Thursday, 06 June 2024 23:48

Talkin' Pets News Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Talkin' Pets News

June 8, 2024

Host - Jon Patrch

Co-Host - Dr. Katy Meyer DVM

Producer - Lexi Adams

Network Produce - Sydney Hubbard

The AKC Museum of the Dog is pleased to announce that its newest exhibit will feature the pet fashions of pet couturier and women’s wear designer, Anthony Rubio, titled “Canine Couture: An Exhibition of Anthony Rubio Designs.” This pop-up exhibit will open Wednesday, June 5th and close Sunday, July 7th.

The exhibit, which was announced at the Pet Gala, will be a retrospective of fashions Rubio has created for dogs over the last two decades including Met Gala re-creations over the years, including designs from last week’s event. There will also be never-before-seen Met Gala re-creations that didn’t make the runway.

“We are beyond thrilled to host this exhibition. These intricate and beautiful pieces serve as strong examples of the power of fashion and art,” said Christopher E. Bromson, Executive Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog. “We trust that as you regard them, you will be struck not only with joy and awe, but also understand the amount of work that goes into each. We hope you will take with you a bit of the powerful inspiration that Anthony draws from the world of fashion.”

Anthony Rubio is an American fashion designer and has been creating pet fashion and women’s wear for twenty years. Born and raised in New York City, he has been re-creating iconic Met Gala looks for canines for over a decade. He has been featured on Access Hollywood, in PEOPLE Magazine, and much more. He is also passionate advocate for animals.

“I am thrilled because attendees of the Museum can take their time to soak in the details of each of the garments I created,” said Anthony Rubio. “In addition to the looks on mannequins, there will be studio photographs of the canine models wearing their celebrity looks.”

A reception for the exhibit will occur on Tuesday, June 11th at the Museum from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A company that breeds animals for medical testing has been fined a record $35m (£27m) after 4,000 beagles were rescued from its facility in Virginia in 2022.

The fine against Envigo RMS LLC for animal cruelty is the largest fine ever issued under the Animal Welfare Act, according to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

“Envigo promoted a business culture that prioritized profit and convenience over following the law,” Christopher Kavanaugh, the US attorney for the Western District of Virginia, said in a statement. “This callous approach led to dire consequences: the inhumane treatment of animals and the contamination of our waterway,” he said.

Envigo's parent company, Inotiv, has agreed to pay the record eight-figure settlement. It has also agreed to not breed dogs for the next five years.

By committing the crimes it was charged with "and by not making the necessary infrastructure upgrades and hiring the requisite staff, we fell short of our standards for animal and environmental welfare and apologize to the public for the harm caused by our conduct," Inotiv said in a statement on it's website on Monday.

The breeding facility in Cumberland, owned by Envigo RMS, was sued in May by the US Department of Justice. The federal agency accused it of multiple acts of animal cruelty.

Inspectors found some dogs were being killed instead of receiving basic veterinary care for conditions that can be easily treated. The animals were also being fed with food that contained maggots, mould and faeces, while some nursing mothers were not given anything to eat at all.

The rescue of the 4,000 dogs from the facility in August 2022 led to a nationwide effort by animal shelters to find the dogs new owners in the US.

The justice department said on Monday that Envigo had admitted that it had "conspired to knowingly violate the Animal Welfare Act by failing to provide, among other things, adequate veterinary care, adequate staffing and safe living conditions for dogs housed at the Cumberland County facility".

The breeder's sister company, Envigo Global Services Inc, has also admitted to breaking the Clean Water Act by not properly treating wastewater, adversely affecting the dogs' health and contaminating the environment.

The agreement calls for the company to pay $22m to the US government, as well as pay approximately $1.1m to the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force and approximately $1.9m to the Humane Society of the United States for their help rescuing the beagles.

The deal will be formally approved by a judge on 7 October.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Two young brothers and their cousin say they were “completely speechless” when they came across a Tyrannosaurus rex bone poking out of the ground while out for a jaunt in the North Dakota badlands. In July 2022, Liam and Jessin Fisher, then seven and 10, and cousin Kaiden Madsen, then nine, were hiking across a stretch of property owned by the US bureau of land management around Marmarth, a small town with a population of 101 – but also known as the dinosaur capital of North Dakota for its rich deposits of Triceratops and T rex fossils.

