World News Roundup: June 24, 2017
What you missed this week in veterinary world news: banning the sale of dogs and cats in Vancouver pet stores, dogs sniffing out cancer in a new Japanese trial, Bali tourists being tricking into eating dog meat, and more.
Dogs to Sniff Out Cancer in Japanese Trial (Smithsonian Magazine)
The impressive and intriguing ability of dogs to sniff out cancer will be put to the test in an upcoming Japanese trial. Cancer-detection dogs will sniff urine samples of resisents of Kaneyama, a town where rates of stomach cancer are high. “In our research so far, cancer detection dogs have been able to find [signs of] cancer with an accuracy of nearly 100 percent," says the professor who is leading in the program.
India Buffalo-Meat Industry on Chopping Block (The Economist)
India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recent ruling that cattle, including water buffalo, may no longer be sold in open markets for the express purpose of slaughter has caused a public outcry. India, which earns around $4 billion annually by exporting beef, was the world’s biggest beef exporter last year. Nearly all of the profit comes from buffalo, though, not cow.
Snake Fungal Disease Observed for First Time in Europe (ZME Science)
Fungal diseases have affected over 30 species of snakes in the United States, and now the same diseases have spread to European snakes. “It’s unclear if a single pathogen is responsible or if it is a series of ailments rather than one, but the most likely culprit seems to be a pathogen called Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, which causes skin lesions, scabs, and crusty scales and can cause fatal infections in some cases.”
Bali Tourists Tricked into Eating Dog Meat (Global Meat News)
“Holidaymakers are unwittingly eating dog meat on the Indonesian island of Bali, according to an Animals Australia investigation, raising questions about food safety and animal abuse.” Local dog meat gangs are apparently lying about the origin of the satay meat sticks they are selling. Dog meat consumption is legal in Indonesia.
Vancouver May Ban Sale of Cats and Dogs in Pet Stores (The Independent)
Vancouver is considering placing a ban on the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet stores due to complaints regarding the ill treatment of animals. “People have started telling us that there has been a history of bad treatment of animals, not at the stores necessarily, but at the mills that produce these animals.” The Canadian Kennel Club, though, prohibits breeders from selling dogs to pet stores, so these sales should not have been happening to begin with.
UK Dormice in Danger of Extinction (The Independent)
One of the “most endearing woodland mammals” in the United Kingdom is in danger of extinction. While the hazel dormouse is a protected species, a survey of 26,000 nest boxes in 400 forests found that its population fell by 72% between 1993 and 2014. “The reasons behind the decline are unclear, but woodland management, habitat loss, and climate change are among the possible explanations.”
“In a recent Royal College of Nursing survey of 750 nursing staff, 82% said animals could help patients be more physically active and 60% said they believed animals improved physical recovery.” The college is currently working on national advice to encourage more animal visitors to hospital wards to help patient recovery and reduce anxiety before and after surgery. Many of the nurses surveyed said animals were not allowed in the hospitals where they worked.