The number of news found: 18.
04/24/2015 FISHING IMPACTS ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
New research shows that fishing is having a significant impact on the make-up of fish populations of the Great Barrier Reef. It's long been known that environmental impacts such as climate change and pollution are amongst the drivers of change on the Great Barrier Reef. Now researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University have found that removing predator fish such as coral trout and snapper, through fishing, causes significant changes to the make-up of the reef's fish populations.
More than 5 million hens will be euthanized at an Iowa egg-laying facility after the majority of them were found to be contaminated with a lethal strain of avian influenza, or bird flu. It is the worst outbreak yet to be recorded in the US. This is the second time a bird flu epidemic has been reported in Iowa, which provides almost 20 percent of all eggs that are consumed in the United States. The facility involved can house up to 5.3 million hens, though there are conflicting accounts about how many birds are currently at the farm. Reuters reports that 3.8 million hens are at the facility and will be culled, while the local Des Moines Register says there are 5.3 million birds to be destroyed.
Denmark passed legislation on Tuesday banning bestiality, toughening a law that animal rights activists feared was encouraging animal sex tourists to visit the country. The bill amends a previous ban on intercourse that harms animals, something Farm Minister Dan Jorgensen argued was difficult to prove. "The current legislation does not protect the animals enough. It's hard to prove that an animal suffers when a human has sexual intercourse with it, and that is why we must give the animal the benefit of the doubt," he wrote in an opinion piece. Those voting for the bill said Denmark did not want to remain the last northern European country where bestiality was legal, as this was attracting animal sex tourists. Germany, Norway, Sweden and Britain previously banned it.
A new class action lawsuit has been filed against SeaWorld in Florida which accuses the marine park of keeping its killer whales drugged and suffering from sunburn in shallow pools. Joyce Kuhl of south Carolina is suing SeaWorld in Orlando following a visit in 2013, demanding reimbursement for a $97 ticket and for millions of other visitors via a federal class action lawsuit that could, if successful, cost the park billions of dollars. Kuhl has accused SeaWorld of Florida and its sister parks of a "campaign of misinformation" to contain alleged orca mistreatment and poor conditions, and said she wouldn't have bought a ticket had she known the "true facts". According to the Orlando Sentinel, she claimed the company was spinning an illusion which "masks the ugly truth about the unhealthy and despairing lives of these whales".
Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails already are known for pink boxer shorts and tents, and now the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has added another item to that list: vegan meals. Arpaio, in conjunction with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, promoted the fully vegan diet at the county's jails on Wednesday. PETA spokeswoman and former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson joined Arpaio in serving meals to inmates at the MCSO Food Services factory on April 15. "It's not just a money issue because health is important; it's 2,600 calories, and that's a lot of calories," Arpaio said. "They may not like the food, but if they don't, the other alternative is to not go to jail."
04/19/2015 RICKY GERVAIS CALLS OUT TROPHY HUNTER
The award winning and animal loving comedian Ricky Gervais took it to Twitter on Monday to put trophy hunter Rebecca Francis on blast after she proudly posted a photo of herself lying next to a giraffe she shot. ''What must’ve happened to you in your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal & then lie next to it smiling?,'' wrote Gervais. It wasn’t long before some of his over 7.5 million followers started posting death threats to Francis saying she should be the one shot so she replied through a statement on HuntingLife.com the following day. Gervais then replied in the way he knows best: with hilarious sarcasm. Gervais’ Twitter war ignited a big conversation about trophy hunting and just how cruel it is to animals and damaging to their ecosystem. The story went viral and organizations like the Born Free Foundation that aims to protect wildlife from people like Francis are reaching a bigger audience and warning them that trophy hunters are responsible for bringing species like rhinos and lions to endangered status.
The Pen Pals animal shelter in northern Louisiana is a unique one: it’s run by a prison official and staffed with inmates. The not-for-profit, no kill shelter is located in on the grounds of Dixon Correctional Center in Jackson, Louisiana, and is filled with love and some much needed peace. The prisoners do everything for the animals seven days a week — from cleaning up their poop to walking them to helping out in operations performed by veterinarians from Louisiana State University. Since 2010, Pen Pals has found forever homes for 625 dogs and 451 cats, and currently houses about 80 dogs and a dozen cats. The prisoners, who are never sex offenders or abusers of animals, often assist with the adoption process, even off grounds. The connection between the inmates and animals has been so profound that Carmaleta Aufderheide, a graduate student at the University of Oregon, is now at Dixon studying the impact of this human-animal bond. It’s certainly a situation that has benefitted both the animals and inmates, something that was well documented in the recent documentary, ''Dogs On the Inside''.
