World News Roundup: April 16, 2017

April 16, 2017
Maureen McKinney

In this week’s roundup: World Veterinary Day, the London Marathon, avian flu, a miracle dog, and more stories from around the world.

Better Care for Horses Around the World (

Horses in the United States receive excellent veterinary care, but that’s not the case for horses everywhere in the world. “With its new campaign 'Vets for Horses,' international charity World Horse Welfare is pushing to improve the training of equine veterinarians in 16 developing countries, to help improve the health and welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules.”

Veterinarian to Run London Marathon Dressed as Donkey (Dunmow Broadcast)

Equine veterinarian Ben Portus, BSc(Hons), BVSc, MRCVS, plans to run the London Marathon later this month dressed as a donkey. Why? To raise money for the charity Brooke—Action for Working Horses and Donkeys. “The practical support, care, and education they’re providing for the poorest, hardest-working donkeys, horses, and their owners is essential,” says Dr. Portus, who is a director at Paton & Lee Equine Veterinary Surgery in Witham, Essex.

Eating, Selling Dog and Cat Meat Banned in Taiwan (Fox News)

“Taiwan's legislature has explicitly banned the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat and increased the penalty for animal cruelty, underscoring growing awareness of animal welfare in one of Asia’s most prosperous societies. People who sell or eat dog or cat meat face a fine of up to $8000 and their names and photos may be publicized.”

UC Davis Veterinary Science Ranks First in World (The California Aggie)

QS World University Rankings has ranked the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine first for the second year in a row. “QS rankings are based on reputational surveys and research citations. This year, QS evaluated 4438 universities, then qualified 3098, and ranked 1117 institutions. For the fifth consecutive year, UC Davis has also ranked second as a top university in agriculture and forestry.”

World Veterinary Day 2017 Theme: Antimicrobial Resistance (

April 29, 2017 is World Veterinary Day, which “aims to highlight and promote the different facets of the work performed by veterinarians all over the world and to raise awareness of their contribution to improve animal health and welfare, as well as public health. Each year, a different theme is selected by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).” This year’s theme is “Antimicrobial Resistance: From Awareness to Action.”

Purina ONE Introduces ONE Score to Canadian Pet Owners (Yahoo! Finance)

“To help Canadians celebrate National Pet Day, earlier this week Purina ONE unveiled a new scoring system that enables pet owners to measure and better understand their dog’s overall health from the comfort of their homes, dubbed ONE Score. ONE Score examines 7 key areas of a dog's overall health: energy level, appetite, bowel movements, skin condition, coat quality, breath smell, and dental appearance.” The pet owner then receives an overall rating aimed to give owners “an informal health assessment, as well as recommended next steps.”

China Reports 6 New Bird Flu Cases, 1 Death (Reuters)

“China reported 6 new cases of H7N9 bird flu including 1 death in Hunan after live poultry markets in the province were shuttered last month. The infections were reported in the last week of March by the provincial center for disease control and prevention, according to a report by Xinhua news agency on Sunday. In March, authorities reported an outbreak of the virus in the province originating from a farm with about 29,760 infected birds. Over 170,000 birds were culled as a result.”

Miracle Dog Survives 3 Trains Passing Over Him (

In what can only be described as a miracle, a King Charles cavalier mix in Australia found himself alone on train tracks, where a train was unable to stop and knocked the dog flat. Two other trains then passed over Charlie, who was found alive and taken for emergency medical care. The dog was not expected to survive the night, but he did. Charlie’s prognosis: “In 6 to 8 weeks, he should be all systems firing.”

Outcry in China Over Animal Marketing Ploy (

“In modern business, many retailers are hoping for a viral marketing gimmick, but this is surely not what a local alcohol retailer in Hunan province had in mind.” As part of a promotional stunt, the store owner forced a giant salamander to drink rice wine. When the video was shared by an animal welfare organization, it went viral for all the wrong reasons, provoking “massive outrage” and being “unanimously slammed.”

Pet Dog, Healthy Baby (Mirror)

Having a pet dog in the home during pregnancy and soon after birth can help reduce a child’s chances of developing allergies and becoming obese later in life, according to a new study. “Microbes found in the fur of man’s best friend lead to 2 types of friendly bacteria in humans that are associated with a lower risk of both allergies (including asthma) and obesity. It found that having a dog around while the baby is in the womb and for 3 months after birth increases the likelihood of these bacteria working.”