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Monday News Grab Bag!

It *is* Monday, right? When you’re not working regularly, the days just bleed together.

I haven’t been updating much lately. I was traveling and visiting family. But the good news is that I have lots of posts planned; brace yourselves!

For now, here’s a bunch of articles that I’ve come across. Got any articles to share? Please feel free to post in the comments. I’d love more interaction from my readers!

ANIMALS & SCIENCE

Livestock Gut Microbes Contributing to Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The EPA attributes one-fifth of methane emissions to livestock such as cattle, sheep and other ruminants. In fact, ruminant livestock are the single largest source of methane emissions, and in a country like New Zealand (NZ), where the sheep outnumber people 7 to 1, that’s a big deal. However, not all ruminants are equal when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. It turns out that the amount of methane produced varies substantially across individual animals of the same ruminant species. […] To learn why the amount of methane that ruminants produce varies, the researchers took advantage of a large sheep screening and breeding program in NZ that aims to breed low methane-emitting ruminants without impacting other traits such as reproduction and wool and meat quality. 

Animals Conceal Sickness Symptoms In Certain Social Situations: The idea is that Go Premiumbehaving sick helps animals recover from the disease and so this should be the default way to behave when sick. However, if being sick coincides with, for example, a unique opportunity to mate, then animals may adjust their priorities and behave as though they are not sick.” Lopes goes on to suggest that such a change may have tradeoffs for an animal with limited energy to invest in recovering from illness versus mating or caring for young.

HEALTH

Conditions linked to deadly bird flu revealed: High risk areas identified: The researchers found that the key factors facilitating the emergence and spread of H7N9 are dense clusters of live poultry markets, which aggregate birds from large geographical areas, located near or just outside densely populated urban areas.

The existence of “wetland-related” agriculture near the markets, such as farms that raise ducks in flooded rice fields, appeared to be a contributing factor linked to the initial emergence of the virus. But overall, the scientists did not find a link between the emergence of H7N9 and “intensive” poultry operations proliferating in China that raise a larger number of birds. In fact, the study notes that H7N9 has thus far been absent from live poultry markets in Northeastern China, a region that is home to many of the country’s commercial-scale poultry operations.

 

COMPANION ANIMALS

Petland CEO Fights Pet Shop Bans: The ASPCA defines a puppy mill as a “large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that places profit over the well-being of its dogs — who are often severely neglected — and acts without regard to responsible breeding practices.” Petland counters that groups such as the ASPCA are painting commercial breeders with a broad brush and driving consumers toward breeding operations that are unregulated. […] Petland defends its sourcing of puppies, saying they come from U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed breeders and distributors, with no direct violations on their latest inspection report; hobby breeders, who raise their dogs in a humane manner; and local adoption pets that have been checked by a veterinarian. Surprise, surprise! A national chain that sells pets is unsupportive of legislation aimed at curbing puppy mills.

FOOD

The Role Robotics Could Play in the Food Industry: The world’s rapidly growing population brings new challenges for global food security. To meet the future demand for more, cheaper and better quality food, new and innovative solutions and improvements to current agricultural practices are required. Agricultural robotics is one of the promising technological solutions for addressing these problems. I mean, I think it can be great to research new techs to address food security. But focusing on developing robots to look for blemishes on potatoes is just putting a band-aid over the problem. We should be more worried about raising and killing animals for food, which inefficiently uses land resources, destroys the environment, and contributes to world starvation.

Taste Test: Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Vegan Cheese: Not worth posting an excerpt. A bunch of people tasted vegan cheese out of the package and didn’t like it. Womp, womp. Next time try the cheeses in a recipe! I personally love Follow Your Heart’s mozz on pizza.

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About The Paw Report

I graduated from St. John's University School of Law in 2012, and am admitted to practice law in New York State. I was a member of the New York City Bar Association's Animal Law Committee for three years. I was born and raised in Rhode Island, but moved to New Mexico when I was 18. After dabbling in film for two years, I graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Anthropology. I've been living in New York City since 2008, and currently reside in Brooklyn with my boyfriend and our two cats. I am a former organizer with Direct Action Everywhere - New York City.

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