Archive for February, 2008

Animal-esque artist “Wolfkin” is SpinMagazine.com’s Artist of the Day

February 29, 2008

Wolfkin play music that is as much informed by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound as it is the Beatles, Kraftwerk, and breezy indie-pop melodies. The PB&J-esque single “Use Your Illusion” oscillates between lush harmonies, dancey beats, ’60s pop guitar solos, and quiet harp and string parts, while “San Pedro” is nearly jazzy in its approach. Wolfkin isn’t afraid to let it out though, as both singers wail and yelp in the provocative title cut.

Click here to read the full article.

Wolfkin at MySpace

Paternal dog Billy takes on an unusual kid

February 29, 2008

A paternal dog has adopted an abandoned baby goat as his surrogate child.

Billy the boxer has become the constant companion of the 12-day old kid called Lilly. He sleeps with the goat, licks her clean, and protects her from any dangers at Pennywell Farm wildlife centre at Buckfastleigh, near Totnes, Devon.

Click here for the full article.

Consider how we interact with animals in the wild, farms, laboratories or our homes

February 29, 2008

 

The use of animals in research and testing is a controversial issue that arouses strong feelings in many people. The moral acceptability of using animals in experiments – whether in medical or veterinary research, to test the safety of chemicals such as pesticides, or simply to acquire scientific knowledge – is therefore heavily debated.

It is widely acknowledged, including within the law that regulates animal experiments in the UK, that animals are sentient and can have negative experiences, including those of fear and pain. This makes their potential for suffering and their use in experiments a matter of serious concern for the RSPCA. It is also unsurprising that, whilst appalled by the unacceptable activities of extremists, large sectors of the public consistently express their unease regarding this use of animals.

Click here for the full article.

Animal rights in China: A small voice calling

February 28, 2008

Human rights, or the lack of them, have long been a focus of China’s critics at home and abroad. But a new rights movement—complete with idealistic local and foreign campaigners—is stirring: animal rights.

Animals are treated dreadfully in Chinese farms, laboratories, zoos and elsewhere. There are grim factories where thousands of live bears in tiny cages are tapped for medicinal bile. At safari parks, live sheep and poultry are fed to lions as spectators cheer. At farms and in slaughterhouses, animals are killed with little concern for their suffering.

According to Zhou Ping, of China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, few Chinese accept that animals have any rights at all. She thinks it is time they did, and in 2006 put forward China’s first national animal-welfare law. Her proposal got nowhere, and there is no sign of progress since. “There is so far”, she says, “only a small voice calling for change…”

Click here for the full article.

Senate clears bill on torture of animals

February 28, 2008

A bill that would make the torture of an animal a third-degree felony passed the Senate Wednesday.
SB297 came about as a compromise from animal-rights groups and livestock owners, said sponsor Sen. Allen Christensen.
“I applaud Senator Christensen,” said Majority Leader Curtis Bramble. “It was not a journey he anticipated when he set out on this issue, but he’s gotten buy-in from several stakeholders.”
Sen. Scott Jenkins tried to amend the bill to make the first offense a Class A misdemeanor and a second offense a third-degree felony. The attempt failed.
The bill passed 21-6 and goes to the House for further debate.

Click here for article source.

Animal responsibilities

February 28, 2008

 

Animal rights are rarely out of the news. If it’s not one set of celebrity chefs lecturing us about what kind of chicken to buy, it’s another telling us that it’s snobbish to worry about such things. The streets are filled with protesters marching against animal testing meeting protestors protesting that protest.

Most people are quite happy to accept that humans have rights, and there is a fair amount of agreement about what rights we have. Why should animals be more complicated? Surely they either have rights or they don’t. Unfortunately, things are not quite so straightforward…

Click here for the full article.

Recap of 02/24/08 Episode of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo: Los Animales Cubanos!

February 28, 2008

Note: This post takes a long time to compile, so I’ll be updating and editing it over the next couple of days. Check back for more updates. 🙂

To celebrate Fidel Castro’s retirement, the last episode of Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo featured animals from Cuba. Here’s the playlist from the show, along with info we covered and music videos when possible. Enjoy!

BEE HUMMINGBIRD (Mellisuga helenae)
Believed to be the world’s smallest bird, Cuba’s native bee hummingbird buzzes around forests and field edges in many parts of the island, where it feeds on flower nectar. It grows to about 2 inches long and weighs less than an ounce, or less than a dime. Some locals call it “zunzun,” and believe it is a symbol of love. Birders from all over the world travel to Cuba in hopes of catching a glimpse of this tiny bird.

1. Hummingbird, Wilco, A Ghost Is Born

(more…)

Paris Keeps Animals in Check

February 28, 2008

 On the one hand, I wonder why you would have so many animals if you’re too busy to spend time with them, and I hope they have enough love and attention.  On the other hand, it’s good that there is no doubting Miss Hilton’s ability to afford proper medical attention and living arrangements for all the animals.

