Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Monday, April 30, 2012

Swedish King Wants to Cull Country's Wolf Population

Unfortunately, he's also one of the presidents of the World Wildlife Fund whose Swedish chapter supports the maintenance of the wolf population. D'oh! From Wildlife Extra.....
Wolves kill elk - But King Gustaf wants to kill the elk so he wants to get rid of wolves And why does he want to do that? Because every year the good king runs an elk hunt in Sweden, along with his son Prince Carl Philip. Despite the fact that some 100,000 elk are shot every autumn in Sweden out of an estimated population of 3-400,000, King Gustaf believes that the presence of 200 wolves might spoil his annual hunt, so has been advocating the culling of as many wolves as possible. Yet to hunt the elk, he himself uses hunting dogs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dead Whale in Washington State Had Golf Ball in Stomach

It's just another sign of the garbage we throw into the oceans. There was also some plastic and pieces of rope, but there's no determination of what may have actually killed it. It was not emaciated so it's still a mystery as to whether what it consumed played a factor in its death. Full story here in Washington Post.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mad Cow Disease Appears in California

Potentially bad news for California Agriculture. Read the full story here at the LA Times.
The reemergence of mad cow disease, discovered in a California dairy cow, could have major implications for the state’s meat industry, even though officials have said that the human food supply is unaffected. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy hasn’t been found in U.S. since 2006 and was discovered in only three instances before then. But the disease has dealt a crippling blow to the industry in the past, especially when foreign countries refused to import American beef when mad cow was first uncovered in 2003. The U.S. Department of Agriculturetests about 40,000 cows a year in its effort to catch the disease. In California, private and public ranching takes up about 38 million acres, according to the California Cattlemen’s Assn. There are about 620,000 beef cows on 11,800 California ranches. The state also hosts 1.84 million dairy cows, according to information compiled by the California Beef Council. The sale of cattle and calves was a $1.82-billion industry in California 2008 and fifth among the state’s top 20 commodities. Beef cattle are raised in nearly every California county. Nationally, California ranks behind Texas, Kansas and Nebraska in total cattle numbers.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fallout Continues Over Juan Carlos' Elephant Hunting Trip

What an idiot. Read the full story on this NPR page...
As Spaniards grapple with severe austerity measures and 24 percent unemployment, their king is dealing with a different kind of pain — extreme embarrassment over public outrage upon his return from an elephant hunt in Africa that cost nearly $60,000, or more than twice the average salary in Spain. And the Spanish public only found out about the trip because he broke his hip — hence the recent surgery — and had to be airlifted home. The Royal Palace confirmed that this is the first time a Spanish king has ever said he's sorry — at least publicly — for anything. But it's not enough for Rafa Lucia, a social worker smoking in the rain outside a Madrid library. He's been jobless for months. The government cut his local school's budget by 30 percent. And the Royal Palace's budget? "They cut just 2 percent. And now this. It's like, OK, so the government doesn't cut [their budget], and now he's spending the money in Africa killing elephants," Lucia says. Adding Insult To Injury Spaniards can't decide which would be worse — whether their king might have spent public money on his jaunt to Botswana last week, or whether it was paid for by an Arab businessman courting favor, as some reports say. Either way, there are calls for the king's abdication.

Friday, April 20, 2012

King Juan Carlos, Honorary Head of World Wildlife Fund Spain, Caught in Elephant Hunt

D'oh! From the Wildlife Extra News....
April 2012. King Juan Carlos of Spain, Honorary President of WWF Spain, is recovering in hospital after breaking his hip in Botswana where he was on an elephant hunt. Apparently it isn't the first time the King has been shooting big game in Africa, or elsewhere (Apparently he killed a bear in Russia a few years ago too). Whilst not illegal, it shows a complete disregard for his 'subjects' and total contempt for his role as 'Honorary President of WWF Spain'.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Coast Guard Defends Medical Practice on Animals

I knew the military in general used animals for combat medical practice....hadn't thought of the Coast Guard though. PETA leads the charge against the Coast Guard.

For the full story, go here to the Washington Post.
The Coast Guard is defending its practice of using live animals in its combat medical training after an activist group released a video on Wednesday of a goat’s legs being removed with tree trimmers during what it said was training for agency personnel.

Live anesthetized goats have been used in Coast Guard training to treat combat wounds, but the agency could not verify if the video involved its personnel. The courses do involve “live tissue training using live animals,” Lt. Cmdr. Jamie C. Frederick, spokesman for the Atlantic Area, wrote in an email.

Frederick was responding after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on the Pentagon to stop the practice. A congressman also has introduced legislation that would phase out the use of animals by the military for such training.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hard for Russian Veterinarians to Use Anesthesia Due to Russian Drug Laws

...leaving them to sometimes do procedures with nothing to numb the animals' pain.

Read the full article in The Moscow Times.
After eight years of fighting a strict law that virtually bans an anesthetic essential for their work, Russia's veterinarians say they have nearly reached the end of their tether.

Ketamine has long been used for operating on animals throughout the world, but when it came in vogue as a party drug in the late 1990s, Russia's response was to ban the substance entirely in 2003. Outcry among vets ensued, and it was reinstated for veterinary use in 2004, but under such strict conditions that it is almost impossible to obtain.

"It was technically legalized but in reality rejected. In the last eight years, only 5 percent of vets have obtained licenses to be able to use it," says Irina Novozhilova, president of VITA, an animal rights group. "I thought that when it all started, it would be sorted out very fast because you can't just ban a profession. To work without anesthesia is to cut animals when they are conscious."

Oleg Aristov, who runs a veterinary clinic in St. Petersburg, said the alternatives are heartbreaking.

"It is really painful for your pets to undergo operations [without ketamine]," Aristov said. "It hurts them."

This has left vets between a rock and a hard place, with two contradictory laws condemning them whichever way they turn.

"If a vet uses ketamine, that is a violation of Article 228 for the distribution of narcotics, whereas if they operate on conscious animals, it is a violation of Article 245 for cruelty to animals. So a vet is faced with the choice of which law to break," Novozhilova said.

In a worse case scenario, under the current laws, vets face a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison just for doing their work. But they are left with few options.

"The best medicines are believed to be opiates, but they are completely banned in Russia, so ketamine is our only choice," Novozhilova added. "Measures other than ketamine absolutely do not give the desired effect."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Is Meat Now "Pink Slime?"

We actually watched a report about this on Stephen Colbert's show of all places. It was nauseating and I don't even eat meat. Blech.

If you eat meat, read this article from the Huffington Post.

Monday, April 9, 2012

TV Shows and Movies that Hurt and Killed Animals

Here's a horrible listing of films and shows that resulted in the abuse or killing of animals, starting with an elephant execution in 1903. Disgusting and stomach-turning.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grey2K Looks at Macau Racing Course

There is only one greyhound racing course in Asia and that is in Macau which now belongs to China. American organization Grey2K visited it and expressed concerns about treatment of the greyhounds both during their racing careers and once they are over.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chinese Dogs Rescued En Route to Butcher

These dogs were rescued by Chinese activists before they could be slaughtered for meat. According to this article from the NPR site, such rescues are occuring more regularly as dogs are increasingly becoming pets. A good story from China for once.