The trio, led by the Fisher boys’ father, Sam, hit upon the bone of the teenaged dinosaur which was likely entombed about 67m years ago in the Hell Creek formation, a popular paleontology playground that spans Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. “You just never know what you are going to find out there,” Sam Fisher told the Associated Press when the find was unveiled at the Museum of Nature & Science in Denver, Colorado, on Monday. “You see all kinds of cool rocks and plants and wildlife.”

Liam Fisher said he thought the bone sticking out of the rock was something he described as “chunk-osaurus” – a made-up name for fossil fragments too small to be identifiable. His father shared a picture with a family friend, said Tyler Lyson, the associate curator of vertebrate paleontology who works at the museum. Lyson initially thought it was a relatively common duckbill dinosaur, also known as hadrosaurs. But during a dig into the sandstone the following year, they did not find the neckbone of a duckbill as they expected – instead, it was something more unexpected.

“Instead of finding a cervical vertebrae, we found the lower jaw with several teeth sticking out of it,” Lyson said. “And it doesn’t get any more diagnostic than that, seeing these giant tyrannosaurus teeth starring back at you.” Based on the size of the tibia, experts estimate the dinosaur was 13 to 15 years old when it died and likely weighed about 3,500lbs (1,587.6kg). The museum estimates that the T rex fossil will take about a year for crews to fully excavate. A leg, hip, pelvis, a couple of tailbones and part of the skull have so far been found, and it is not yet clear how complete the example is.

Lyson said more than 100 individual T rex fossils have been unearthed, but many are fragmentary. At the museum, he said that it was a “remarkable feeling” to make the discovery and “share the preparation of this fossil with the public”. The area where the discovery was made is 200 miles (322km) from the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where one of the most famous T rex finds was made in 1990.

The massive, mostly intact dinosaur skeleton became known as Sue the T rex and became the centre of a protracted legal battle over ownership rights. Sue, who is more than 40ft long, currently sits in Chicago’s Field Museum. Marmath is also where Tyler Lyson found the skeleton of an Edmontosaur, a species of duckbill, complete with skin, tendons and bones – and one of only three ever discovered in that condition. After the children discovered the latest T rex, Jessin Fisher – a fan of the Jurassic Park movies as well as an aspiring paleontologist – offered some advice to other kids, telling them “just to put down their electronics and go out hiking”.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GLEN ROSE, Texas (WABC) -- A dramatic video captured by a mother on a safari ride in Texas shows the moment a giraffe grabbed her toddler out of a pickup truck and lifted her into the air.

Lindsey Merriman told Storyful that her family was visiting the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose when they witnessed the incident a few cars ahead.

"We were 3 cars behind a red truck and saw the Giraffe accidentally grab a little girl's shirt along with the food and lift her from the bed of the truck," she told Storyful.

The child's father also told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the 2-year-old was feeding the giraffe when it accidentally grabbed her shirt along with the food and lifted her from the bed of the truck.

"My heart stopped, my stomach dropped it scared me," Jason Toten, the child's father told KWTX.

The video then shows the child being lifted into the air and then dropped into an adult's arms.

"We stopped to feed the giraffes and I turned around to look out the back window, and I saw the giraffe kind of digging around right there, and then it just grabbed her and I didn't see her no more," Toten, told KWTX.

Toten said after the incident, they went to the gift shop and got the toddler a toy giraffe.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Scientists with the University of Saskatchewan (USask) used the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at USask to study a promising new technique for decontaminating eggs and recently published their findings.

The problem with ‎conventional egg decontamination processes, which use chemicals and heat, is that they can damage the egg cuticle and shell, which are ‎natural barriers to bacteria and help to maintain nutritional quality during storage.

The new cleaning method involves treating eggs using tiny water droplets sprayed with high-voltage electricity to decontaminate the shell. The researchers then used the CLS’s ultra-bright synchrotron light to obtain highly detailed 3D scans of the eggs.

The researchers found the new approach significantly reduced the amount of E. coli and Salmonella bacteria on the eggs, but did not damage the cuticle and shell and preserved the food’s nutritional quality.

“We hope this new technique is added to the existing egg processing line, to ensure thorough removal of pathogens from the egg surface,” said team member Mehdi Heydari, a postdoctoral fellow with USask’s College of Engineering. “This can help ensure the eggs on grocery store shelves are as safe to eat as possible.” Heydari worked alongside other USask scientists, including principal investigator Lifeng Zhang and co-investigators Karen Schwean-Lardner and Shelley Kirychuk.

