The International Air Transport Association has launched a standardized global certification program to improve the safety of animals traveling by air.
It's called the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators for Live Animals Logistics, or CEIV Live Animals.
"Last year millions of animals travelled safely and securely by air. Animal owners and shippers rely heavily on airlines to carry their precious cargo," said Nick Careen, IATA's senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security. "As an industry, we have a duty of care to ensure that standards and best practices are in place around the world to protect the welfare of these animals. For those shipping live animals the CEIV Live Animals program will provide a reliable quality benchmark."
The program "increases the level of competency, operations, quality management and professionalism in the handling and transportation of live animals in the air freight industry while reinforcing training and compliance across the supply chain," according to a press release.
Independent validators conduct training and onsite audits to ensure the animals' safety and welfare when traveling by air.
The City of London's Heathrow Animal Reception Centre and Air Canada Cargo played a key role in helping to pilot the program.
United Airlines recently announced that it was halting new reservations for PetSafe, its program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment. Its decision came "after three dogs were loaded onto wrong planes ... and a fourth died in an overhead bin," the Chicago Tribune reported.
United announced that it was "conducting a thorough and systematic review of our program for pets that travel in the cargo compartment to make improvements that will ensure the best possible experience for our customers and their pets." It said it expected to complete the review by May 1.
Many pet owners have no idea of the correct ways to get rid of leftover heartworm pills, bottles of flea shampoo and other care products they longer need – and more than half of veterinarians aren't helping, a study has found.
Researchers at Oregon State University discovered that more than 60 percent of veterinary care professionals do not counsel clients on the environmental stewardship aspect of medicine disposal. The findings represent an opportunity to dramatically reduce watershed contaminants, according to a press release from the university.
"People are just starting to understand the impact that discarded pharmaceuticals and personal care products have on the environment," said Jennifer Lam, the study’s corresponding author. Lam worked on the research while a graduate student in marine resource management.
"This study opens the door and shows a communication gap, shows where there’s an opportunity to help educate people," she said. "There’s not much communication going on between veterinary care professionals and their clients on how to dispose of expired pet medicines, meaning there’s a lot of potential for those professionals to help their clients learn what to do."
Lam, now a senior analyst for Blue Earth Consultants, and other researchers at OSU surveyed 191 pet owners. They found that nearly half discarded unneeded care products and medicine in the garbage.
Researchers surveyed 88 environmental educators and 103 veterinary care professionals. The survey found that 61 percent of the veterinary professionals did not share information about proper disposal with their clients. And the 39 percent who reported sharing that information did so only 19 percent of the time.
Lam said barriers to communication include lack of knowledge about proper disposal, time, cost and lack of concern on the part of both client and care provider.
The national Sea Grant program is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Association to promote proper disposal of pharmaceutical and personal care products: dropping them off at a take-back event or bringing them to a depository such as those in place at some police stations and college campuses.
This research was funded in part by Oregon Sea Grant. Findings were published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
When it comes to watching TV, most people — 58 percent — find pets to be the best binge partner, a new survey released by Netflix reveals.
One in three respondents, meanwhile, said they've turned to their furry friends for comfort during a sad or scary scene. And 22 percent have talked to their pet about the show or movie they were watching.
- 37 percent have moved where they were sitting so their pet would be more comfortable.
- 22 percent have bribed them with treats to watch longer.
- 12 percent have turned off a show because their pet didn't appear to like it.
Dog owners are more likely to choose action like Narcos and Marvel’s Daredevil, the survey found. Cat owners prefer sci-fi series like Black Mirror and Star Trek Discovery. And bird lovers like comedies such as Orange is the New Black.
The one show that brings all streaming species together: Stranger Things.
The survey was conducted Jan. 9-25 by SurveyMonkey and based on more than 50,000 responses. The sample is representative of an adult online population who watch Netflix with their pets in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Stressed about an upcoming presentation? You might feel better with your dog’s head in your lap.
Twenty percent of people in a 2017 Chapman University survey of American fears said they are afraid to speak in front of a crowd. But a recent Kent State University study found that pre-adolescents who gave a five-minute speech with their dog in the room felt less threatened by the situation than those who didn’t, and having physical contact with the dog made it even less stressful, the Washington Post reported.
The study found that just having a dog wasn't enough to reduce stress; what mattered was the dog's immediate presence.
Bringing dogs to work has become the norm for many companies that believe their furry presence can reduce stress and improve morale and job satisfaction.
Amazons headquarters in Seattle is noted for being especially dog-friendly, boasting a dog manager, a 1,000-square-foot dog park, dog water fountains and receptionists armed with treats, per Entrepreneur. More than 6,000 dogs work at the headquarters alongside more than 40,000 employees.
A 2012 study exploring the effects of the presence of dogs at work on stress and job satisfaction found that employees with their dogs nearby experienced a decline in stress throughout the day while those without their dog present or those who did not own a pet experienced increasing stress levels.
The study, reported by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, found that on days when their dogs were absent, the dog owners stress increased in a pattern similar to the non-dog group.