-Kitty Mowmow

At last count, Paris boasted of having 17 doggies under her care, which earned her a visit from Animal Services.

Well, we can officially report that she’s lightened her load a bit.

“I only have 10 now,” Paris tells E! News. “Some of my dogs had puppies, so I gave some of them away to people I really know and trust. I gave some to my stylist and to a few of my best friends, so now I’m down to 10.”

But not even all 10 get to stay with Paris all the time. Her new Beverly Hills mansion, where she’s building a mini dog mansion just for her pooch pals, is still under construction. 

“And I travel so much, it’s hard to have them all with me all the time,” says Paris.

Often, her furry friends end up staying with Paris’ parents, her aunt Kyle and her kids, or other relatives.

But what about those more exotic pets we heard she was so fond of collecting: two monkeys, two rabbits and a couple of ferrets?

The entire brood resides on a ranch owned by the Hilton family in Nevada.

Says Paris, “I have a zookeeper who watches over them.”

Click here for the article source.

Film Prompted First Humane Slaughter Law

February 28, 2008

A film showing slaughterhouse workers abusing animals spurs demands for the federal government to put a stop to the behavior. That happened this year — and also a half-century ago, when a Seattle animal rights activist filmed hogs being mistreated at a Washington state slaughterhouse.

The 1950s film helped trigger a fierce debate on Capitol Hill over whether animals deserve some federal protection in their final moments. Congress ultimately decided they did, and 50 years ago this summer, lawmakers passed the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which required that meat purchased by the federal government come from processors who kill their livestock humanely.

Click here for the full article.

If you haven’t checked out www.CuteWithChris.com yet, you need to.

February 28, 2008

What do you get when you cross cute animals and irreverent humor? www.CuteWithChris.com, that’s what. You can find his videos on YouTube, too. Check this one out:

Avail: No-Fee Apt, Park View, Wood Floors, Animals OK

February 28, 2008

It’s a walk-up, but the price is right. City squirrels are enjoying the goodwill of concerned citizens and the Parks Dept., who cooperated to install squirrel houses in City Hall Park. Mark Garvin had five of the boxes, which measure about a foot around, built with soft pine for several hundred dollars a piece–city real estate insanity extends to the trees!

Click here for the full article.

Animal-esque artist Cat Power joins Amie Street

February 28, 2008

Amie Street, an online music store that features both user-generated content and the content of record labels, has signed a deal with Beggars Group (Rough Trade, XL, 4AD), Matador and Polyvinyl, adding artists like Cat Power, the National and Of Montreal to their website today.

Click here for the full article.

Marine animals ‘shop’ for food: British researchers

February 28, 2008

British researchers believe they have shed new light on how marine animals such as fish, penguins, seals and turtles hunt for food, likening their methods to how humans search for a new restaurant.

The team of marine biologists based their conclusions on a study of Antarctic krill, a form of plankton eaten by penguins and seals after finding marked differences in the distribution of the vital food source.

Andrew Brierley, from the University of St Andrews’ School of Biology Gatty Marine Lab, said hunting strategies closely match the natural distributions of plankton and follow a set pattern of movement.

“Predators often hunt by making long initial journeys into a new feeding area — think of catching a bus in to a new town to look for a restaurant,” he said in a statement released by the university Wednesday.

“This is followed by a series of smaller jumps to harvest the prey in that region, like walking from the chip shop to the burger van in the same town.

“Once all the prey is consumed in the first location, predators then move on in a long jump in search of a new feeding location — a bit like getting a taxi home to raid the fridge after closing time (at the pub).”

Click here for the full article.

Europe cracks down on animal transport

February 27, 2008

 

The UK branch of the RSPCA says strict regulations governing the transport of animals in the European Union has led to better welfare standards.

Each new truck has to have a GPS device, and the movement of every animal is logged.

Nations can be sanctioned if they are found to be transporting animals inappropriately.

Julia Wrathall from the RSPCA says Australia can learn from what’s being done in the EU.

“But certainly a number of them, a number of the rules that we have in place, for example, the one relating to competency of the hauler, which in the EU requires that the hauler has an understanding of the physiology and behaviour of the species they’re transporting and that they understand, for example, the impact of their driving style on the animal welfare, those things are very relevant whereever animals are transported,” she says.

Click here for the full article.

Pet Sterilization Becomes Law in LA

February 27, 2008

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday signed one of the nation’s toughest laws on pet sterilization, requiring most dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered by the time they are 4 months old.

The ordinance is aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating the thousands of euthanizations conducted in Los Angeles’ animal shelters every year.

“We will, sooner rather than later, become a no-kill city and this is the greatest step in that direction,” Councilman Tony Cardenas said as he held a kitten at a City Hall news conference.