“Using this emerging, green technology would improve food safety while also lowering carbon dioxide emissions during processing,” he added. 

The next step for this research will be to determine how to scale up this technology for large-scale operations.

The team members are grateful to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, and the Canadian Poultry Research Council for funding this research project.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FRIDLEY, Minn. — More than a dozen animals were found dead last month when police searched a northern Twin Cities metro animal shelter that remains under investigation, according to a warrant.

The Fridley Police Department said it received a tip about "animal maltreatment" at Happy Tails Rescue in Fridley in February and has been investigating the facility, in collaboration with the Animal Humane Society, ever since. That investigation included interviews with employees and volunteers.

On May 21, Fridley police executed a search warrant at the rescue and "an associated location in Oak Grove," the department said. According to the warrant, police found two dead dogs and 13 dead cats inside the facility. The warrant lists 39 live animals seized from the shelter — 25 dogs, 12 cats, a bird and a guinea pig — though police said 42 living animals were found in total. Those animals were placed in the care of AHS.

According to its website, Happy Tails is a nonprofit "dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned animals."   "By working with committed volunteers, foster homes, local veterinarians, trainers and boarding facilities, we are able to rescue dogs and cats providing them with loving temporary care until a well-matched, carefully screened forever home can be found," the website states.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo — An 83-year-old woman was gored and seriously injured by a bison in Yellowstone National Park.

The woman from Greenville, South Carolina, was near the Storm Point Trail at Yellowstone Lake when the bison lifted her about a foot off the ground with its horns, park officials said in a statement.

The woman sustained serious injuries and was taken to a medical clinic in the park and then flown to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. No other information about the woman or her condition was released.

Officials said the bison was defending its space. The attack is being investigated.

Yellowstone requires people to keep at least 25 yards (23 meters) away from all large animals, including bison, elk, deer and moose, and at least 100 yards (91 meters) away from bears and wolves. A bison gored and significantly injured an Arizona woman in the park in 2023. Bison injured two people in the park in 2022.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Charlotte, the stingray who gained attention for having become pregnant without a mate, is now said to have a rare reproductive disease.

In the aquarium where the bottom-dwelling flat fish resides they said that “reports show that Charlotte has developed a rare reproductive disease that has negatively impacted her reproductive system.”

“We regret the delay of updates regarding Charlotte. This time was necessary to gather data and analyze lab and testing results,” the statement from Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO in Hendersonville, North Carolina, began.

“Our priority is to focus on Charlotte’s health and wellbeing. We will work with and be guided by veterinarians and specialists to better understand this disease and the treatment options for Charlotte. While the research of this disease is limited, we hope that Charlotte’s case and medical treatment will positively contribute to science and be of benefit to other rays in the future.”

The aquarium did not specify the type of disease the stingray has or what this means for her pregnancy. Charlotte the stingray has lived at Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO for eight years. In February, the aquarium revealed their round stingray was pregnant — despite never interacting with a male stingray.

The announcement left followers baffled as to how this could have happened and when these miraculous babies are going to appear. In April, the aquarium’s executive director, Brenda Ramer, told TODAY.com that even her understanding of the pregnancy had narrowed since she first announced the news.

According to Ramer, the fish was adopted from a private home outside the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and is estimated to be between 12 and 16 years old. “She’s carrying somewhere between three and four pups.” One theory presented is that she was impregnated by sharks who shared her tank at one point.

Benjamin M. Perlman, who has a doctorate in biology and is a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach’s Department of Biological Sciences, researches and studies stingrays. Speaking to TODAY.com, he said that cross-species mating and reproduction aren’t possible in this case.

He explained that “the morphology of the male shark won’t necessarily fit with the morphology of the female round stingray.” In the months since her livestream announcement, researchers believe Charlotte became pregnant through parthenogenesis. Britannica defines parthenogenesis as a “reproductive strategy” in which a female can develop and produce offspring without fertilization.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SPENCER, Mass. — Three little piggies went to a yoga class. Their human companions had a blast. Wilbur, Charlotte and Bluey fit right into a growing trend of yoga with animals, adding some fun to the usual physical and mental wellness exercises at a class in central Massachusetts.

