Saturday, 22 July 2017 00:00

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Talkin' Pets News, July 22, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jay Stutz - Good Dog U Animal Planet

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - George Burgess - Sharkfest 2017 on Nat Geo Wild - Weeklong Event Begins Sunday July 23 at 8/7c


From meat farms to loving families, that's what one animal activist is hoping will happen for several dogs rescued from a meat farm in South Korea.

The dogs are now in the Milwaukee area, and will eventually be available for adoption.

Dogs arrived in Wisconsin at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha County after being rescued from a meat farm in South Korea.

Humane Society International rescued 149 dogs in all from deplorable conditions. 

Rescuers said as part of Korea's Bok Nal days, the dogs would have been killed and used in soup. 

One of the dogs had to be in quarantine for a month and receive her vaccinations before she could be allowed into the United States

"This is an amazing thing for us to do. We're just a small shelter in Waukesha County that normally deals with the dogs here at home, but this is a chance for us to make a difference on a global scale," Jennifer Smieja of HAWS Waukesha said.

"It's exciting to think, they're going to go from being in these deplorable conditions where they were a commodity to loved members of families," Smieja said.

Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society will be receiving more dogs from South Korea in the coming days.

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The 6-year-old son of Cecil the Lion was shot and killed on July 7 just outside Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, meeting the same end his father did in 2015.

The young lion, Xanda, was the pride male of a group that included two lionesses and several cubs.

"Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition — a very, very lovely animal," Andrew Loveridge, a researcher at the University of Oxford who fitted Xanda with a GPS tracking collar last October, stated. "Personally, I think it is sad that anyone wants to shoot a lion, but there are people who will pay money to do that. A private hunter in Zimbabwe reportedly led the hunt that brought down Xanda, though his clients' identities are not known, according to a statement by Lions of Hwange National Park.

There are some 550 lions living in Hwange National Park, which stretches over 5,800 square miles (15,000 square kilometers), so the death of Xanda should not directly harm that population, said Loveridge.

Even so, according to the Humane Society International (HSI), which issued a statement on July 20 condemning the killing, actions like trophy hunting are threatening lions. "Poachers and trophy hunters are driving lions to extinction. Fewer than 30,000 African lions — and possibly as few as 20,000 — are estimated to remain today,".

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An 11-year-old beef cow in Alabama recently tested positive for the brain disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.

There are two types of BSE — classical and atypical — and the cow was diagnosed with atypical BSE, which is rare and arises spontaneously in older animals, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) representatives announced July 18.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) detected evidence of the disease during a routine inspection of the cow's body after it died at a livestock market. The inspectors said that the cow did not pose any threat to human health, nor was there a risk that other animals might be infected.

BSE is a progressive disease that damages cows' nervous systems; symptoms include uncoordinated or clumsy movement and unusually nervous or violent behavior. The disorder is diagnosed by examining brain tissue under a microscope after the animal's death — the brains of infected cows appear spongy, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

It is unknown how cows become sick with atypical BSE, but cows usually contract classical BSE by eating feed that contains bovine by-products — such as bone meal — that originated in a cow that had the disease. The disease is caused by an infectious protein called a prion. Once a cow is infected, the prions may lurk quietly for four to six years before the animal shows any symptoms.

Mad cow disease is not transmissable between animals, but there is no vaccine and no cure, according to the FDA.

People who eat infected cows can contract a variant of BSE known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), but this illness is not widespread — even in the United Kingdom, where mad cow disease has infected more than 1 million cows, only 227 people have been diagnosed with CJD since 1996, and the risk to people in the U.S. is "extremely low," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

The cow that died in Alabama from the atypical version of BSE did not contract it from contaminated feed, officials said. In fact, the use in animal feed of protein from any mammal has been prohibited in the U.S. since 1997, and high-risk tissue was banned from animal feed use in 2009, USDA representatives said in the statement.

This is the fifth cow with BSE identified in the United States since 1993, according to the CDC.

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The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed a crucial anti-horse slaughter amendment that prevents the USDA from using taxpayer dollars to inspect horse slaughter facilities for a one year period.

Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Chris Coons (D-DE) voted in favor of the life-saving measure that effectively halts horse slaughter from resuming in the U.S. for now.

According to Press Release issued by the ASPCA, while the amendment prevents slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil for another year, unfortunately, it does not prohibit the current transport of more than 100,000 U.S. horses from being transported to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico each year.

To address this issue, Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 113); legislation that would end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming tainted horse meat.

Yesterday’s approval of the amendment is a positive step to protecting horses from slaughter, but sadly wild horses are still also facing threats in the FY2018 Interior Appropriations bill.

“Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and there is no reason the federal government should contribute to it in any way,” said Senator Udall. “This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States.”

As WAN (World Animal News) previously reported, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected an amendment by a vote of 25 to 27 that would prohibit funding for horse slaughter inspectors.

Key lawmakers from the House and Senate must find some common ground before sending them to President Trump for signing.

With strong bi-partisan anti-horse slaughter support in the Senate, as per, it is believed that the amendment will be in the final bill sent to the President.

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California Assembly Bill 485, the Pet Rescue and Adoption Act, passed the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development by a vote of 7 to 1.

AB 485, authored by Assembly members Patrick O’Donnell and Matt Dababneh and sponsored by animal advocacy group, Social Compassion in Legislation, is a landmark bill that will ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits sourced from high-volume, commercial breeding facilities in all pet shops throughout the state. Instead, pet shops will be required to source animals from shelters and rescues. The bill picked up bipartisan support with both party’s members signing on as co-authors.

“Despite opponents claims to the contrary, transitioning to an adoption-based model has proven to be successful for many business owners,” Andrew Kim, owner and CEO of Healthy Spot, a small pet store chain of 10 locations and 225 employees testified. “Healthy Spot is a not a nonprofit. I want to be clear that we are a business that believes in profits with principles. We have been thriving because of the approach we have taken and the support we have received from the community in doing so.”

“35 local jurisdictions across the state have passed ordinances similar to AB 485. Despite the success of these ordinances, a statewide law is still necessary,” Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilmember and author of the Los Angeles ordinance that AB 485 is modeled after, stated in his testimony before the Committee today, “A key weakness in the jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction approach is the ability of law-breakers to pull up stakes and move to the next town over and continue victimizing animals and customers. It has happened, and AB 485 will help us combat that.”

Violations of what little regulation of puppy mills exist are incredibly hard to find. On February 3, 2017, all information regarding inspection reports or access to lists of active licensees and registered breeder facilities was removed from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website. The same applies to enforcement actions regarding Animal Welfare Act violations. Those seeking information regarding inspection reports etc. must now submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for that information. Thus, it is nearly impossible for prospective pet owners to access the information needed to make informed choices in where these animals have come from and how they were treated before arriving in pet stores.

This legislation will replace high volume commercially bred animals by showcasing dogs, cats, and rabbits from local animal shelters and rescue groups in pet retail stores statewide. AB 485 will be a gigantic step forward in solving the state’s pet overpopulation crisis and will shut the door on cruel puppy mills from importing animals for sale into California.

AB 485 will now go to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

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