POKEMON-GOING FOR A WALK WITH DOGS

July 30, 2016 @ 10:02 AM

With the recent release of Pokémon GO, many people are spending more time outdoors, walking and exploring neighborhoods while playing the game. Some people are also using this as an opportunity to take their dogs for walks on their Pokémon GO adventures. Shelters are even getting in on the act, asking Pokémon GO players to volunteer as dog walkers.

The following are veterinarian tips for safe Pokémon GO adventures with your canine companion:

  • Start slowly: If you typically take your dog for 15-minute walks, don’t automatically assume they’ll be up for a 90-minute excursion. Suddenly and significantly increasing the length of your dog’s walk could cause your dog discomfort. Try gradually .........
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AMERICANS ARE UNITED IN SUPPORT OF NATIONAL ORCA BREEDING BAN

July 29, 2016 @ 9:15 AM

The nation may be divided on many things, but in a poll conducted by leading market-research firm Lincoln Park Strategies, the vast majority  of American adults expressed support for legislation that would ban breeding captive orcas. Following SeaWorld’s decision to end its captive orca breeding program as a result of widespread public concern over the park’s practices and animal welfare, the recent poll questioned 999 adults nationwide on whether they’re in favor of legislation banning orca breeding at any entertainment facility—and a whopping 68 percent of respondents said that they are.

The finding comes on the heels of two bills that would offer orcas additional protections: the federal Orca Responsibility .........

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USDA PROPOSES RULE TO END DECADES OF EQUINE ABUSE

July 29, 2016 @ 9:09 AM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a proposed rule that contains significant reforms to end the cruel practice of horse soring – in which caustic chemicals, chains, hard objects, cutting and other gruesome techniques are used to injure the front legs and hooves of Tennessee walking horses, racking horses and related breeds. The goal of this abuse is to force the animals to perform an artificially high-stepping gait known as the big lick, which is rewarded in the show ring. 

A Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) undercover investigations in 2012 and 2015 at two top big lick training barns revealed systemic abuse and highlighted the urgent need for reform, despite the industry’s continued claims that it .........

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PET TRADE JEOPARDIZING SURVIVAL OF RARE REPTILES

July 16, 2016 @ 12:16 AM

Photo: wild turtle in everglades florida national parkA gecko for your terrarium? Or a tortoise? Or would you rather have a snake? Reptiles are exceedingly popular as “pets”. The illicit pet trade is booming. Between 2004 and 2014, official imports to the EU alone came to just under 21 million live specimens, more than six million of these ended up on the German market. These also include a large number of representatives of threatened species that can be sold at extremely high profits. Some collectors are quite willing to pay prices of several thousand euros for such rarities.

An international team of experts led by Mark Auliya of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig has now documented the implications of such transactions. The great demand from the .........

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THE SCOPE AND SCALE OF TROPHY HUNTING

July 15, 2016 @ 9:44 AM

Killing For Trophies: An Analysis of Global Trophy Hunting Trade is a new report that provides an in-depth look at the scope and scale of trophy hunting trade and isolates the largest importers of animal trophies worldwide.

The result of a comprehensive analysis of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Trade Database, the report found that as many as 1.7 million hunting trophies may have been traded between nations between 2004 and 2014, with at least 200,000 of that being made up of categories of species, also known as taxa, that are considered threatened.

“The trophy hunting industry is driven by demand, and sadly, demand for animal trophies is prevalent worldwide,” said .........

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RELOCATING NUISANCE ANIMALS UNHEALTHY FOR WILDLIFE

July 13, 2016 @ 11:26 AM

It’s a common phenomenon around the world: when humans observe wildlife in their neighborhood that they consider a nuisance, they call wildlife officials to have the animal removed and transported elsewhere, often great distances away. It makes people happy to think they are ridding themselves of a potential problem without killing the animal.

What they don’t know is that they may be killing the animal after all, and it can be a long, slow death.

That is the finding of a study by University of Rhode Island graduate student Anne Devan-Song, who studied the conflicts between people and snakes in Hong Kong, a region of high population density and high snake density and diversity.

“Human-animal conflicts happen everywhere.........

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EXPLORING WAYS TO COEXIST WITH WILDLIFE

July 12, 2016 @ 1:12 PM

Although protected areas such as national parks can play a crucial role in conserving wildlife, most species of large carnivores and large herbivores also depend on being able to occupy human-dominated landscapes. This sharing of space is often associated with conflicts between humans and wildlife, and between different groups of humans with divergent interests. In order to achieve a situation that can be described as "coexistence", there is a need to develop a more nuanced and realistic understanding of what this state looks like.

Recent research looks at ways to improve the ability of humans and carnivores to co-exist, which is crucial to carnivore conservation efforts around the world. Based on studies in areas as ......

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PET TRADE THREATENS SALAMANDERS AND NEWTS

July 11, 2016 @ 9:29 AM

The fate of the world’s richest biodiversity of salamanders and newts is in the hands of “pet” collectors across North America. At issue is salamander chytrid disease, caused by a fungus that infects both salamanders and newts with near total lethality. The fungus, known as B.sal, infects the skin, causing wart-like lesions. As the disease progresses, the animal stops eating, becomes lethargic, loses control of its body movements and eventually dies.

Originally from Asia, the disease has completely wiped out wild populations where it has appeared in Europe and the U.K., according to Natacha Hogan, an environmental toxicologist specializing in amphibians at the University of Saskatchewan.

“It’s basically the .........

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END OF ANIMAL LABS IN MEDICAL SCHOOLS

July 7, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Medical schools in the United States and Canada have ceased using live animals to teach students. A change 30 years in the making, animals are now belatedly but rightly absent from the process of educating medical students.

The last training program in the United States and Canada to use animals in its curriculum has announced its elimination of the misguided practice. The decision by the University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine in Chattanooga ushers in a new era of medical education; students earning their M.D. or D.O. degrees will no longer be asked to use animals in the study of human medicine.

In the past, students were required to participate in laboratory sessions where they were instructed to perform various procedures .........

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3.2 MILLION ANIMALS KILLED BY FEDS IN 2015

July 4, 2016 @ 8:12 PM

The highly secretive arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, known as Wildlife Services, killed more than 3.2 million animals during fiscal year 2015, according to new data released by the agency. The total number of wolves, coyotes, bears, mountain lions, beavers, foxes, eagles and other animals killed, largely at the behest of the livestock industry and other agribusinesses, represents a half-million-animal increase over the 2.7 million animals the agency killed in 2014.

Despite increasing calls for reform a century after the federal wildlife-killing program began in 1915, the latest kill report indicates that the program’s reckless slaughter continues, including 385 gray wolves, 68,905 coyotes (plus an unknown number of pups in.........

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