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Tag: livestock

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.

Farm justice: Was wrong dog executed?

nubisA New York dog may have been executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

Suspected in the death of six alpacas at a neighboring farm in Forestburgh, Nubis, a Belgian malinois, was shot by an employee at the farm — five days after the alpacas were found dead.

Now, a report issued by an animal control officer says there’s no evidence connecting Nubis to the alpaca attack.

The dog belonged to Ben Wechsler, neighbor of Stuart Salenger, who owns the farm. The two men have a history of not getting along, according to the Times Herald-Record.

Animal Control Officer Arnold Burger said the likely culprits in the slaying of Salenger’s animals were coyotes, not dogs, and that photographs provided by Salenger are insufficient evidence to confirm the dog was shot in the alpaca pen. The photos show the dog’s body in two locations, he said. Salenger said his farm workers removed the dog from the pen because the body was bothering his animals.

(Photo courtesy of Peter K. Bertine, Jr.)

Sacrificed animals found in Philadelphia home

SPCA investigators in Philadelphia found the remains of dozens of animals when they responded to a report of a dogs living inside a house in unsanitary conditions.

The animals, found inside a house on North Front Street, had apparently been sacrificed in religious rituals.

“The whole house was covered in feathers from chickens that had been sacrificed,” said George Bengal, director of law enforcement of the Pennsyvlania SPCA. There were also skeletons of what were possibly other farm animals, and what appeared to be skeletons of dogs, cats and possibly primates, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Bengal said a blood-spattered altar had been set up in the house. Candles were burning and music was playing when investigators arrived. Two dogs were found alive, according to Bengal.

On Sunday, Pennsylvania SPCA officers used a warrant to search the property after receiving a tip that two emaciated dogs were being kept at the house.

They found, and removed, the dogs, but only after confronting an elaborate altar and the bones of possibly several hundred animals that had been killed, apparently as part of Santeria – a combination of African religions and Catholicism that originated among slaves in the Caribbean, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today.

The officers also found what appeared to be the remains of small monkeys.

Bengal said the man who lived at the house and is suspected of performing many of the killings is believed to be in Mexico. His wife , who may still be in the city, is being sought for questioning.

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.”

Making the case for eating our dogs

eatinganimals_200Another book has come out that makes the case for eating our dogs.

On the heels of “Time to Eat the Dog,” by New Zealand professors Brenda and Robert Vale, who admit their title is mostly a shock tactic and who don’t actually propose consuming our pets, comes Jonathan Safran Foer with “Eating Animals,” who says eating our dogs would be no more barbaric than our consumption of pigs, cattle, chickens, etc.

For Foer, interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered yesterday, the idea of consuming dogs makes even more sense, on some levels, than eating animals raised to be food.

“For the ecologically-minded,” he writes, “it’s time to admit that dog is realistic food for realistic environmentalists.” That last part sounds almost like an advertising slogan, doesn’t it?

Foer’s book was also excerpted in the Wall Street Journal last week, so it’s probably OK if we cut off and chew on a little piece of it here:

Read more »

Will Texas law make dogs “invasive species?”

Roaming dogs and cats could be considered “invasive species” under the wording of a bill now being considered by the Texas legislature

The bill, SB 691, is intended to control, prevent and eradicate “invasive species” that threaten the economy, the environment or human health. But the language of the bill is so vague that dogs and cats could fall under it, leading to them being impounded or killed, according to the Texas Humane Legislation Network.

While the bill makes clear that livestock are exempted, it does not exempt dogs and cats.

The bill is now before the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs. THLN is urging citizens to contact committee members, requesting that dogs and cats be exempted from the law. To learn how to do that keep reading. Read more »

A law worth shooting down

The otherwise dog-friendly state of Washington is working to remove two embarassingly unfriendly laws from its books, both of which require wandering dogs to be shot.

The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday that could repeal both, the Associated Press reported.

“I thought it was a joke. I didn’t realize that this was in statute,” said Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, sponsor of the measure to repeal the old laws. “It’s very outdated … they need to go.”

One of the laws in question gives dog owners 48 hours to kill their dog if it is found killing another animal. The other law requires sheriffs to kill any dog running at large without a metal dog tag, between the months of August and February.