Darting and strolling among the yoginis making downward dog, crow and cobra poses, the piglets also dug up a backyard with their soft pink snouts as two rabbits and a goat named Munchie searched for the tastiest shoots.

The experience was well worth a nearly two-hour drive to the town of Spencer for retired New Hampshire dentist Stacey Delbridge and her daughter.

“The best thing about the piglet yoga was, of course, the piglets and how cute they are,” Delbridge said with a jubilant smile. “They were funny, you know. Just when you were getting to a point where you needed a break, you had a great visitor come see you, and you could quit without looking like a quitter. Yeah. They’re adorable.”

Beyond Yoga & Wellness owner Ashley Bousquet teaches piglet yoga, and says there is such demand that online registrations typically sell out within hours. The classes begin with Bousquet inviting participants not to fret over interrupting their flows to interact with the piglets, who come from a friend’s farm.

“During the class you have piglets causing mischief and running on you, on top of you or cuddling with you,” Bousquet said. “It’s super cute.”

Amy Finkel brought her two daughters with her, smiling broadly while snapping photos of piglets as the girls hugged a rabbit. “Seeing them so joyful and happy” was the high point, she said. The low point? “When it was over, because it just seemed to go so quickly.”

Practicing yoga with animals can produce unexpected benefits. If done with shelter animals, it may even encourage adoptions, said Rebecca Purchase of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell.

“Is yoga stressful to animals that join? It can be if it’s not the right animal,” Purchase said. “But for animals that really thrive being around people and getting to socialize with them, it absolutely can be a benefit.”

Finkel is a big fan of animal yoga — she said it helped keep her mind from wandering. “I’m really focused on to what’s going on presently around me. And I think in today’s day and age, that’s very hard to do.” “I just wanted to sit with them,” Delbridge said. “I could have skipped yoga and gone just piglet. All piglet.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The off-season woes continue for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, as defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs faces misdemeanor animal cruelty charges after police seized two malnourished dogs abandoned on his rented property.

Police in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were called to a home on Diamond Circle in March and found a gray and white pit bull on a screened-in back porch surrounded by feces with no access to food or water, court documents filed Wednesday say. A black rottweiler mix was found "locked in a metal cage in direct sunlight with no access to food or water."

Authorities filed two warrants alleging second-degree cruelty to dogs against Buggs. Trey Robinson, an agent for Buggs, said his client "vehemently denies the truthfulness of the allegations and charges asserted against him." "Under no circumstance does Mr. Buggs condone the mistreatment of any animal," Robinson said in an emailed statement.

He said that the dogs do not belong to Buggs and that he did not know they remained at the property. Both dogs were "severely malnourished, emaciated and neglected," the documents say. The home, which Buggs was renting, appeared to be abandoned, according to the document. A neighbor told police the dogs had been on the back porch for at least 10 days. Witnesses said Buggs moved out of the home around March 19, the documents say. Authorities said he had received a notice of termination in April because more than $3,000 in back rent was owed.

Authorities said that they tried to reach Buggs, 27, but that their attempts were unsuccessful. The pit bull was euthanized last month because of increasing aggressiveness and failure to respond to heartworm treatment, according to the documents. The rottweiler, which is 3 years old, weighed only 52 pounds and tested positive for canine parvovirus, a highly contagious disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and the white blood cells.

Robinson, Buggs' agent, accused the city and the police department of trying to smear Buggs’ "name and reputation as part of an on-going subversive campaign to force the close of his local business," Kings Hookah Lounge. The Tuscaloosa Police Department declined to comment. It said Buggs turned himself in and was released on a $600 bond.

"These efforts are not new as Mr. Buggs was arrested at his business on misdemeanor charges on two separate occasions in the past two months, but each time no public record was made of these arrests," Robinson said. "Rather, the City used the threat of pursuing and publicizing both the allegations filed ... as leverage against Mr. Buggs by offering to drop and not pursue them in exchange for his voluntary surrender of his business license."

Robinson did not say why he believes the city and the police department are trying to force his client to shut down his hookah lounge. A city attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is the latest in a series of incidents involving Chiefs players. Kicker Harrison Butker drew intense criticism this month after his commencement speech at Benedictine College sparked accusations of sexism and homophobia. And an arrest warrant was issued for receiver Rashee Rice in connection with a high-speed crash in Dallas. Rice, 24, turned himself in to police last month. +++++++++++++++++++

Last week, The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Federal Government for failing to properly assess the impacts of the Alaska LNG project on several threatened and endangered species. According to the lawsuit, biological opinions issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service violate the Endangered Species Act by not fully examining and mitigating the project’s harm to polar bears, Cook Inlet beluga whales, and North Pacific right whales.