04/15/2015 CAN EATING LESS MEAT SAVE CALIFORNIA?
Critics of California Gov. Jerry Brown's new water restrictions — which exempt farmers from the mandatory 25 percent cut — rightly point the finger at agriculture as the state's biggest water guzzler. Urbanites consume just 20 percent of California's water, while farmers use the remaining 80 percent. Californian farmers grow forage crops and alfalfa primarily to feed dairy cows and beef cattle, using in the process three times more water than what is needed for rice. The state's 1.7 million dairy cattle eat much of this hay, slurping up even more water to wash it all down. California also exports 100 billion gallons of water each year in the form of alfalfa to feed cows in Asia, where demand for meat and dairy products is skyrocketing. The reality is that feed crops and the animals they fatten are by far the largest water wasters — both in California and around the world. Half of all irrigation water in the United States is used to raise livestock, and the irrigation needs of hay and feed crops far exceed those of all domestically grown fruits and vegetables combined.
People are often shocked to learn how little government oversight exists surrounding the way animals are slaughtered in the United States. There are only about 148 (full-time equivalent) humane slaughter inspectors for the 148 million cows, pigs and sheep slaughtered every year at federally inspected establishments, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That's the equivalent of just one humane slaughter inspector for every one million animals But as bad as the situation is for "livestock," it is 200 times worse for birds. USDA does not report time spent monitoring the treatment of birds at slaughter establishments because birds, which represent 98 percent of animals killed for food (fish excluded), are not covered by the federal humane slaughter law. Last decade, undercover investigations at poultry slaughter plants exposed egregious, intentional animal cruelty.
Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh have announced a new center to test chemicals without using animals. The Vanderbilt-Pittsburgh Resource for Organotypic Models for Predictive Toxicology, or VPROMPT, will receive $6 million in federal money for four years to develop toxicity tests based on three-dimensional human cell cultures, rather than the standard combination of flat cell cultures and live animals. The center is part of the EPA's Tox 21 initiative, established in 2008 to reduce reliance on animals for testing chemicals. According to Vanderbilt the primary goal of the new center is to develop a series of 3-D human cell cultures that are wired with sensors to record how they respond when exposed to potentially toxic chemicals. By using human cells, the researchers hope to avoid misleading toxicity results caused by differences in how animal and human cells respond to the same chemical.
04/09/2015 RECORD JAIL SENTENCE FOR CALGARY MAN
Animal advocates say the jail sentence handed down for a Calgary man who neglected, tortured and killed a cat and dog last year was not tough enough even though it's the longest ever meted out in Alberta for animal cruelty. Nicolino Camardi, 19, received a sentence of 22 months in jail and three years of probation from provincial court Judge George Gaschler for two counts of animal cruelty for abusing the animals, which he had obtained from ads placed on Kijiji. Crown prosecutor Gord Haight had sought a two-and-a-half to three year jail sentence.
The Canadian government is facing fierce criticism for increasing the country's seal hunting quota from 400,000 in 2014 to nearly 470,000 this hunting season, according to media reports. As part of Canada's annual commercial seal hunt, which takes place during March and April, thousands of young seals are killed for their fur, despite a near global ban on their sale. "The quotas are going up every year, despite opposition and the market for seal pelts disappearing," Andy Ottaway of the Seal Protection Action Group, reportedly said and added, the decision to raise the quota was even more "outrageous" given the fact that these animals are facing severe threats from climate change, which has drastically deteriorated their habitable areas. Although the seals are mainly killed for their pelts, hunters also sell their blubber, which is then used to make seal oil - sold as a health supplement - and their penises, which are popular aphrodisiacs in some Asian markets.
Margarita Suárez from Mérida, Mexico, did not run a shelter or work with a registered animal organization. She only earned enough money to get by, however, she never hesitated to help animals in need. Suarez fed over 20 stray cats that came to her door every morning, and whenever she went out, she carried food to feed the stray dogs she met on the streets. At the beginning of March, Suarez relocated to Cuernavaca for health reasons. There, she continued to feed and look after the homeless animals in her community. Sadly, her health took a turn for the worse and she passed away. Suarez's daughter said that on March 15 stray dogs started arriving at the funeral home early in the morning. The animals were entering the room where her mother's body was resting. When Suarez's body was moved to the church, the dogs followed behind the funeral car, and when the body returned to the funeral home, so did the dogs. The dogs were respectful and only left once Suarez's body was prepared for cremation. Family members cannot explain how the dogs knew where they could find Suarez, but they were happy to see the dogs Suarez cared so much for, also loved her.
