personsally disliked any hunting, and instead referred to an EU-commissioned report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published in December. Dimas's decision followed a record European Parliament vote last year backing a ban, he said. Some European Parliament members last month renewed their calls for the EU to act decisively.
04/13/2008 SEAL DEFENDERS ATTACKED!
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Farley Mowat was attacked yesterday by officers from two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers the Des Groseilliers and the Sir Wifred Grenfell. Captain Alex Cornelissen informed the boarders that the Farley Mowat is a Dutch registered ship in international waters and that Canada had no legal right to restrict the free passage of the vessel through international waters. The ship was in the Gulf of St. Lawrence well beyond the Canadian twelve mile territorial limit. Captain Paul Watson speaking by phone with Farley Mowat communications officer Shannon Mann and he heard the voices of men screaming for the crew to fall to the floor. The men carried guns according to Mann and could be heard by Captain Watson threatening the Farley Mowat's crew. As Captain Watson was speaking with Shannon Mann, the Sat-phone went dead and nothing more has been heard from the Sea Shepherd crew. The Farley Mowat was documenting violations of the humane regulations and gathering proof that the seals were being killed in an inhumane manner. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is assuming that the video tapes will be seized by the Canadian authorities. There are 17 crewmembers onboard the Dutch registered Farley Mowat from the Netherlands, the UK, France, Sweden, South Africa, Canada and the United States.
An analysis of studies involving Pfizer Inc.'s arthritis drug Celebrex showed higher doses of the drug were associated with an increasing risk of heart attacks and strokes. The analysis, supported by the National Cancer Institute, broadly shows patients receiving the highest dose of Celebrex of 400 milligrams twice daily had a nearly three times higher risk of heart attacks and strokes than patients not taking the drug. Patients taking a lower dose of Celebrex, 400 milligrams once daily, had a 10% higher risk of a cardiovascular event. In reality, most patients who are prescribed Celebrex – known generically as celecoxib – take a once-daily, 200-milligram dose of the drug, and that dose was not part of the analysis.
04/12/2008 TOP PRIZE FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER
Sheffield animal rights campaigner Dr Dan Lyons has won a top prize for his academic work against animal experiments. Dr Lyons, aged 35, of Whitwell Lane, Stocksbridge, has won the national Political Studies Association's prize for the best thesis on Government and Public Administration. The Sheffield University student, and Green Party councillor on Stocksbridge Town Council, had earlier won the Department of Politics's prize for the outstanding thesis of 2007. The thesis used leaked confidential documents to argue that the British Government is turning a blind eye to many experiments on animals in the UK.
A Manawatu farming leader appeared in court for losing his rag in an episode involving a loaded shotgun and an animal welfare inspector. Rangiotu dairy farmer Bob McVitty, 57, pleaded guilty to a charge of wilful obstruction of an animal welfare inspector, when he appeared in the Palmerston North District Court. On June 1, 2006, a farm worker employed by McVitty was transporting a sick cow on a low- sided trailer on Taikorea Road, Judge Alastair Garland said. The cow was unrestrained and its head slung over the side of the trailer. Ministry of Agriculture inspector Anthony King was in the area when he spotted the cow. Mr King followed the vehicle back to McVitty's property on Mangawhata Road to investigate the cow's health. But "suddenly" McVitty came out of his house with a single-barrelled, closed and loaded shotgun and shot the animal despite two calls from Mr King not to shoot, as a vet should assess the animal. "Well it's dead now... you can get off my property, you're trespassing," McVitty told Mr King. The court heard that McVitty had received several warnings about animal welfare from MAF previously. McVitty will pay a total of $2262, which includes a fine, reparation, solicitor's fees and witness expenses.
