Another E. coli Flesh Recall

David Cassuto

There’s really nothing one can say about this that’s new.  Oh, the ongoing infamy.

GA Bar Adds Animal Law Section

Bridget Crawford

The State Bar of Georgia has added an Animal Law sectionLaw.com (pay site – sorry; 30 day passes available) has the story hereLaw.com reports that there are several animal-law related bills pending in the state legislature including HB 429 (protective orders for pets)and SB 131 (pet trusts).

“Organic” Rules Revised

David Cassuto

Breaking news from the AP:

The Agriculture Department is sharpening the standards for organic milk and meat.

New rules announced Friday say organic milk and meat must come from livestock that graze in pastures at least four months of the year. The old rules required only that animals have access to pasture.

The new organic rules also say 30 percent of animals’ feed must come from grazing and that ranchers must have a plan to protect soil and water quality.

The Agriculture Department has taken years to set new standards. Ranchers, food companies and consumer groups have been anxious for more specific rules surrounding what can be sold as organic.

I’ll have more to say on this after I review the new rule itself.

The Return of the Aurochs — Along With Some Baggage

David Cassuto

Ever seen an aurochs?  Ever heard of one?  Answers to the latter query may vary but the response to the former is assuredly “no.”  The aurochs is an ancestor of domestic cattle and went extinct in 1627.  Though domesticated 8,000 years ago, it also lived in the wild in much of Europe until the end of the Middle Ages.

Today, there is an effort to bring back the aurochs using a technique called “back-breeding.”  Here’s how they hope it will go:

Scientists will first scour old aurochs bone and teeth fragments from museums in order to glean enough genetic material to be able to recreate its DNA. Researchers will then compare the DNA to that of modern European cattle to determine which breeds still carry the creature’s genes and create a selective-breeding program to reverse thousands of years of evolution. If everything goes as planned, each passing generation will more closely resemble the ancient aurochs.

Habeas for Chimps

David Cassuto

I will soon be blogging from Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, to be precise).  More about that soon.  While in Rio, here‘s a case I’ll be following:

Jimmy is a 26 year old chimpanzee who has spent several years alone in a cage, where he’s on exhibit at a zoo in Niterói, Brazil, just outside of Rio de Janeiro.  Just last week, animal protection groups filed a motion to have Jimmy released on grounds of Habeas Corpus, arguing that he is being denied his rights to freedom of movement and to a decent life, in Rio’s Criminal Court.  Continue reading

NYC Carriage Horse Panel on 2/23

David Cassuto

More from the NYLHV email:
2/23 Panel Discussion: Protecting Animals and Humans: The Past, Present and Future of Horse Carriages in NYC

Since the 1970’s, New York City residents and animal protection organizations have advocated to protect horses used in the carriage industry and ensure public safety; however, the dangers created by animal-pulled vehicles in the streets of a major city threaten the safety of both people and animals. Horses, which weigh more than 1,000 pounds, continue to get spooked and collide with cars and pedestrians. They collapse on the streets. They die prematurely in stables. They suffer from punishing pavement, extreme weather conditions, and a lack of water.  Continue reading

NYLHV Board Member Nominated to AVMA Executive Board

David Cassuto

From the email (from the New York League of Humane Voters):

NYLHV Veterinarian Needs Your Help!

Dr. John Hynes, a veterinarian and Board Member of NYLHV has been nominated to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)  Executive Board. If Dr. Hynes is elected, he can work to strengthen animal welfare policies and help promote more humane legislation from within the organization.   Although the AVMA ought to oppose cruel and inhumane treatment to animals, they actually support many practices that cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals used for food, entertainment, research, and companionship.  All veterinarians will receive a ballot in the mail this week. Please call your veterinarians TODAY and ask them to vote for Dr. Hynes when they receive their ballot. He is our best hope for improving conditions for animals, and getting more humane legislation passed through this national veterinary organization. To reach Dr. Hynes, or for more information, visit www.nycvet.org.