A New York Times article details the ways in which the pandemic has made it harder to travel with pets.
A major factor is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ruling preventing the import of dogs from more than 100 countries. The prohibition “applies to foreign dogs as well as those traveling with American owners and re-entering the country after a trip abroad,” according to the article. The stated goal is to prevent rabies, particularly after a rash of fake health documents from importers amid surging demand for pets.
Other factors making it more difficult to travel with pets, according to the Times:
- New rules limiting pet travel in aircraft cabin,
- Limited options for having pets travel as cargo.
- Spikes in flight cancellations and schedule shifts.
Additionally, traveling with an emotional support animal is harder than it used to be. Following a December ruling by the U.S. Department of Transportation stating that only trained dogs qualify as service animals, a number of airlines stopped allowing emotional support animals on board.
As the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium is set to meet to discuss the fate and future of one of the world’s most endangered species, new data released shows a staggering 8 percent decline in North Atlantic right whale populations from 2019. Population estimates of this critically endangered species are the lowest in nearly 20 years.
Danielle Kessler, Country Director for the US, released the following statement on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW):
“With an estimated 336 North Atlantic right whales left, this is a dire time for the survival of the species. Human-driven impacts including entanglements in fishing gear and vessel strikes are the biggest threats to right whales and continue to wreak havoc on what remains of a struggling population. We hope this data, which is deeply concerning, sends an urgent wake up call to legislators that we are at a critical crossroads. The threats to right whales are avoidable and the time to right this wrong is now. We are calling for immediate, sustainable, long-term solutions that will change the fate of right whales. The future of the species depends on it.”
IFAW is advocating for legislation and funding to help save the North Atlantic right whale and is working directly with fisherman to advance pilot testing of on-demand, “ropeless”, gear and to promote on-the-water solutions that mitigate the key threats to the species.
For more information on IFAW’s work to protect North Atlantic right whales, visit ifaw.org.
To help meet the country’s growing demand for veterinary technicians, the University of Missouri has partnered with Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Missouri, to create a new transfer agreement for veterinary technology students.
The ‘two plus two’ agreement allows undergraduate students who earn a two-year associate’s degree in veterinary technology at Jefferson College to be automatically admitted as juniors at MU to pursue a newly created bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, which can expand their future employment opportunities and improve their upward mobility.
“Demand for veterinary technicians has grown in recent years, and we are proud to provide new educational opportunities that can keep vet techs engaged and remaining in the profession long term,” said Cindy Cravens, director of the Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology (BSVT) program at MU. “Our graduates will serve Missourians in both rural and urban parts of the state, helping fill the unmet needs in our state’s workforce.”
Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in caring for both domestic companion animals and large farm animals, aiding with surgeries, farm calls, blood tests and routine care.
“Missouri is an agriculture state, and we are proud of the support we have received from state legislators and the Missouri Farm Bureau,” said Dena McCaffrey, president of Jefferson College. “This is an example of public universities in Missouri supporting education that encourages workforce development opportunities in a growing field.”
The agreement between the universities, signed in September, allows veterinary technology students at Jefferson College who complete the two-year associate degree program this spring to be eligible to enroll at MU as juniors in Fall 2022. In addition to current and incoming Jefferson College students, the agreement also applies to graduates of Jefferson College’s two-year veterinary technology program dating back to 1978, the year the college earned their American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accreditation.
“As our population continues to grow, there has been an increased demand for food production, and therefore a greater need for more veterinarian technicians to help take care of farm animals,” said Christopher DeGeare, vice president of instruction at Jefferson College. “Also, there has been an increase in the adoption of companion animals since the COVID-19 pandemic began, resulting in more veterinarian appointments. So, this partnership will help meet the growing demand for veterinarian technicians.”
In addition to veterinary technology, MU and Jefferson College have ‘two plus two’ transfer agreements with more than 15 other degree programs, including biology, business, communications, engineering, economics, education, health sciences, journalism, nursing and political science.
"Our findings can help to better identify, understand and treat canine hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. Moreover, they indicated similarity with human ADHD, consolidating the role of dogs in ADHD-related research," says Professor Hannes Lohi, head of a canine gene research group at the University of Helsinki. "Dogs share many similarities with humans, including physiological traits and the same environment. In addition, ADHD-like behaviour naturally occurs in dogs. This makes dogs an interesting model for investigating ADHD in humans," says doctoral researcher Sini Sulkama.