“I’m outraged by how thoroughly federal agencies ignored the many ways this LNG project is likely to harm endangered whales and polar bears,” said Kristen Monsell, oceans legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Our climate can’t take more fossil fuel extraction and neither can these desperately imperiled animals. They’ll suffer more habitat destruction and other harms from this project. Alaska’s wildlife needs officials to really think through these kinds of risks, but the federal government decided to duck its legal obligations here and leave endangered species in the lurch.” The Alaska LNG project would consist of several compressor stations, liquefaction facilities, a marine terminal, and an 807-mile pipeline bisecting most of the state of Alaska. The project would enable the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to ship about 20 million metric tons of gas from Alaska’s Arctic abroad every year. Burning that amount of gas could result in more than 50 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually, that’s almost the same global warming impact as building 13 coal-fired power plants.

“The rubber-stamp approval of the Alaska LNG project was reckless in many ways,” said Sierra Club Alaska Chapter Director Andrea Feinger. “The project will be devastating to vulnerable wildlife already struggling to face the catastrophic impacts of climate change. The agencies responsible for assessing the impacts on whales, polar bears, and other species neglected to take proper care in evaluating the full scope of harm Alaska LNG will cause. We’ve only got one shot to protect the climate and critical ecosystems that these endangered animals rely upon. The federal government must take an honest look at the real outcomes of expanded gas extraction and transport across the landscape and waterways of Alaska.”

The pipeline would connect drilling operations on the North Slope to an export terminal on Cook Inlet and bring tanker ships through the habitat of endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales and North Pacific right whales. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimates the project would increase large vessel traffic in the inlet by up to nearly 75%. Cook Inlet beluga whales are critically endangered. The population has declined more than 75% since 1970 and scientists believe their recovery is hindered by noise pollution and the cumulative harm of multiple, human-caused stressors. The Eastern North Pacific right whale population ranges from the Bering Sea to Baja California and is down to only about 30 individuals. With few reproducing females, the population is at extreme risk of imminent extinction.

Climate change is warming the Arctic four times faster than the rest of the planet. Eight young Alaskans have filed a lawsuit against the state of Alaska claiming that the LNG project violates their rights by further hastening climate change and having a negative impact on their lives. If warming continues at current rates, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could be extinct by 2050 due to the loss of their Arctic sea-ice habitat.Last week’s lawsuit was filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The groups are seeking to have the inadequate biological opinions invalidated and thrown out by the court.

++++++++++++++++++++

Animal advocates rejoice as Elizabeth Jaimes, who was charged with brutally beating Maya, a 9-year-old husky belonging to her boyfriend’s family, was sentenced to almost 6 years in prison.

For months, Maya’s guardian couldn’t figure out how her elderly dog kept getting injuries that required going to the vet for care. Her vet finally recommended installing a hidden camera, which uncovered horrifying abuse.

On May 1st, 2023, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department was notified about the abuse and went to investigate. Maya was taken to the Veterinary Emergency Group, where she was determined to have suffered blunt force trauma resulting in a blinded left eye and multiple bone fractures, including spinal injuries.

Deputies were given video evidence from the hidden camera that showed Jaimes restraining Maya with a leash while she forcefully struck Maya repeatedly with a rubber mallet. With full force, Jaimes struck Maya at least 64 times on camera as Maya cried in fear and pain.

Investigators believe Maya’s abuse may have begun as far back as October 2022. Since then, she’s sustained injuries including “skull fractures, a broken jaw, spine and rib fractures, and a broken orbital resulting in blindness in one eye,” among other injuries requiring veterinary treatment.

Jaimes was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals with a weapon, a second-degree felony. She admitted to her heinous crime, attempting to absolve herself by telling deputies Maya growled at her. Her boyfriend’s mother filed for an injunction against her.

On May 10th, Jaimes was sentenced to 70.8 months incarceration and must participate in an anger management program. Upon her release, she is required to serve three years probation, register with the animal abuser registry, and is prohibited from having any animals.