Councilman Richard Alarcon, who like Cardenas is a co-author of the bill, brought his two pet Chihuahuas to the event to be neutered in a van operated by the city.

The ordinance does exempt some animals, including those that have competed in shows or sporting competitions, guide dogs, animals used by police agencies and those belonging to professional breeders.

The average pet owner, however, must have their dog or cat spayed or neutered by the time it reaches 4 months of age (as late as 6 months with a letter from a veterinarian). People with older unneutered pets and newcomers to the city with animals also have to obey the law.

First-time offenders will receive information on subsidized sterilization services and be given an additional 60 days. If they still fail to comply they could be fined $100 and ordered to serve eight hours of community service. A subsequent offense could result in a $500 fine or 40 hours of community service.

Click here for the full article.

Hound River Farm in Georgia Is First Sheep Farm to Become American Humane Certified

February 27, 2008

The American Humane Certified farm animal program provides independent verification that livestock and poultry are raised humanely, in accordance with science-based animal welfare standards set forth by American Humane and its independent Scientific Advisory Council. Among other aspects, producers certified through American Humane’s program must ensure that their animals have ready access to fresh water, a nutritious diet, medical care and are handled by trained caregivers. They also must provide their animals with a comfortable environment that limits stress and enables them to freely express their normal behaviors.

Hound River Farm, a family-owned Katahdin meat sheep business in south Georgia, sells fresh and frozen lamb processed at Towson Cold Storage under the Hound River Farm label. The sheep and lambs graze freely in a predator-protected environment — no feedlots or artificial feeding methods are used. The sheep have constant access to well-managed pastures, supplemented, as needed, with hay grown on-site.

For more information about Hound River Farm, go to www.houndriverfarm.com. For more information about American Humane Certified, visit www.americanhumane.org/certified.

Click here for the full article.

American Humane Calls for nominations of the nation’s kind kids for the Be Kind to Animals Kind Kid Contest

February 27, 2008

Do you know a child or young person whose passion is helping animals? Maybe he is an exemplary volunteer at the local shelter. Maybe she collects blankets, toys or food to help homeless animals. Well, the American Humane Association is looking for them!

American Humane is gearing up to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week, May 4-10. To highlight the event, American Humane is seeking Kind Kids who exemplify what it means to show kindness and compassion for the animals in their community. This year marks the first year that American Humane will recognize teens by opening up the contest for youth up to age 17.

The 2008 Be Kind to Animals Week marks the 94th annual observance of the oldest event in the nation celebrating the companionship, friendship and love that animals bring into people’s lives.

American Humane is seeking nominations of kids, ages 6-17, who are working hard in their communities to improve the lives and welfare of animals. Kids who volunteer to help at their local shelter or go the extra mile to help animals in need should be nominated. The 2008 winners will be announced during Be Kind to Animals Week. American Humane created this special week in 1915 to foster humane principles by encouraging adults and children to maintain compassionate attitudes toward animals.

“Be Kind to Animals Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments society has made with regard to the compassionate treatment of animals and to recognize the bond between people and animals,” said Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of American Humane. “This is our annual celebration of special young people who put their kindness and compassion into action.”

The Fine Print: No purchase is necessary. Contest rules and nomination forms can be found at www.americanhumane.org/bkaw. Nominations must either be submitted online by April 15, 2008, or postmarked by April 15, 2008. Nominees must be between the ages of 6 and 17 at the time of nomination and will be divided into two age groups: 6 to 12 and 13 to 17. One grand prize winner and two runners-up will be selected from each group. Grand Prize winners will each receive $2,000. All winners and runners-up will be featured in American Humane press materials and on American Humane’s website. Winners will be announced during Be Kind to Animals Week, May 4-10, 2008. For more ideas about celebrating Be Kind to Animals Week and for the complete contest rules, visit www.americanhumane.org/bkaw.

Founded in 1877, the American Humane Association is the only national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, American Humane develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed” end credit disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. American Humane meets the strong, comprehensive standards of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (http://www.give.org/), has been awarded the Independent Charities of America “Best in America” Seal of Approval.

Click here for article source.

Kitten lovers are a strange breed.

February 26, 2008

You probably already know that I started this site to support the radio show I created (Kitty Mowmow’s Animal Expo) for my university’s student radio station, 90.7 The Capstone, at the University of Alabama. However, this site has developed a life of its own and today I received a record number of hits. Thanks for your support!

I wondered, “Where on earth are all these hits coming from?” and did a little research. The answer? A surprisingly large number of you are finding me via Google Image Search, looking for pictures of cute little kittens. You folks apparently really like this one:

Aw, wook at dis cute widdle fluffness kitten! Dusnt u wants to cuddle & snuggly & loves her fourevars and evars? U name dis kitten Muffin & loves her and Muffin wil alwais be lovings u bak!