04/06/2015 AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN AGAINST WOOL INDUSTRY
Native Australian Jona Weinhofen, from post-punk/metalcore band I Killed the Prom Queen, stars in a PETA's brand-new ad campaign which aims to shine a light on the cruelty inflicted on sheep and lambs in the wool industry. Jona has been vegan for over half his life. As a solid advocate for the vegan lifestyle, he knows that includes abstaining from wearing any products that come from animals, including leather, silk, and, of course, wool. Twenty-five percent of the world’s wool comes from Australia, and it’s made from 100 percent cruelty. Footage reveals that sheep shearers violently punched and stomped on these gentle animals and beat and jabbed them in the head with sharp metal clippers and a hammer. Huge chunks of skin and flesh are carved off the animals’ backsides during mulesing, often without any painkillers! Because shearers are paid by volume (not by the hour), they work fast without regard for the welfare of the sheep, hence all the aforementioned cruelty.
04/04/2015 NEW ZEALAND OUTLAWS COSMETICS ANIMAL TESTING
New Zealand MPs have unanimously voted on the ban on animal testing for cosmetic products in the country. The decision to ban animal testing comes after the Green Party and animal rights advocates lobbied for a year to criminalise cosmetics testing on guinea pigs and rabbits. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has added the change in legislation to the Animal Welfare Bill that is currently before the Parliament. Greens MP Mojo Mathers, who has worked to have animal testing banned, said the government would not have supported it without pressure from the campaigners. She added that it New Zealand can now declare it had banned a 'cruel and outdated' practice. About 90 percent of the cosmetics sold in New Zealand come from abroad. Animal rights groups are campaigning for a ban on imported products that conduct animal testing. The Cosmetic Association said the next step in banning animal testing would be imposing import regulations. Countries like Norway, India and the EU states have banned the use of animal testing in cosmetics.
04/03/2015 CHIANTI WINES GO VEGAN THIS SPRING
There are things you associate with Tuscany’s celebrated Chianti wines and there are some things you wouldn’t think of, including gelatin from fish-bladder membranes and other agents from bone marrow, egg albumen and crushed crustacean shells. The company’s commercial manager, Lorenzo Laschetti, told that its own research had identified a growing demand for vegan and organic wines in some of its biggest oversees markets, including the UK, Germany and the US. The producer’s entire Colli Senesi product range from the 2014 harvest onwards will be vegan. And its first certified 'cruelty-free' Chianti, a rosé, is in the shops now. The first vegan red Chianti will be on sale in May. Prices will stay the same for the vegan wine. Mr Laschetti said that by the end of this year the company also hoped to earn its organic production certificate for all the sangiovese, canaiolo, cabernet cauvignon, and merlot grapes it grows to make its wines. In addition to satisfying vegans’ ethical tastes, some campaigners say there are health grounds for removing animal products from the production process.
'This is the story no one wants,' says Toronto-based photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur. These are the words that begin her latest project, a collaboration with filmmaker and editor Kelly Guerin that looks to make accessible some of the more horrific, disturbing images of animal cruelty McArthur has encountered around the world. In 2011, McArthur visited a slaughterhouse in Tanzania and bore witness to terrible, tragic fates. Her experiences traveling to capture photos of the deplorable conditions animals are kept in and the ways in which they are treated, be it for food, clothing, or scientific testing, was realized in the 2013 documentary by Liz Marshall, The Ghosts in Our Machine. That feature, this short titled The Slaughterhouse, and her book We Animals, look to simply and powerfully make a connection between the viewer and the animal. Tanzania is not meant to be singled out, as McArthur has witnessed similarities around the globe.
04/01/2015 ONLY HUMANS HAVE HUMAN PLACENTAS
The placenta is one of the organs with the highest evolutionary diversity among animal species. In consequence, an animal model that reflects human placentation exactly does not exist. However, the mouse is the most frequently used animal model for placenta and pregnancy research. The question whether the similarities are sufficient for the achievement of useful results with regard to human pregnancy was debated recently at the 11th Congress of the European Society for Reproductive Immunology (Budapest, Hungary). Researchers discussed the molecular features of the human placenta that are restricted to primates or even to humans. Now, in the light of recent findings and a better understanding of interspecies differences, they conclude that the mouse model is often overvalued. Owing to the increasing number of known human-specific factors in human placentation they consider that many aspects of human placentation can only be understood on the basis of experiments on human cells and tissues in combination with data collections from human subject studies.
The number of news found: 18.
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