In Defense of Animals sent a letter with more than 15,000 signatures to 13th District State Attorney Susan Lopez calling for maximum prosecution and sentencing, mental health evaluations, mandatory treatment, and an order that Jaimes be prohibited from engaging with animals.

“We are grateful to State Attorney Lopez for her strong prosecution and the judge for passing a strong sentence for this despicable case of severe and sustained animal abuse,” said Doll Stanley, Senior Justice Animals Campaigner for In Defense of Animals. “It’s a miracle that Maya survived, and we hope this sentence can help her and her family heal from the trauma. When the justice system works for animals like this, it sends a strong message and prevents such horrors.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Humans pass on more viruses to domestic and wild animals than they catch from them, a new study suggests. University College London (UCL) researchers analysed all publicly available viral genome sequences, to see where viruses have jumped from one host to infect another vertebrate species – animals with a backbone and skeleton. Understanding how and why viruses evolve to jump into different hosts may help experts figure out how new viral diseases emerge in humans and animals.

Most infectious diseases are caused by viruses circulating in animals, and when these cross over into humans – a process known as zoonosis – they can cause disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics such as Ebola, flu or Covid-19. Experts suggest that given the large impact of these diseases on public health, humans have generally been considered as a sink for viruses rather than a source, with human-to-animal transmission of viruses receiving far less attention.

In the new study scientists found that roughly twice as many host jumps were inferred to be from humans to other animals (known as anthroponosis) rather than the other way round. Additionally, they found even more animal-to-animal host jumps that did not involve humans. According to the scientists, their findings highlight the underappreciated fact that human viruses often spread from humans into wild and domestic animals.

Co-author Professor Francois Balloux, UCL Genetics Institute, said: “We should consider humans just as one node in a vast network of hosts endlessly exchanging pathogens, rather than a sink for zoonotic bugs. “By surveying and monitoring transmission of viruses between animals and humans, in either direction, we can better understand viral evolution and hopefully be more prepared for future outbreaks and epidemics of novel illnesses, while also aiding conservation efforts.” For the study, the research team developed and applied tools they used to analyse the nearly 12 million viral genomes that exist in public databases.

They reconstructed the evolutionary histories and past host jumps of viruses across 32 viral families, and looked for which parts of the viral genomes acquired mutations during host jumps. The study found that, on average, viral host jumps are associated with an increase in genetic changes, or mutations in viruses, reflecting how viruses must adapt to better exploit their new hosts. Further, viruses that already infect many different animals show weaker signals of this adaptive process, suggesting that viruses with broader host ranges may possess traits that make them more capable of infecting a diverse range of hosts.

Lead author, PhD student Cedric Tan, UCL Genetics Institute and Francis Crick Institute, said: “When animals catch viruses from humans, this can not only harm the animal and potentially pose a conservation threat to the species, but it may also cause new problems for humans by impacting food security if large numbers of livestock need to be culled to prevent an epidemic, as has been happening over recent years with the H5N1 bird flu strain.

“Additionally, if a virus carried by humans infects a new animal species, the virus might continue to thrive even if eradicated among humans, or even evolve new adaptations before it winds up infecting humans again. “Understanding how and why viruses evolve to jump into different hosts across the wider tree of life may help us figure out how new viral diseases emerge in humans and animals.” The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

++++

Two brothers who filmed themselves torturing animals have been jailed for what one police officer described as some of the "most horrifying offences" he had ever seen.  Kristen, 24, and Todd Cooper, 29, were found with several videos showing the pair “causing unnecessary suffering to animals, mainly in rural areas at night”, police said.

The films showed Kristen, from Bransgore, causing suffering to injured deer and hares and sometimes encouraging dogs to attack them in New Forest National Park. There were also videos showing deers with injuries to their genitals suggesting they had been mutilated. An expert described the “horrifying” films as some of the worst cases of animal abuse he had seen in 24 years as a vet.

Todd Cooper admitted carrying out an act of animal cruelty that involved his brother holding down a deer while he struck it over the head with a blunt object. Kristen Cooper pleaded guilty to seven offences of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Police constable Sebastian Haggett, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team, said “Cooper repeatedly subjected animals to horrific levels of pain and suffering, seemingly for his own and others’ amusement. These are without doubt some of the most horrifying offences I have ever investigated.”