Professor Lohi's research group collected data on more than 11,000 dogs by conducting an extensive behavioural survey. Hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention were examined using questions based on a survey utilised in human ADHD research. The goal of the study was to identify environmental factors underlying canine ADHD-like behaviour and potential links to other behavioural traits. "We found that hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention were more common in young dogs and male dogs. Corresponding observations relating to age and gender in connection with ADHD have been made in humans too," says Jenni Puurunen, PhD.
Dogs who spent more time alone at home daily were more hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive than dogs who spent less time on their own. "As social animals, dogs can get frustrated and stressed when they are alone, which can be released as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. It may be that dogs who spend longer periods in solitude also get less exercise and attention from their owners," Sulkama muses.
The researchers discovered a new link between hyperactivity and impulsivity, and the owner's experience with dogs, as the two traits were more common in dogs who were not their owners' first dogs. The causality of this phenomenon remains unclear. "People may pick as their first dog a less active individual that better matches the idea of a pet dog, whereas more active and challenging dogs can be chosen after gaining more experience with dogs," explains Sulkama.
Breeding has had a significant effect on the breed-specific behaviour of different dog breeds. Differences between breeds can also indicate genes underlying the relevant traits. "Hyperactivity and impulsivity on the one hand, and good concentration on the other, are common in breeds bred for work, such as the German Shepherd and Border Collie. In contrast, a more calm disposition is considered a benefit in breeds that are popular as pets or show dogs, such as the Chihuahua, Long-Haired Collie and Poodle, making them easier companions in everyday life. Then again, the ability to concentrate has not been considered as important a trait in these breeds as in working breeds, which is why inattention can be more common among pet dogs," Professor Lohi says.
The study confirmed previously observed interesting links between hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention, and obsessive-compulsive behaviour, aggressiveness and fearfulness. ADHD is also often associated with other mental disorders and illnesses. For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often occurs in conjunction with ADHD. In dogs, OCD-like obsessive-compulsive behaviour can appear as, among other things, tail chasing, continuous licking of surfaces or themselves, or staring at 'nothing'. "The findings suggest that the same brain regions and neurobiological pathways regulate activity, impulsivity and concentration in both humans and dogs” says, Sulkama.
Zoetis has recalled an untold amount of Vanguard Feline RCP due to a packaging error that mislabeled vials of the injectable vaccine by listing "intranasal" as the route of administration.
"This product is only approved for subcutaneous or intramuscular injectable administration in felines," company officials confirmed in a statement to the VIN News Service. The vaccine is intended to protect cats against feline herpesvirus-1, feline calicivirus and feline parvovirus.
Zoetis is asking all veterinarians who have received mislabeled product to return it to the company. Officials will start contacting distributors and veterinary practices next week with steps for returning product and receiving replacements, "rounded up to the next full tray," the statement reads. Customers with immediate questions can call Zoetis at (888) 963-8471.
Veterinarians say it's a big deal if cats inhale vaccines that are meant to be injected.
Dr. Elizabeth Coney of Lexington, Kentucky, reported the label discrepancy on Tuesday in a message board post on the Veterinary Information Network, an online community for the profession and parent of the VIN News Service. She said that the outer package containing a tray of Vanguard Feline RCP lists the vaccines as "injectable," while the individual vials are labeled "intranasal."
"This is dangerous," she wrote. "Already had a fellow DVM wonder if this mislabeled product could be given either SQ [subcutaneous] or IN [intranasal]."
True intranasal vaccines contain viruses that are specially attenuated to grow only at cooler temperatures on the surface of the membranes of the nose, said Dr. Alice Wolf, a board-certified internist and VIN consultant. According to https://www.sheltermedicine.com/library/resources/?r=vaccination-in-animal-shelters" data-sk="tooltip_parent">information posted by the University of California, Davis, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, "Modified live parenteral feline respiratory virus vaccines are temperature sensitive mutants that depend on being given at the higher core body temperature in order to reduce virulence."
If cats are given an injectable vaccine in their nose, it would not be unusual for them to exhibit signs of severe upper respiratory disease, Wolf said. "It may even cause systemic signs of fever, coughing and anorexia."
Cats are so sensitive, she said, that if injectable vaccine lands on their fur and they lick it off, ulcers can develop in their mouths. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which regulates veterinary vaccines, told VIN News today that it's aware of the recall. "Veterinarians who have received mislabeled vaccine will be hearing directly from the company very soon, if they have not already been alerted," APHIS Public Affairs Specialist Marquita Bady said by email.
