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Tag: goats

PETA seeks probe of Texas researchers

PETA has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an immediate investigation of how the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston is treating the dogs, monkeys, sheep, goats, ferrets and mice being used in experiments.

PETA says a whistleblower has informed them that the animals are being intentionally burned, mutilated, and cut open for experiments the organization describes as “cruel.” Also at issue, PETA says, are claims that the animals are receiving inadequate veterinary care, and are being neglected and handled carelessly by improperly trained staff.

The unidentified whistleblower told PETA that researcher Daniel Traber has subjected sheep, pigs, and mice to third-degree burns on up to 40 percent of their bodies and forced the animals to inhale smoke from burning cotton. UTMB experimenters also intentionally caused spinal cord and sciatic nerve injuries in sheep, PETA says.

“Our source also reports the following: UTMB faculty members cut open dogs and surgically implanted tubes into their colons for irritable bowel experiments. One dog reportedly died during surgery, and another died in pain following surgery when staff members did not provide anesthetics and were apparently unable to use the monitoring equipment correctly.”

PETA says it has has repeatedly reached out to UTMB through letters and phone calls to discuss the alleged violations, but has gotten no response. A PETA petition urges  UTMB to “immediately conduct a thorough investigation of the university’s laboratories and dismiss any employees whose incompetence, negligence, or outright cruelty are found to have contributed to increased pain and misery for animals.”

PETA highlighted Traber, of UTMB Department of Anesthesiology, two years ago in its “Vivisector of the Month” column, which reported that:

“Traber … has made a living for almost three decades by burning animals’ skin off. In a recent experiment, he either torched mice with a Bunsen burner until more than 40 percent of their bodies was charred or forced them to inhale smoke. A few select mice got the full treatment—they were both burned and forced to inhale smoke. Some died during the experiment, and survivors were subsequently killed.

“In another study, Traber heated an aluminum bar to nearly 400 degrees with a Bunsen burner and roasted the skin of live pigs on it for 30 seconds, creating a series of deep burns that covered 15 percent of their bodies. In order to repair the deliberately injured animals, Traber and colleagues then removed skin from the pigs’ legs to graft over the areas that had been burned off. After living through all this torture, the pigs were killed. Again, this is only his most recent work—Traber has been burning, mutilating, and killing sheep for years.”

The eyes have it

Animal eyes — and how some of them work differently than our’s — is the topic of an interesting piece at Environmental Graffiti.

Among the 10 sets of peepers featured are those of the Siberian husky — cold, steely and perfectly placed to detect movement.

Not to mention often of different colors. Some huskys have brown, blue, or amber eyes. Many have a combination of thereof.

Among the others selected as the “10 most incredible eyes are” those belonging to owls, geckos, hippos, chameleons, butterflies, goats, frogs and cuttlefish.

Animal relief effort coordinated for Haiti

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have  agreed to head up a coalition of groups to address the needs of animals in Haiti following the earthquake that devastated the country.

In addition to the massive humanitarian crisis, there are an estimated 5 million head of livestock in the country (mostly goats), a large stray dog population, an untold number of companion animals, and native wildlife all adversely affected by the earthquake, according to an IFAW press release.

“This is a massive challenge and animal non-profits need to cooperate as much as possible,” said Ian Robinson, IFAW’s Emergency Relief Director. “We’re already concerned about a possible outbreak of rabies, leptospirosis, or another zoonotic disease. We need to set up vaccination and feeding programs as soon as possible. Finally, we need to get acute, critical care to the animals that need it most. There’s a lot to do. More than we can do alone.”

Currently, a team is staging in the Dominican Republic waiting to get into Haiti to begin work. IFAW and WSPA have also begun to stock a mobile clinic with vaccines, antibiotics, bandages, food, and other supplies in anticipation of bringing direct aid to animals.

“We’re not certain exactly what we’ll be doing, when we’ll start, or what challenges we’ll face,” said Robinson. “But we know a few things: we’re prepared, we’ve set up a system to work together with other groups, and, given the scale of this disaster, we know we’ll be there a long time.”

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) saves animals in crisis around the world. Headquartered in the United States, it has representation in 15 countries and 1.2 million supporters around the world.

Anne Arundel police shoot three pit bulls

Anne Arundel County Police shot and killed three pit bulls Monday night after the dogs were reported to be attacking livestock.

The dogs were among five that were reported to have been injuring goats and sheep in a fenced area on the 1600 block of Bay Head Road in Annapolis, WBAL-TV reported. Three dogs were still attacking livestock when police arrived Monday night.

“Fearing for their safety and the safety of the remaining livestock, officers located and shot three pit bulls,” police said in a press release.

None of the dogs had collars, microchips or other forms of identification.

In total, five sheep were killed, including two that had to be euthanized due to the extent of their injuries and a third that was shot by police to end its suffering. Four goats were injured during the attack.

Police said the dogs were owned by Richard Watts, 51. He was issued six citations — three for animals running at large and three for public safety threats.

“This was a very tragic incident as several animals died as a result of this attack,” said County Executive John R. Leopold. “I urge all pet owners to keep their pets on leashes and properly secure them from running loose and becoming a threat to public safety.”

In Arizona, a sanctuary for unwanted animals

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

As part of its continuing “Making a Difference” series, NBC Nightly News recently featured the Circle L Ranch — an Arizona sanctuary for dogs, cats, horses and other farm animals that, though we’ve yet to pay it a visit, I have a hunch we someday will.

That’s because the woman behind it, Phoenix physician Deborah Wilson, happens to be married to one of my many former bosses — a member, in fact, of that extremely small and highly exclusive group, “Bosses I liked.”

Dr. Wilson, who’s the wife of Steve Wilson, communications director for Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, says the Circle L, like most sanctuaries and shelters, has seen unprecedented numbers of animals coming in due to the faltering economy, foreclosures and layoffs. “It’s just one sad, heartbreaking story after another,” she told NBC’s Maria Menounos.

The Circle L Ranch, on 37 acres in the Prescott Valley, was established as a sanctuary in 2006 and is now home to 70 horses and an assortment of cows, goats, sheep, not to mention cats and dogs.

Dr. Wilson, its founder, is an animal rights advocate who has been active in the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and PETA. She’s on the Board of Directors of Audubon Arizona and Liberty Wildlife.

Lost at sea, dog shows up after four months

Four months after their cattle dog fell overboard off the coast of Australia, a couple has been reunited with the pooch.

Owner Jan Griffith said her dog, Sophie Tucker, fell off the side of their boat in choppy waters off the Mackay coast in north Queensland in late November.

Apparently, the dog swam five nautical miles to St. Bees Island, where she survived until last week by hunting baby goats. She was returned to her family last week after rangers captured what they believed was a wild dog, according to an Australian Associated Press report.

Ms. Griffith said she and her husband had contacted rangers after friends suggested the dog – who had developed a reputation on the island – might be their long-lost pet.

Last Tuesday the couple met the rangers’ boat as it ferried the dog back to the mainland.

“We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us,” Ms. Griffith said.

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