World News Roundup: July 21, 2017


In this week’s world news roundup: the high cost of pet insurance in Australia, an African entrepreneur’s answer to the country’s counterfeit drug problem, and canine ring bearers denied their duties at an Italian wedding.

Italian Town Bans Dogs from Being Ring Bearers (The Independent)

After a couple requested that their two bullmastiffs be the ring bearers at their wedding, the mayor of Pontirolo Nuovo in northern Italy shot them down, saying that a special day like this should be taken seriously. “This has probably backfired in terms of income for the town as the couple are now seeking an alternative venue to the Pontirolo Nuovo town hall, preferably one that accepts dogs.”

First Test-Tube Rhinos Could Be Born from Safari Park in England (Longleat)

With only 3 northern white rhinos remaining in the world, zoologists around the world are embarking on a project to revive the endangered species through in vitro fertilization. The first test-tube rhinos could be born from animals at Longleat safari park in England. “Scientists have collected nine eggs from the park’s three southern white rhinos, who have failed to mate with their only male, and sent them to specialists in Italy” to be fertilized with male white rhino sperm.

Puerto Rican Economic Crisis Leaves Zoo Animals Malnourished, Neglected (The Independent)

“The economic crisis afflicting Puerto Rico for the last decade has also taken a toll on the island’s only zoo, with critics saying it is sorely understaffed and struggling to care for its animals on a limited budget.” The 45-acre zoo features over 300 species, but many of these housed animals are being poorly treated and uncared for.

Australian Pet Insurance Costs More Than Car Insurance (

“Man's best friend is costing more to insure each year than his car.” Research has revealed that annual pet insurance premiums can cost dog owners up to $1123 and cat owners up to $770 per year. These premiums are high compared with comprehensive car insurance, which costs $763 per year on average for drivers aged between ages 30 and 49.

Indian Chicken Farms Found to Breed Drug-Resistant Superbugs (Financial Times)

Amid the growing international alarm over the spread of drug-resistant superbugs, researchers have found that India’s poultry industry has become a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant superbugs. “Scientists found that two-thirds of the birds tested harbored bacteria that produce an enzyme that can neutralize many common antibiotics used to treat human infections.”

Veterinary Clinics Aim to Improve Animal Welfare In Tongo (RadioNZ)

Five veterinarians and six veterinary nurses from New Zealand will travel to Tongatapu, Tonga in August as part of an ongoing campaign to improve small animal welfare in the South Pacific. The team of volunteers will be spaying and neutering animals, “providing parasite treatments, and vaccinating dogs against the parovirus.”

Senegalese Entrepreneur’s Solution to Counterfeit Drugs Problem (Atlanta Black Star)

“With the circulation of expired and counterfeit drugs on the rise,” some West African countries, as well as a recently launched Sengalese startup, are looking to keep the medications off the market. The startup “organizes the collection of unused and expired drugs from people who are then awarded points that can be used to obtain other medicines in the future.”

Qantas Airline Refuses to Take Responsibility for Death of Pet Bird (

“A woman who paid Qantas $2510 to transport her beloved pet bird to London has accused the airline of refusing to take responsibility for its death from suspected hypothermia.” The woman has been battling unsuccessfully with the airline for 4 months, looking for answers over how her beloved bird froze to death.

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