When compared to cows, ewes, and sows, mares experience a short interval between birth and their next heat cycle. After foaling, the uterus undergoes involution, a process that reduces uterine size, repairs uterine tissues, and restores the uterine environment to a nonpregnant state. Supporting uterine involution is critical because the 11-month gestation of the mare often makes it difficult to maintain every-year foaling, which is typically preferred by commercial breeders. In a recent study, researchers set out to determine the effects of feeding docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, on uterine involution in the weeks after foaling.*
Eighteen pregnant mares were used in this study. The mares were assigned to one of two groups, a treatment group in which a microalgae rich in DHA was fed daily at 0.6 g/kg body weight or a control group. The treatment was fed from 90 days prior to the expected foaling date until seven days after first postpartum ovulation. Otherwise, the mares were fed similarly to maintain moderate to moderately fleshy body condition, including access to Bermudagrass pasture and a commercial concentrate at a rate of 1 kg/day (2.2 lb/day) before foaling and 2 kg/day (4.4 lb/day) after foaling.
Reproductive health parameters were ascertained through rectal palpation and ultrasonographic examination, including uterine and endometrium diameters, intrauterine fluid, uterine tone, and uterine echogenicity. Echogenicity measures the ability of a tissue to reflect an ultrasound wave.
Mares fed the DHA-rich supplement had smaller uterine horn diameters after foaling compared to control mares. Interestingly, DHA-fed mares had greater uterine echogenicity scores. Low echogenicity is generally related to increased estradiol, which induces edema and estrus behavior, so researchers expected lower scores as mares readied for rebreeding.
No treatment effects were observed for the other parameters evaluated.
Researchers concluded that “supplementation with DHA during peripartum may benefit uterine involution process and odds of early conception.”
“This research adds to the emerging volume of work that indicates omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, is a useful nutritional supplement for broodmares,” explained Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research. Studies in other species show omega-3s have beneficial effects on reproduction by modifying prostaglandin synthesis and metabolism, and by regulating genes integral to uterine function.
“The source of omega-3 fatty acids is important. Choose a high-quality supplement that delivers DHA directly, such as marine-derived EO-3,” Whitehouse advised.
Australia on Thursday ruled out promising to cut methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade in a stance that will add to criticism that the country is a laggard in addressing climate change.
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor announced his government’s decision before he was to fly with Prime Minister Scott Morrison to a U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
The United States and the European Union pledged in September to the 30% methane reduction target.
Taylor said the only way Australia could achieve that target would be to reduce numbers of cattle and sheep.
“At present, almost half of Australia’s annual methane emissions come from the agriculture sector, where no affordable, practical and large-scale way exists to reduce it other than by culling herd sizes,” Taylor wrote in The Australian newspaper.
“What activists in Australia and elsewhere want is an end to the beef industry,” he added.
Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal and liquified natural gas. The gas and mining sector account for almost one third of Australia’s methane emissions.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said his Nationals party, the conservative government’s junior coalition partner, had insisted Morrison not commit to reducing methane at the Glasgow summit, known as COP26.
Inaction on methane was one of the conditions the rural-based Nationals had placed on support for Morrison’s Liberal Party’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.
“The only way you can get your 30% by 2030 reduction in methane on 2020 levels would be to go and grab a rifle, go out and start shooting your cattle because it’s just not possible,” Joyce said.
But Meat and Livestock Australia — a Sydney-based producer-owned company that provides marketing, research and development services to over 50,000 cattle, sheep and goat farmers — said the Australian red meat industry was pursuing its own net zero target for 2030.
“This target means that by 2030, Australian beef, lamb and goat production, including lot feeding and meat processing, will make no net release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere,” the company website said.
Morrison’s net zero deal with the Nationals means he cannot budge from Australia’s 6-year-old target of reducing emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030.
A woman’s social media post has gone viral after she claimed she found a fried chicken head in her takeout order.
Brittani Paulhamus, of Pennsylvania, recently shared a photo on Facebook of what appears to be a chicken head in a basket of wings that she and a friend ordered from Old School Pizza in Williamsport.
“I did not expect this post to blow up the way it did…Yes I know where the wings come from. HOWEVER to me it is personally not appetizing to see the chicken head in the wings I ordered,” Paulhamus wrote in the post.
Paulhamus told WBRE-TV that she called the restaurant and management offered her a refund.
In a statement obtained by the news outlet, Old School Pizza said, “Old School Pizza deeply apologizes for the disturbing event on Friday. We are currently looking for the source and have been in contact with our wing provider. We are trying figure how this could have happened with the numerous checkpoints involved.”
Old School Pizza added that it has cooked about 361,000 pounds of wings over the course of 12 years without running to any incidents.