The measure now moves to the House for consideration. The laws have been on the books since the early 1900s when the health and welfare of livestock was of greater concern to state residents.

Homeward bound: Head ‘em up, move ‘em out

My amazing eight days in Seoul — which I’ll tell you a thing or two about in the days ahead – are over, and I’m almost home.

One more flight to go, from San Francisco to Baltimore, and that’s not for another few hours, giving me time to sit in the airport and reflect on things such as why we humans transport ourselves much like we transport our livestock.

Why is it those in charge of moving us non-grade A/non-first-class humans from one place to another feel we must be cramped and sweaty, packed in like these pick-up truck pigs I snapped a picture of in Yongin, about 40 miles south of Seoul.

Sure, we humans get beverage service, and perhaps headsets to listen to music, and reclining seats, but other than that — and the fact that we’re not slaughtered when we reach our destination — the experiences have some parallels. And if we were to look at subways, there’d be even more.

Subways are cheap and fast and, as crowded as those in Seoul could get, I never found myself resentful about feeling like part of the herd. With airline travel, because of the hefty cost and all the extra hassles, I’m more likely to oink about it.

I wonder if it might send a message if we all took to mooing and squealing as we trudged through the line on our way through the airport security chute. Or should we just be thankful that they don’t use cattle prods  to speed us along?

Granted, the average economy airline seat offers more room than these pigs get — but not much more, especially if the passenger in front of you has his seat fully reclined.

Fortunately, I slept through most of my last 10 airplane-seat hours — and I hope to do the same for most of the upcoming six. It’s not exactly quality sleep, what with some stranger’s elbow in your side, but it makes the time go by, and allows you to recover from the treatment you’ve just received from the security wranglers.

I think that’s why, even when one sleeps for the entire journey, one is still exhausted upon arriving home — the stress and cramped conditions of air travel. Still, I’m grateful for this much:

When I get to my final destination I might be toast. But at least I won’t be bacon.

The Turtle Man: ‘Kentucky’s best kept secret’

With apologies to my old Kentucky home for setting back its effort to overcome hillbilly stereotypes, we present Ernie Brown Jr., the Turtle Man — snagger of snapping turtles.

“I try not to smile cause I got my teeth knocked out by a chain saw,” he explains to the photographer in this piece for Kentucky Afield TV.

Brown, from Lebanon, Ky., calls himself “Kentucky’s best-kept secret” and “the poorest famous guy around.” Brown travels to farms and rids ponds of turtles causing problems such as biting horses and cows.

You can also find an excellent story and video about Brown in the Lexington Herald.

Brown, unlike most other turtle eradicators, works only with his hands. As for the shrill yell he emits with each catch, that’s not hillbilly — not purely a rebel yell, he explains — but half native American, as he says he is.

Though he says the turtles make for “good eatin’,” Brown insists he takes the turtles to ponds where they won’t cause problems. “I’m kind of like a warrior, like Robin Hood,” he says. “I bring a turtle out of this pond, put him in another where he won’t do no violence.”

“I don’t kill it,” says The Turtle Man. “I only catch it. Don’t never torture nothing. That’s my name of the game. That’s how you stay into it. Keep people liking you.”

Guard dogs protect sheep, save cheetah

Guard dogs that protect sheep and goats on African farms from attacks by cheetahs and leopards are also helping out the cheetahs and leopards.

With their livestock safe from attack, farmers no longer feel the need to hunt or poison cheetahs and leopards, according to a BBC report.

Anatolian Kangal dogs are used in the program, started in Namibia and recently launched in Kenya.

“We have had amazing results,” Laurie Marker of the Cheetah Conservation Fund said.  “Since the dogs were imported, the cheetah population had increased by a third.” 

Anatolian Kangal dogs are extremely loyal and are ready to fight to the death. The puppies are given to farmers when they are just eight weeks old and grow up with the flocks of goats and sheep they are to guard in order to bond with them.

If a predator approaches, the dogs bark loudly and the flock gathers round them. For most predators, the barking alone is enough to keep them from approaching.

The Conservation Trust began importing the Kangal from Turkey in 1994 and since then has provided around 300 dogs to farmers.