CALIFORNIA APPROVES LEGISLATION TO END ORCA CAPTIVITY

August 30, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

The California legislature has sent historic legislation to Governor Jerry Brown that would prohibit the breeding and theatrical performance of captive orcas in California, as well as their export, consistent with federal law, out of North America.

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) was the co-sponsor of this legislation, along with former SeaWorld trainers Samantha Berg, Carol Ray, and John Hargrove. The sponsors and the author of the legislation, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), worked for two years to secure its passage.

The effort to end the display of captive orcas in the California legislature began in 2014, with Bloom’s introduction of AB 2140. While the hearing for that bill in the Assembly’s Committee on.........

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THREE QUARTERS OF THREATENED SPECIES IMPERILED FROM AGRICULTURE, LAND CONVERSION, HUNTING

August 20, 2016 @ 7:21 AM

A team of scientists report in the journal Nature that three quarters of the world’s threatened species are imperiled because people are converting their habitat into agricultural lands and overharvesting their populations.

The team, from the University of Queensland, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), studied information on 8,688 species on the IUCN Red List. They found that 72 percent of species are imperiled by overexploitation (the harvesting of species from the wild at rates that cannot be compensated for by reproduction or regrowth), while 62 percent of species are imperiled by agricultural activity (the production of food, fodder, fiber and fuel crops; livestock .........

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YOU CANNOT BLAME THE DEER

August 10, 2016 @ 10:19 AM

In the last decades, the disease Lyme borreliosis that is spread by ticks has been increasing – but this increase cannot be explained by the increasing deer population only. Results from the research project TickDeer, recently published in Nature Communications, shows that the percentage of ticks with Borrelia is decreasing in areas with a high deer population (deer, red deer and moose). However, the total number of ticks is higher.

Evidence points to a warmer climate contributing to tick-borne diseases. The change in the use of the landscape, resulting in more encroachment, is also a contributing factor.

Since 1991 Norway has registered all incidents with borreliosis in a so-called MSIS-statistics for reportable diseases. At the .........

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DOGS DE-STRESS FAMILIES WITH AUTISTIC CHILDREN

August 2, 2016 @ 7:15 AM

Having a canine companion reduces stress and significantly improves functioning in families who have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), new research has shown.

The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Lincoln, UK, and funded by the US-based Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation, also found a reduction in the number of dysfunctional interactions between parent and child among families which have a dog.

Published in the American Journal of Veterinary Behavior, it is among the first of a number of HABRI-funded research projects which examine the effects of companion animals on human health. This project focused specifically on the effects of dogs on families with children with ASD.

Professor .........

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SCIENTISTS CALL FOR REPLACEMENT OF ANIMALS IN ANTIBODY PRODUCTION

August 1, 2016 @ 9:19 AM

Routine scientific procedures using millions of animals are still being authorized when there is a tried and tested alternative, according to a group of scientists investigating the production of antibodies.

The scientists, writing in the Cell Press journal, Trends in Biotechnology, say the use of animals in consumer society is effectively ‘hidden’ and products assumed to be ‘animal-friendly’ are anything but. They say an animal friendly antibody production technique using bacteriophage viruses instead of live animals is being overlooked, despite the enormous potential for reduction in animal use.

The global antibody industry is worth 80 billion dollars and relies heavily on animals to produce the antibodies that .........

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