World News Roundup: September 29, 2017

September 29, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

This week in veterinary news from around the world: Canada’s wildlife species are declining while the number of animals used in research is increasing, the Calgary zoo has started breeding an endangered species of frog, and border collies in Australia break a world record.

Canada Sees Rise in Animal Research Numbers in 2016 (Speaking of Research)

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) has released 2016 statistics showing that more than 4.3 million animals were used in research that year. This represents a 20.7% increase over 2015, but “it is unclear if the general trend of increasing animal use number is reflective of an actual increase in the number of animals participating in studies or rather that more institutions are participating in the CCAC certification process.”

Canada’s Endangered Species Continue Decline (CBC News)

According to a new World Wildlife Fund report, “despite Canada’s vast wilderness, populations of half its vertebrate species are shrinking.” According to the report, 451 species across the country declined between 1970 and 2014, due in part to habitat loss from farming, forestry, and urban and industrial development. The report noted that threatened and endangered species “keep declining despite federal legislation designed to protect them.”

Wild Bison Spotted in Germany, Then Shot (Smithsonian)

“A European bison who accidentally wandered over the [Polish] border into Germany last week was greeted with a bullet, angering conservationists who work to protect the rare species.” This mammal had not been seen in Europe in 250 years, and only a few thousand are estimated to exist in the wild. “Officials were unable to track down a veterinarian to tranquilize the animal, and apparently resorted to employing the services of local hunters.”

534 Border Collies Break World Record for Good Cause (UPI)

“More than 500 border collies and their owners gathered in an Australian park to break the world record for most members of the breed in the same place at the same time.” This gathering took the record from TV veterinarian Katrina Warren, who gathered 303 border collies together in 2013. Money “raised during the event will be donated to Guardian Angel Animal Rescue, SA Dog Rescue, and Scruffer Lovers.”

Irish Environmentalists: Brexit Will Endanger Plant and Animal Species (Irish Examiner)

According to lobby groups from Northern Ireland and the Republic, plant and animal species could become extinct in their region due to the creation of a hard environmental border. “More than 650 pieces of EU legislation aid environmental protection in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.” If standards already in place are lowered or taken away, many species that are currently at risk for extinction in Ireland will be placed in further danger.

Calgary Zoo Begins Breeding Endangered Leopard Frogs (CBC News)

B.C. northern leopard frogs, an endangered species with only one native population remaining in the wild, are now being bred at the Calgary Zoo. “The goal is to have the frogs breeding naturally and producing offspring to be released in the wild by 2019.” Their populations have declined due to pesticides in the water, wetlands being drained, disease, road mortality, and habitat loss.

Hong Kong Bans Meat Imports from Brazil (South China Morning Post)

“Meat imports from an exporter and 2 plants in Brazil have been suspended after 200 tons of chicken feet and animal organs produced as pet food were claimed to be fit for human consumption.” The health certificates for these 10 batches of meat — which the Centre for Food Safety suspects are fake — did not indicate that the foods were intended solely for pets. Eight batches have been re-exported to mainland China and Vietnam, “1 was still detained at the container port,” and “the remaining batch of chicken feet was sold to a local buyer.”