World News Roundup: February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017
Maureen McKinney

Bird flu in Europe and Asia, ancient animal burials in England, and goat plague in Mongolia top our world news this week.


Several strains of the “highly contagious H5N8 bird flu” have been found in Europe and Asia in recent months, leading to the culling of millions of birds. Experts believe the disease is being spread in these regions by wild birds.

Ancient Animal Burials Unearthed in England (

“Archaeologists have discovered what they think are the remains of an Anglo-Saxon church and ancient pagan animal burials in an archaeological dig” around a church in Shropshire, England. The remains, which are believed to date from the late 12th or 13th century, “could potentially rewrite the ecclesiastical history of Shropshire.”

Goat Plague Kills 2500 Endangered Antelopes (New York Times)

A virus called peste des petits ruminants (PPR), which typically affects only small ruminants, has killed 2500 saiga antelopes in Mongolia, about 25% of the country’s saiga population. The saiga antelope is currently listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Australian Vet Cares for Pets of Elderly and Disabled (Herald Sun)

“You’d be surprised how many people there are out there who are truly alone. That’s where we come in,” said Dr. Alicia Kennedy, who specializes in fostering the human—animal bond and recently founded an organization that works with elderly and disabled home owners to ensure their pets are well cared for.

Dog = Sheep = No Tax (Deutsche Welle)

For years, a man from Rostock in northeastern Germany pretended his Spanish water dog was a sheep to avoid paying the "dog tax." Now caught, he faces a fine and a tax-evasion lawsuit.

GAP Products Produced and Sold Across 6 Countries (BusinessWire)

“Consumers in six countries around the globe can purchase meat products certified by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), creator of North America’s most comprehensive farm animal welfare standards.” Stores and restaurants in 6 countries now sell meat and poultry from farms that adhere to strict animal welfare standards.

No More Dolphins on Planes in Indonesia? (The Advertiser Times)

“Animal welfare activists are calling for a ban on transporting dolphins by plane after filming footage that showed them being boxed into crates in a harness to take part in a travelling circus in Indonesia.” The cofounder of Jakarta Animal Aid Network said circus dolphins “usually move around the country once a month and can spend up to 40 hours travelling with only margarine or butter to keep them moist.”