Yup, my little kitten is, at the time of this posting, the #3 most popular kitten on Google Image Search. I have to note that I found this image somewhere on the web – I take no credit for its incredible cuteness and glowing aura of light and goodness.

After my discovery of this fact, I sat looking at the search results, pleasantly surprised that so many people agreed with my belief that the little kitty was a perfectly adorable addition to one of my news posts. Then I looked to the right.

This is the # 4 most popular Google Image Search results for “kitten”:

Poor kitty. 😦

Apparently a vast chasm divides kitten lovers. Some of you want sugary, lovey-dovey cuteness, and some of you want… cyclops kitten.

This photo had its moment in the limelight a while back, when it made the rounds of the internet and cyclops kitten fans went crazy for it, going so far as selling cyclops kitten merchandise. This blogger has an excellent post cataloging the cyclops kitten phenomenon – read it here.

Personally, I thought the hoopla surrounding cyclops kitten was more than a little sick at times. The kitten didn’t just look odd – it suffered from a birth defect. And it died from that birth defect. Maybe I misunderstood people’s intentions, but a doll that mocks a terminal birth defect just seems wrong.

Speaking of birth defects, did you see Google Image Search’s “kitten” result #1?

Find out more about it here.

My hypothesis? Morbid curiosity beats the appeal of “cute” any day of the week.

Like I said, kitten lovers are odd. 🙂

PS – #2 is another ridiculously cute kitty:

Don’t Ban Exotic Pets

February 25, 2008

More than a thousand Lewis County residents got up close and personal with an 11-foot King Cobra, a trio of young cougars and a variety of other exotic animals Saturday at the Phoenix Exotic Wildlife Association’s annual meeting.

The event… featured numerous speakers who ranged in expertise from veterinarians and animal owners to state legislators and an animal communicator.[…]

The Phoenix Exotic Wildlife Association is a Chehalis community service organization that works to protect and maintain the rights of private animal ownership through responsible behavior. The event, which was free to attend, is held annually by the association […].

Animal experts answered questions and displayed birds, mammals and reptiles at booths throughout the day, which culminated with an hour-long show by Anacortes-based organization Predators of the Heart. Director of that organization, Dave Coleburn, introduced the audience to venomous snakes, an alligator, a gray wolf, and three young cougars, among other animals. […]

Coleburn asked the crowd to howl in unison after he brought out Tahoe, a gray wolf, who then reciprocated by howling back. Children were given the opportunity to sit on the back of an alligator, hold a boa constrictor and stand on stage with the cougars.

Coleburn told the volunteers on stage that “you might be the last people in Washington” that have the opportunity to have hands-on experience with a cougar legally. He was referring to House Bill 1418, a measure passed by the state Legislature last year that restricts the ability of people to own big cats, wolves, venomous snakes and a number of other potentially dangerous animals.

The bill was “grandfathered” to allow those who already own the animals to keep them, but they cannot be transferred or purchased and no new animals will be allowed.

“Whenever you remove the private sector, then the animals have no place to go,” Coleburn said, adding that it is too expensive for most citizens to afford AZA certification that is now required. “Unless the private sector can jump in and raise them and take care of them, they are doomed for extinction in some cases.”[…]

“Those guys are for rights in general,” said Hall, who up until last year owned an adult cougar named Jake. “Not just for animals.”

Click here for the full article.

Too hungry, too destructive, too many: South Africa to begin elephant cull

February 25, 2008

Amid words of protest and expressions of relief environment minister Martinus van Schalkwyk announced the elephant had been a victim of its own success with numbers growing from 8,000 to nearly 20,000 in national parks and private reserves in just over a decade.

Unveiling a new conservation plan he stressed that the killing of excess animals would only be allowed once all other available options – including translocation and contraception – had been ruled out.

“Our department has recognised the need to maintain culling as a management option, but has taken steps to ensure that this will be the option of last resort that is acceptable only under strict conditions,” he said in a statement. “The issue of population management has been devilishly complex and we would like to think that we have come up with a framework that is acceptable to the majority of South Africans.”

[…]Supporters of culling point to growing difficulties in managing elephants in the country’s biggest and most famous game reserve, Kruger National Park. It has more than 12,500 elephants, 5,000 more than is sustainable, according to park officials. Ecologists say the animals’ huge appetites and fondness for “habitat re-engineering” – reducing forests to flatland by uprooting trees and trampling plants as they feed and roam – threaten the park’s biodiversity.

But some conservationists argue the environmental impact is less severe than is being claimed, while animal rights campaigners, who have threatened to hold public protests if culling goes ahead, say the elephants’ intelligence and their close-knit social structures make culling deeply inhumane.

Click here for the full article.