World News Roundup: October 21, 2017

October 21, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

This week in veterinary news from around the world: A police dog wins “animal of the year” honors, the RSPCA reports a 340% increase in animal cruelty on Snapchat, India opens its first mobile pet crematorium, and much, much more.

India Opens First Mobile Pet Crematorium (

India is now home to a mobile pet crematorium, providing clear evidence that India is an emerging market in the veterinary industry. To date, 8 pet funerals have been conducted at the crematorium, which is run by mLoyal Pet Management; charges for the service are based on the animal’s weight. Through its mobile app, mLoyal, the company caters to many aspects of pet ownership, including adoption, pet insurance, pet food, grooming, and pet health care.

RSPCA Reports 340% Increase in Animal Cruelty on Snapchat (Independent)

“Reports of animal cruelty filmed and shared on Snapchat have soared 340% in 2 years, according to the RSPCA.” Complaints about the problem increased from 27 in 2015 to 119 so far this year. “It’s as shocking as it is disturbing and what’s really saddening is that this abuse is mostly being committed by children,” said an RSPCA researcher.

Rapid Growth Predicted for Indian Animal Health Care Market (Medgadget)

North America dominates the animal health care market today, followed by Europe, but rapid growth is expected in emerging markets in Asia. Veterinary medicine in India is expected to have the “fastest growth at around 10% [compound annual growth rate] by 2020,” attributed largely to the increasing number of people adopting pets in Asian countries.

Police Dog Named “Animal of the Year” (BBC)

In a true testament to the strength of the human-animal bond, a police dog in England was stabbed while protecting his handler. For his bravery, Finn the German shepherd has been named animal of the year by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “A photograph of Finn’s stomach wound, held together with 30 stitches, prompted an online campaign for a change in the law regarding injuries to police support animals.”

Huge Illegal Animal Transport Thwarted in Bavaria (The Local)

When police stopped a van traveling from the Czech Republic to Belgium, they discovered a diverse array of more than 7000 animals crammed inside. The van contained “mainly mice and rats, but strictly protected animals such as chameleons and axolotl” were also found inside. The animals were intended as food for zoo animals in Belgium.

Road Map to Combat Zoonotic TB Launched in Mexico (The Hindu)

Four international health organizations have joined forces to develop a road map to combat zoonotic tuberculosis (TB), which kills more than 12,000 people per year. Unveiled at the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Guadalajara, Mexico this week, the roadmap proposes strategies for enhanced surveillance and diagnosis of bovine TB that will ultimately reduce the risk for humans as well.

Tech Company Helped Dogs Burn More Than 240 Million Calories (Cambridge News)

Cambridge-based PitPat, a company that makes fitness trackers for dogs, reported that its activity monitor has helped dogs burn more than 240 million collective calories. Current data indicate that over 40% of Britain’s dogs are overweight and around 93,000 never get walked. PitPat created a sensor fitted to a collar to measure dog activity “to ensure the health and happiness of all dogs.”

Japanese Government to Stress Responsibility of Pet Owners During Disasters (Japan Times)

After a series of powerful earthquakes hit several regions in Japan in recent years, “the Environment Ministry is considering making it clear that pet owners are responsible for protecting the safety and health of their pets when natural disasters strike.” The guidelines are set to clarify the roles of both pet owners and government authorities.