Inspector Darren Ord, from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary said: “These horrific crimes have caused a great deal of harm and suffering, and we are pleased that these crimes have been recognised with this sentencing and the offenders have been brought to justice.

“We take reports of rural crime extremely seriously and our officers will continue to work with partners to show criminals that offences of this kind will not be tolerated in Hampshire, or across our borders.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner David Sidwick said: “Kristen Cooper has committed deplorable and sickening acts of cruelty as well as offences that strike at the heart of our rural community.” Angharad Thomas, CPS Wessex Wildlife Lead, said: “This was a shocking case, involving unimaginable violence and cruelty to animals on a level that I have, thankfully, rarely seen before.

“Working closely with the Rural Crime Team throughout, we were able to make sure we had all the evidence we needed for a strong prosecution case, ensuring that these defendants faced justice for their cruelty and absolute disregard for protected animals.”

The brothers have now been jailed for a total of eight years and eight months - with Kristen being jailed for five years, and Todd being jailed for three years and eight months. Both men will serve at least half of their sentence before being eligible for release on licence.

Kristen will also be subject to a Criminal behaviour Order for 10 years and disqualified from owning a dog for 10 years.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

On May 24, 2024, a Member of the National Assembly of South Korea, Han Jeoung-ae, welcomed Mr. Genlin, founder of the World Dog Alliance (WDA), back to her office in the Korean National Assembly. Their previous meeting was on February 23, 2024, celebrating the passage of South Korea's "Special Act on Prohibition of Dog Meat Consumption." During that time, Mr. Genlin, accompanied by a delegation of U.S. Congress members, visited Korea and was received by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and Representative Han Jeoung-ae.

Representative Han Jeoung-ae, a key proponent of the legislation in the National Assembly, has served three consecutive terms and once served as the Minister of Environment. She is renowned as the "most passionate National Assembly member for animal welfare." Throughout the legislative process, the bipartisan Animal Welfare Forum, co-founded by Representative Park Hong-keun, steadfastly supported the bill. Thanks to their relentless efforts, the "Special Act on Prohibition of Dog Meat Consumption" passed with an overwhelming majority of 208 votes in favor and two abstentions on January 9, 2024, effectively ending the practice of consuming dog meat in Korea.

Despite the law's passage, concerns remain regarding its implementation during the three-year transition period. In March 2024, the WDA's advocacy for the "International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats" was successfully incorporated into the U.S. "2024 Appropriations Act." This provision is mandatory and permanent, binding the U.S. Department of State to ensure its enforcement beyond the current administration.

Riding on the success of this legislative milestone, the WDA delegation visited Korea from May 23-24. During this visit, they met with Representatives Han Jeoung-ae and Park Hong-keun and toured local animal welfare organizations KAWA (Korea Animal Welfare Association) and KARA (Korea Animal Rights Advocates), both instrumental in the legislative process.

In these discussions, they exchanged views on initiating the "International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats," incorporating animal protection into school curricula, and embedding animal protection laws in the Korean Constitution. The Korean legislators responded positively, expressing commitment to advancing the agreement internationally through concerted efforts with other countries.

The WDA's initiatives have provided reassurance and fresh perspectives for Korea's movement against the consumption of dogs and cats, laying a solid foundation for the international promotion of the agreement.

The World Dog Alliance is a leading international organization dedicated to ending the consumption of dog and cat meat worldwide.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The direct-to-consumer pet food market is projected to reach $13.06 billion by 2031, according to a new market research report.

That would represent a compound annual growth rate of 19.8% from 2024 to 2031.

The report from Meticulous Research is called “Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Pet Food Market by Type (Meal [Standard, Customized], Treats, Supplements), Pet Type (Dogs, Cats), Health Condition (Nutritional, Digestive Health, Allergies, Stress), Distribution Channel (Online, Offline) – Global Forecast to 2031.”

The direct-to-consumer pet food market sector has been growing rapidly due to the increasing adoption of digital channels, according to the report. Other factors include the rising pet population and food expenditure, growing incidences of zoonotic diseases, rising demand for premium pet food products, rising number of pet DTC brands and rise in E-commerce.

