This week in veterinary news from around the world: Police in Britain believe a serial killer of cats may be escalating his crimes, officials are cracking down on illegal puppy farming in Northern Ireland, and animal rights activists sign a petition against a new Canadian restaurant serving seal meat.
Animal Rights Activists and Inuit Clash in Canada (The Guardian)
The long-strained relationship between animal rights and environmental groups and indigenous communities in Canada was exacerbated after a Toronto restaurant revealed that 2 dishes on its menu contain seal meat. According to restaurant owner Joseph Shawana, sourcing the meat was done with due diligence. “Canada has a huge, federally regulated seal industry,” he said. “The Inuit have never harvested white seal pups — that is very frowned upon.”
Crackdown in Northern Ireland on Puppy Farming (Belfast Telegraph)
The United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) is cracking down on transports of illegally bred puppies in the United Kingdom—joining forces with SPCAs in Scotland and Ireland, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, port authorities, and the ferry operator Stena Line. According to the USPCA, “thousands of puppies a year are coming through Northern Ireland” in what the organization calls an “intelligence-led operation.”
Ninety Percent of UK Dog Owners Overfeed Pets (Daily Mail)
According to an analysis of 2800 UK dog owners by dog food retailer Tails.com, 9 out of 10 are overfeeding their pets. The survey also revealed that “89% give in to puppy-dog eyes and treat their four-legged friends to human snacks.” Portion control is key to maintaining healthy weight in dogs, but nearly 1 in 3 owners surveyed said they did not measure food portions and were unaware of how many calories their pet actually needs.
South African Community Donates 1.5 Tons of Animal Food (Qatar Tribune)
“A group of South African community members in Qatar donated one and a half tons of animal food to Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS).” QAWS is an animal shelter that houses abandoned and stray cats and dogs, provides them with food, and shows them regular veterinary care while awaiting adoption. According to a QAWS official, “South African expats have really been a huge support to us coming every year with this food offer.”
Cat Serial Killer on the Loose in Britain (The Washington Post)
Many believe the so-called “Croydon Cat Ripper,” a serial killer of cats in Great Britain who has eluded capture for 2 years, is escalating his crimes. “Since the first killing in late 2015, more than 370 animals are believed to have been mutilated by the same suspect.” While most of the victims have been pet cats, other animals—such as foxes, rabbits, and puppies—have also been reported. Usually the animals are “decapitated, with their tails and ears cut off, stomachs slashed and organs removed, the tortured remains sometimes drained of blood.”
Indian Animal Rights Group Unveils Cruel Dairy Practices (Times of India)
A 70-page report by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations highlighted a number of horrifying practices among dairies throughout the country. This report is an “outcome of an investigation into 451 dairies across 10 states.” One of these horrifying practices includes the “chilling revelation of the use of a ‘khalbaccha,’ or an effigy made by stuffing hay into a dead calf to mimic it is alive for milking cows.”
“A number of ‘pet food banks’ are cropping up across the UK, while animal rescue charities say some hard-up owners are giving away pets they cannot afford to feed.” According to the rehoming and adoption group Dogs Trust, more than 80,000 dogs are abandoned by their owners in the UK each year. According to the RSPCA, “pet food banks could offer a lifeline to someone who would otherwise feel like they had to give up their pet.”