Another study showed that the presence of a dog had a positive effect in group problem-solving situations. Participants in a dog-present group displayed more verbal cohesion, physical intimacy and cooperation, and gave higher ratings of trustworthiness to fellow group members. Behavior in dog-present groups was rated as more cooperative, comfortable, friendly, active, enthusiastic, and attentive.
Anne Stych is a freelance writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.
When animals fall victim to cruelty and are seized in federal animal fighting busts, they may endure months-long stays in shelters as the related cases work their way through the court system.
Even with high-quality care, this extended period of legal limbo not only causes extreme stress and behavioral problems for the innocent animal victims involved, but also prevents them from being adopted into new homes. What’s more, the astronomical expense of holding seized animals for long periods of time can cause financial and logistical obstacles for animal organizations and may prevent shelters from assisting in future investigations, which means fewer animals saved.
Fortunately, the federal HEART Act (H.R. 398/S. 2633) will help cut through the red tape for victims of animal fighting. The bill would require the animals' owners to reimburse the costs of caring for animals seized in federal animal fighting cases and help animals find homes faster by expediting the court processes that allow them to be re-homed and rehabilitated.
What You Can Do
Contact your U.S. representative and senators in Washington, D.C., and urge them to support and cosponsor the HEART Act. Want to take your advocacy to the next level? After contacting your member of Congress, consider joining the ASPCA's HEART Team, a special group of advocates who want to take a hands on role in helping us pass the HEART Act. Visit www.ASPCA.org
In mid-March, the ASPCA told you the bad news: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) withdrew a long-anticipated animal welfare rule that would have improved the lives of millions of animals on organic farms. But the story doesn’t end there. Yesterday, the ASPCA joined a lawsuit against the USDA, standing in solidarity with fellow plaintiffs representing the organic industry and animal welfare. The lawsuit’s basis is that USDA is disregarding federal organic law and violating federal requirements for how organic rules are made and changed. The law firm Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris assisted the ASPCA with the filing.
While the vast majority of organic farmers meet high standards of animal care, an increasing number of large-scale, “faux-ganic” companies that raise millions of animals have entered the organic space and are exploiting loopholes in the rules. This deception is especially prevalent with organic eggs: 50% of organic eggs now come from hens who never set foot outside, a result of these companies being able to skirt USDA’s vague outdoor-access requirement.
The ASPCA has fought for years to close this loophole and bring the USDA organic program in line with consumers’ expectations and what farm animals deserve. We worked with USDA to craft the new animal welfare rule, which was finalized last year and would have required true outdoor access among many other improvements. But after repeated delays, and despite tens of thousands of animal advocates and organic farmers speaking out, the current administration withdrew the rule.
The USDA’s action is a travesty not only for animals, but for responsible organic farmers and consumers who are getting swindled.
“The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule would provide groundbreaking protections for millions of animals on organic farms, bringing USDA organic standards more in line with consumers’ expectations of animal welfare practices under that label,” said Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of the ASPCA. “But after repeated and unjustified delays, and despite tens of thousands of animal advocates and organic farmers speaking out, the USDA has abdicated its duty to enforce meaningful organic animal welfare standards, and we are joining this action to compel them to do their job.”
It’s thanks to all of you, our supporters and advocates, that we can show the court the overwhelming public support for strong organic animal welfare standards—please join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to stand with us and be notified when we need your help in the next round of this battle and the battles to come. Visit www.ASPCA.org
Florida: Support Historic Ballot Measure to End Greyhound Racing
The measure is headed for a vote by the Constitution Revision Commission on Monday, April 16. It must pass the CRC by a 2/3 vote before it can be placed on the November 2018 ballot. If you haven't already, please take action steps!
Florida is home to more than half of the country’s Greyhound tracks. Racing Greyhounds endure lives of near perpetual confinement, suffer severe injuries, and often die on the tracks. On average, a racing dog is killed every three days in Florida.
Florida State Senator Tom Lee recently filed Prop 6012, a constitutional amendment that would end Greyhound racing in the state of Florida. If approved by voters, dog racing would be phased out.
This is the best chance we have to put an end to this cruel “sport” in the Sunshine State.
The Commission will be voting on Monday, April 16, so please act quickly! Please place a quick, polite phone call to the Commissioners at (850) 717-9550 and tell them that you are a Florida resident and that you support Proposal 6012 to phase out Greyhound racing.
State health officials have confirmed two new rat lungworm infections in Hawaii.
Health officials said Wednesday that the separate cases involve an adult Maui resident and an adolescent visiting the Big Island from New York.
Officials said the Maui resident became ill in mid-February and was briefly hospitalized. The individual was most likely infected on Maui but had a history of traveling to Oahu and the Big Island during the time when the infection might have occurred.
Rat lungworm is a parasite that can be contracted via contact with rats or snails.
The New York adolescent had been in Hawaii in January and was hospitalized a month later after returning to New York.
The two confirmed cases bring the state's count up to three for 2018. The first case involved an adult West Hawaii resident.