However, quality issues related to pet food products and product recalls restrain the growth of this market, the report noted. The latest trends in the DTC pet food market are the rising demand for customized pet food and the humanization of pets.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In preparation for the 6th Annual National Pet Bird Day, taking place on September 17, 2024, the Bird Enjoyment & Advantage Koalition (BEAK) and its consumer-facing campaign, MyBird, announced the “My Beautiful Pet Bird” contest. This contest invites bird owners across the U.S. to submit original photos or short videos that showcase their pets’ unique beauty by August 14; the general public will have a chance to vote for its favorite entry between August 17 and September 13, and a committee of judges will then select three winners from the top ten entries as determined by popular vote. Winners will be announced on September 17, with first place receiving a $500 cash prize, second place receiving $250 and third place receiving $100.

The “My Beautiful Pet Bird” contest is sponsored by three members of BEAK: the World Pet Association and Vitakraft. Formed in 2016, BEAK consists of bird product manufacturers and associations united to address the need for responsible bird ownership and growth. The group established MyBird as a way to engage current and potential bird owners, encourage interest in pet bird ownership and provide education on responsible bird care.

While MyBird draws plenty of engagement from bird owners and lovers throughout the year – including 500,000 annual page views at myrightbird.com and over 230,000 Facebook followers – the weeks leading up to National Pet Bird Day are among the most active for the pet bird community. In honor of the special day, which was established by BEAK in 2019 as a way to celebrate the joys and benefits of owning a pet bird, many of BEAK’s member businesses run special promotions. Bird lovers are also encouraged to access the National Pet Bird Day toolkit here, which includes several free, downloadable graphics and social media posts, and join in the festivities by sharing stories, photos and videos of their birds on social media using the hashtag #NationalPetBirdDay.

BEAK and MyBird are excited to review contest submissions and join the rest of the pet bird community in celebrating the 6th Annual National Pet Bird Day. To learn more about the “My Beautiful Pet Bird” contest or to submit a photo or video entry, visit www.myrightbird.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A consortium of Caribbean dog rescue organizations, made of up Bruno Project Rescue, Inc., Caribbean Canine Connection and New Life for Paws Foundation, and known as the Caribbean Dog Rescue Coalition, is speaking up against a newly imposed CDC ban on importing dogs in the United States. The ban, which was designed to control rabies outbreaks in the U.S., will go into effect August 1, 2024. This ban only mentions dogs as a species, preventing entry until 6 months of age even if they are fully vaccinated against rabies. The ban also excludes dogs from rabies-free Caribbean countries without recognition of their true vaccination status at 16-weeks-old or veterinary health certifications.

The Coalition is imploring the CDC to amend their August 1 ban to reduce the age of imported dogs from 6 months to 16 weeks, or to allow rabies-free countries to be exempt. The Coalition requests this amendment because a 6-month old Caribbean puppy will exceed an airline’s in-cabin weight limit of 20 pounds. The organizations of the Coalition can only rescue dogs by airlifting them off the islands. 

This move has sent concern among the Coalition who argue that the new regulation makes it impossible for the adopted animal to travel with the adopter as the required paperwork and tests will take too long to obtain and the dogs will become too big to fly. This will result in the euthanization of thousands of dogs a year who would otherwise be given a new hope through adoption in loving homes, far from the hardship of their origins. All rescued dogs and rescue organizations in rabies-free countries will be unnecessarily harmed by this ban.

The Coalition highlights that existing Caribbean Island rescue health protocols fall in line with the guidelines for required and recommended health care as outlined by the American Veterinarian Medical Association. "With the dog receiving a rabies vaccination at 12-weeks-old and adhering to strict health protocols, we oppose this blanket ban and to wait 24 weeks as the dog will be fully vaccinated 28 days after the date of injection," said Linda Gunville, Lead Flight Coordinator for Bruno Project Rescue, Inc.

"We respect the CDC and understand the ban has good intensions as rabies is a lethal disease. This ban will undo years of hard work that rescuers have passionately committed to these dogs. For decades, volunteers have dedicated their lives to advocating and caring for these vulnerable animals which includes making sure they are medically compliant with export, import, federal, state and airline requirements. We do not stop caring for them just because they’ve left the island, we make sure they are healthy and safe for as long as they live."

The Caribbean Dog Rescue Coalition is composed of fervent volunteers who are committed to the rescue and welfare of the indigenous Caribbean dogs. They are calling for public support to pressure the CDC to reconsider its stance. They urge animal lovers and advocates to join their campaign to protect these vulnerable animals. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Read 17 times Last modified on Friday, 07 June 2024 00:05
Super User

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.