Caged raccoons drooled in 100-degree heat.  But federal enforcement has faded.

Source: The Washington Post

(August 22, 2019) For two days running in the summer of 2017, the temperature inside a metal barn in Iowa hovered above 96 degrees. Nearly 300 raccoons, bred and sold as pets and for research, simmered in stacked cages. Several lay with legs splayed, panting and drooling, a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector wrote. On the third day, the thermometer hit 100, and 26 raccoons were “in severe heat distress” and “suffering,” the inspector reported. Then a USDA team of veterinarians and specialists took a rare step: They confiscated 10 of the animals and made plans to come back for the others...Read more»


Veterinary care for all

Source: JAVMA

(August 14, 2019) Veterinary care access was the central topic during the first Access to Veterinary Care Symposium, hosted by the Program for Pet Health Equity, June 28-29 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Over 100 attendees from across the U.S. and Canada came together to discuss and debate how to care for the large number of animals owned by families that cannot afford veterinary care. The event focused on recommendations outlined in "Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy," a report released by the PPHE in December 2018. Much of the discussion centered around the use of a subsidized veterinary care program called AlignCare that would provide incremental veterinary care, facilitate community-based funding, and engage social service agencies and social workers...Read more»


When working with animals can hurt your mental health

Source: ScienceDaily

(August 9, 2019) While it might sound like fun to work around pets every day, veterinarians and people who volunteer at animal shelters face particular stressors that can place them at risk for depression, anxiety and even suicide, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association. "People who work or volunteer with animals are often drawn to it because they see it as a personal calling," said Angela K. Fournier, PhD, of Bemidji State University, who presented at the meeting. "However, they are faced with animal suffering and death on a routine basis, which can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue and mental health issues..."Read more»


'Horrible Hundred' identifies problem puppy mills, calls on USDA to enforce penalties

Source: dvm360

(August 1, 2019) The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recently published a list of one hundred problem puppy mills and dog sellers. Dubbed ‘The Horrible Hundred,’ this report is published annually to warn consumers about common problems associated with puppy mills and to urge government oversight agencies, such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and some local departments of agriculture, to live up to their enforcement obligations. The USDA is responsible for inspecting dog breeding kennels in every state if they have five or more breeding females and sell sight-unseen, such as through pet stores or online...Read more»


Why Are So Many Veterinarians in America Being Pushed to the Point of Suicide?


(July 22, 2019) According to a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), veterinarians are 3½ times more likely to die by suicide than members of the general population. The study analyzed the death records of some 11,620 veterinarians between the years of 1979 and 2015 — a period during which 398 vets, 326 men and 72 women, died by suicide. What’s more, less than half of veterinarians currently in practice would recommend their career path to others, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine...Read more»


Why So Many Horses Have Died at Santa Anita

Source: The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

(June 26, 2019) On the morning of March 29, Santa Anita Park was reopening for racing for the first time in three weeks after the mystifying deaths of nearly two dozen horses. Satellite trucks, national news reporters and animal rights activists converged for what had become a macabre death watch. But California regulators were watching a live surveillance feed of a trainer’s assistant carrying a bucket into the stall of a horse named Tick Tock. Moments after the assistant left, a white foam was visible on the horse’s lips, often a telltale sign of performance-enhancing drugs...Read more»


Fake Meat Will Save Us

Source: The New York Times

(June 21, 2019) At a moment when animal-based agriculture is near the top of planet-killing culprits, ditching meat for substitutes, faux or otherwise, is the most effective thing an individual can do to fight climate change, according to a study in the journal Science. Industrial agriculture to produce meat is the coal-mining of food production. At the same time, unhealthy diets pose a greater risk of early death than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined, as the medical journal Lancet recently reported...Read more»


Body-on-a-chip mimics how organs and cancer cells react to drugs

Source: ScienceNews

(June 19, 2019) A new body-on-a-chip system could provide a more holistic view of drug effects than other devices of its kind. Unlike traditional organ-on-a-chip devices that simulate a single organ, the new setup contains five chambers to house different types of cells, connected by channels that circulate a nutrient solution to mimic blood flow. This is the first organ-on-a-chip scheme to examine how a drug and its chemical by-products affect target cells and other tissue at the same time, researchers report online June 19 in Science Translational Medicine...Read more»

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