Leading cruelty-free campaigners The BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection) have written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to call for an immediate ban following an independent survey which showed over eighty per cent per cent of UK consumers are concerned that household products are still tested on animals. The move coincides with an awareness raising campaign by Co-operative Food via national advertising launching in the first week of April and promotions across its supermarkets and other activity over the next 12 months. The Co-op became the first national retailer to offer BUAV approved "Cruelty Free" household products four years ago. Marks & Spencer responded to consumer demand and achieved BUAV certification with the "Leaping Bunny" logo across its household products ranges earlier this month.
04/10/2008 "MASS ANIMAL GRAVE" FOUND AT FARM
A "mass grave" of more than 40 animals has been discovered on a County Down farm. Hundreds of animals were found in squalid conditions, with many already dead and others had to be put own. The USPCA and police raided the farm near Katesbridge after receiving a tip-off that animals were being kept in cruel conditions. Three hundred pigs and a number of cattle were found at the premises at Ballyroney Road. The USPCA, which has said that while the livestock was generally healthy, it was being kept in appalling conditions. Some of the animals were standing in 8 ins of water. The USPCA said it believed it knows the family responsible for the farm. Several have convictions for animal cruelty and are banned from keeping livestock. Inspectors spoke to a member of that family. He told them that while he fed the animals, he did not own them and he did not know who did.
04/10/2008 APE'S ESCAPE SADDENS ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP
The Alliance for Animal Rights (AFAR) has said it is saddened to hear an orangutan tried to escape from its enclosure at Dublin Zoo last week. Maggie the ape went on the run for an hour on Wednesday after being kept in captivity for 24 years. Zookeepers shot her with a tranquiliser before delivering her safely back to the compound. The AFAR claims the animal was "understandably frustrated." Dublin Zoo has rejected the criticism, describing its animals as healthy and active. It says escapes are very rare.
04/09/2008 SECURITY BLAMED FOR HORSE FLU HAVOC
The equine flu virus that devastated the Australian horse industry had escaped from the Eastern Creek Quarantine Centre, and poor practices at the centre had caused the escape, the Equine Flu Inquiry has been told. In his submission to the inquiry on its last day of sitting, counsel assisting, Tony Meagher, told Commissioner Ian Callinan, QC, that not even rudimentary biosecurity procedures were present at the facility in August last year when the virus escaped. However, Mr Meagher has been contradicted by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, which said that no mechanism had been established for "the assumed escape of the virus from the [quarantine centre]" therefore it did not follow that deficiencies in the centre's biosecurity procedures was responsible for the outbreak.
04/09/2008 REPORT FAULTS BISON SLAUGHTER PROGRAM
A government report released last Wednesday faulted state and federal bureaucracies for failing to stop the slaughter of bison leaving Yellowstone National Park - even as the number of animals killed this year set a new record. More than 1,400 park bison have been removed or killed since February, under a federal-state agreement meant to prevent the spread of a livestock disease to cattle ranches surrounding the park. The bison are captured as they migrate to lower elevations outside Yellowstone in search of food.
04/08/2008 M&S COMMITS TO "CRUELTY-FREE" FUTURE
Marks & Spencer claimed it would be the first high street retailer to guarantee it sold only "cruelty-free" household cleaning and beauty products, in the latest pitch for the increasingly ethically aware consumer. The firm said it would now guarantee that 1,200 own-brand products and their ingredients would not involve animal testing during the manufacturing process. The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), which has given the initiative its seal of approval, said it was in contact or negotiations with other major stores and manufacturers. An EU ban on animal-tested cosmetics means no products involving such testing can be sold from 2013.
04/08/2008 BIDDULPH MP'S ANGER OVER SEAL "SLAUGHTER"
Biddulph MP Charlotte is to write to the Canadian High Commissioner to protest at the slaughter of baby seals. "I am appalled by the cruelty of Canada's commercial seal hunt, which began on March 28," said Mrs Atkins MP. "In the next few weeks, more than a quarter of a million seals will be killed for unnecessary fur products. Nearly all of these seals will be less than three months old. Many will suffer painful and lingering deaths. This is unacceptable cruelty, and the UK and Europe's role in the trade in seal products is allowing this to happen. I welcome the Government's commitment to push for a ban on the trade in seal products in the European Union. (...) I am writing to Trade Minister Gareth Thomas to urge him to immediately introduce a ban on the import of seal products into the UK, as a means towards an EU ban, and to send a powerful message to the Canadian Government that the UK wants no part whatsoever in this cruel and unsustainable hunt. I am also writing to the Canadian High Commissioner to protest at the slaughter of these baby seals."
A bird flu virus that killed dogs in South Korea can spread from one dog to another, showing that the disease is capable of crossing species and causing widespread sickness in mammals, a study found. A cocker spaniel and a miniature schnauzer were among dozens of dogs in South Korea sickened by an H3N2 strain from birds, researchers said in a study published in the May issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. Viruses taken from the sick canines were used in an experiment later to see if pathogens were capable of spreading from dog to dog.
The antibiotic-resistant bacteria Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) is killing both people and swine in Denmark. The bacteria has been implicated in the deaths of a number of cancer and liver disease patients. The number of infected patients jumped 50 percent last year. Health officials said the bacteria is being transmitted to humans through pigs. The increased use of antibiotics in agriculture may be behind the spread of the resistant strain.
Brazilian authorities discovered the slaughter of around 740 alligators in a nature reserve in the Amazon forest. Inspectors of the Amazon state's environmental protection agency IPAAM confiscated roughly eight tonnes of skinned and salted alligator corpses in the Piagacu-Purus reserve, 300 km west of the state capital Manaus. The meat was to be sold for human consumption in neighbouring Para state. It will now probably be incinerated. The alligator skins, the most valuable part of the animal, were dumped in rivers. Some environmentalists have said that the reserve is a favourite hunting ground for local politicians and wealthy businessmen. Hunting alligators in Brazil is prohibited by federal law, even though some experts warn of overpopulation in certain areas.
04/06/2008 WINFREY DEDICATES HER SHOW TO HER LATE DOG
Oprah Winfrey dedicated a show investigating abuses at puppy mills to her cocker spaniel, Sophie, who died last month from kidney failure. "Sophie gave me 13 years of unconditional love. She was a true love in my life," Winfrey says on the broadcast scheduled to air last Friday. The show features special correspondent Lisa Ling investigating puppy mills, which Ling calls "horrific" and "haunting." Winfrey says the show is "for anybody anywhere who loves a dog, has ever loved a dog, or just cares about their basic right to humane treatment." While Sophie was not a product of a puppy mill, and Winfrey's three current dogs were adopted from breeders, Winfrey says in the future she would look to adopt from an animal shelter. "I would never, ever adopt another pet now without going to a shelter to do it. I am a changed woman after seeing this show," she says.
04/05/2008 SUPERBUG FOUND IN RETAIL PORK
Antibiotic-resistant Staph bacteria have been found in pork products purchased in retail stores across Canada. The discovery by Canadian researchers raises questions about how the contamination occurred, how often it happens and the implications for human health. These finding support recent discoveries made by Dutch scientists at the University of Utrecht, who had similar results when screening meat from retail shelves.
Canadian politicians and sealers appealed to the European Union not to impose a ban on products derived from seals. The appeal comes amid renewed claims that Canada's annual seal hunt off its eastern and northern coast lines is cruel and inhumane. The EU's environment commissioner, Stavros Dimas, is considering a ban on all seal products amid increased pressure on him to take action by animal rights groups this year. EU officials say he is expected to make his recommendations before summer. Special Ambassador Loyola Sullivan, who was leading a weeklong Canadian trip to lobby officials in several European capitals, says imposing a ban could violate world trade rules. And Sullivan is hinting at possible retaliatory trade action by Canada in response to any ban on seal products like blubber, meat or pelts. The Canadian government takes threats of a ban "very seriously" and will defend "the legitimate sustainable, humane, economic activity for some of the most disadvantaged people in our country," he said. The controversial hunt resurfaced at the European Parliament and EU headquarters as this year's hunt got under way last week in Canada, which is the largest such hunt in the world.
The Sea Shepherd crew onboard the Farley Mowat documented scenes of excessive brutality as they moved through the ice some 35 miles north of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Sea Shepherd crew observed seals being shot and wounded and thrashing about in agony on the surface of the ocean. The Canadian Coast Guard seem to be in harassing the crew of the Farley Mowat and trying to prevent documentation of the inhumane slaughter of seals. Two coast guard vessels shadowed the Farley Mowat all morning. The Coast Guard vessel CCGS Des Groseilliers ordered the Farley Mowat to leave Canadian waters and to not approach any sealing operation stating that a permit is required from the Canadian government to observe the seals being slaughtered. The Canadian government has no authority over a foreign registered ship travelling outside the Canadian twelve mile limit. The Farley Mowat is a Dutch ship with a Dutch Captain and a crew from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Sweden, France, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and South Africa.
Ribbon seals, which depend on floating sea ice that is growing scarce in a warming Arctic, will be considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, a U.S. government agency said. The National Marine Fisheries Service launched a 12-month review in response to a petition filed by an environmental group, the Center for Biological Diversity, which has also sought protection for the polar bear and other far-north animals faced with a thaw of their icy habitats. The agency said the review for the ribbon seals, known for the distinctive black-and-white swirls on their fur, is warranted because the animals need seasonal sea ice to give birth to their young and to rest while molting.
04/03/2008 DOLPHIN WOOS WITH WOOD AND GRASS
A South American river dolphin uses branches, weeds and lumps of clay to woo the opposite sex and frighten off rivals, scientists have discovered. Researchers observed adult male botos carrying these objects while surrounded by females, and thrashing them on the water surface
aggressively. Writing in the journal Biology Letters, they say such behavior has never before been seen in any marine mammal.
04/03/2008 UNBEARABLE ZOO MYSTERY TURNS INTO POTBOILER
Berlin zoo is under pressure to explain the fate of hundreds of animals which have vanished amid claims they were slaughtered and in some cases turned into potency-boosting drugs. Claudia Hammerling, a Green party politician, backed by several animal rights organisations, alleges the zoo's director, Bernhard Blaszkiewitz, sold the animals. She claims to have evidence that four Asian black bears and a hippopotamus were transported to the Belgian town of Wortel, which has no zoo, but which does have an abattoir. According to Ms Hammerling these animals were slaughtered. She said the systematic "overproduction of animals" at zoos, designed to attract more visitors, was to blame.
Sweden's Board of Agriculture has issued an extensive set of new guidelines regulating how companion animals guardians treat their dogs and cats. Among other things, the 15 pages of new guidelines set specifications for how often dogs and cats receive food and exercise, the size and design of their living quarters, as well as the quality of the air Swedish companion animals breathe.
AFAR - Alliance for Animal Rights has just discovered that 200 kilos of Marine mammal fats and oils, 11 Raw seal skins and 2349 tanned or dressed seal skins were imported to Ireland in 2006. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimitris has urged Member States to adopt national bans. Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Latvia have already banned seal products. Germany, Austria and Italy are considering further legislation.
04/01/2008 US DENIES BIOLOGICAL BIRD FLU WEAPONS
The United States has flatly denied allegations it was producing biological weapons from bird flu samples sent by Indonesia to the World Health Organization, the English daily The Jakarta Post reported. Michael H. Anderson, counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, has explained the U.S. has undertaken "not to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain microbial or other biological agents or toxins of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, and other peaceful purposes, as well as weapons and means of delivery." However, Indonesian senior biodefense researcher Isro Samihardjo said the U.S. could use bird flu virus samples from Indonesia to develop weapons at the Los Alamos Laboratory. She says the collection of bird flu samples from developing countries like Indonesia for the production of vaccines was questionable and a conspiracy would force Indonesia to buy expensive bird flu vaccines.
The number of news found: 50.