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  • 28 Nov 2014 11:01 AM | Deleted user
    Construction is expected to begin in December for a mobile pet shelter scheduled to be in use by the 2015 hurricane season.

    "The evacuation, transportation and sheltering of household pets during disasters has become necessary as a lifesaving measure. What we have experienced in the past are victims who have refused assistance unless their pets were accommodated," Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said.

    The state agriculture department is designated by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act to evacuate, transport and shelter household pets during declared emergencies.

    A $40,000 donation was made by the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART), Dr. Walter J. Ernst, Jr. Veterinary Memorial Foundation and Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA) to help fund a project to develop a mobile pet sheltering system.

    LDAF's household pet plan includes 48-53 foot transport trucks with assembled pet cages and staff to assist parishes with the evacuation, transportation and sheltering of evacuees' pets.

    The LDAF's current pet sheltering plan can accommodate thousands of pets at mega pet shelters. The new mobile pet shelter unit will also be used in search and rescue missions and will be available, upon request, to other states during a disaster.

    The project includes a tractor trailer that will have a 60 pet capacity. It will be equipped with metal cages, feed, water bowls and a wash down system. It will have an air ventilation system to provide proper air circulation and temperature for the pets.

    The total cost of the project is approximately $80,000. The LDAF will provide the additional funding.

    Read more:

  • 21 Nov 2014 5:25 PM | Deleted user
    USDA Animal Care has posted a new factsheet that explains the requirements for individuals seeking to import live dogs into the United States. The factsheet, posted here , is arranged in a simple, question-and-answer format.

    On Aug. 18, 2014, we amended the Animal Welfare Act regulations to restrict the importation of certain live dogs to better ensure the welfare of these animals. This final rule prohibits the importation of dogs, with limited exceptions, from any part of the world into the continental United States or Hawaii for purposes of resale, research or veterinary treatment.

    The final rule went into effect Nov. 17, 2014.

    Read more:

  • 21 Nov 2014 5:23 PM | Deleted user
    Hawaiian officials order quarantine in effort to contain PED virus after it was discovered at Oahu farm
    Release Date: 2014-11-21

    Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus has spread into Hawaii, according to the state’s department of agriculture. The deadly swine virus has affected herds in 32 states to date, but this is the first time PED virus has gone outside of the continental states.

    The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) announced on November 20 it had issued a quarantine order stopping the movement of pigs on Oahu after an outbreak of PED virus, was confirmed on a farm in Waianae Valley. PED virus causes significant sickness in swine and causes high mortality in piglets.

    The farm last week called HDOA’s Animal Disease Control Branch to report many cases of diarrhea among their swine. State veterinarians took samples from the farm and sent them to the Kansas State University (KSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, which confirmed that the pigs had been infected with PED virus.

    Quarantine ordered to contain PEDv outbreak
    Acting State Veterinarian Dr. Isaac Maeda issued a quarantine order on the farm to contain the outbreak and also to stop the movement of pigs on the west side of Oahu. No swine shall be moved east past Nanakuli from Makaha, Waianae and Nanakuli Valley. The order also restricts movement of swine from Oahu to neighbor islands.

    Disease control measures have been instituted on the farm, which has a total of about 150 pigs. About 25 percent of the pigs (mainly piglets) died. However, it appears that the remaining pigs are recovering and no deaths have occurred on the farm since the weekend. It is not known at this point how the virus may have come to Hawaii; however, the farm did not import any swine.

    “Our current focus is to contain the virus and prevent its spread on Oahu,” said Maeda. “We will also survey other swine operations and try to determine if the virus has spread.”

    PED virus was first confirmed in the U.S. in May 2013. To date, PED virus is estimated to have killed up to eight million young pigs.

    In July 2014, HDOA increased swine import requirements to help prevent the entry of swine infected with PED virus into Hawaii. This included exclusion of swine from premises with PED virus and negative tests for PED virus prior to shipping.

    Statewide there are about 230 pig farms – 70 of which are on Oahu. Most are small operations.

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  • 21 Nov 2014 4:34 PM | Deleted user
    This is an academic paper that looks at animal perceptions in Animal Transport Regulations in the EU and in Finland.

    The long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter has been strongly criticized in various political arenas: in Europe there is now a campaign underway to end transportation that takes over 8 hours. This debate is investigated here by means of a case study. The research data consists of regulatory texts used in the EU and in Finland. These texts are analyzed initially according to their contents, that is, a content analysis, designed to find out how and in which connections the animal is conceptualized. This analysis is then amplified by means of critical discourse analysis to discover the kind of discourse that are most powerful and stabilized, and also to reveal their institutional origins. The results show that there is a strong difference between market-driven and animal-centric interpretations of unnecessary suffering. It is also evident that pressure has been growing in favour of the animal-centric perspective on the part of both animal welfare NGOs and of citizens. Nevertheless, it has been observed that the fields of science that could offer expertise on the issue have been poorly utilized in the process of devising policies.

    Full paper here.

  • 21 Nov 2014 4:31 PM | Deleted user
    IT IS unclear how much the Chinese-Australian free trade agreement will benefit Cloncurry’s live export industry until the document is released.

    The agreement will remove tariffs of 12 to 25 per cent on beef across nine years.

    It could be the best opportunity Australian cattle producers have had to break into the Chinese market.

    Cloncurry Shire’s acting mayor Bob McDonald – who is part of the McDonald family which owns one of Australia’s largest cattle operations – said the free trade agreement “looks as though it would be a plus” for the region.

    The McDonald family owns MDH Pty Ltd, which according to 2012 figures had 170,000 head of cattle on 11 stations covering about 3.8 million hectares.

    Following the views of economic experts through media has not clarified to Cr McDonald how much of a win it will be for producers.

    However, it did seem positive for those trying to get into the Chinese market.

    “In the last 40 years people have tried to get into the Chinese market, it never really happened,” Cr McDonald said.

    “For the first time it looks really positive.”

    Positive news is no doubt something landowners are eager to hear, considering the “tough old game” of cattle producing has been complicated by drought and increasing overheads.

    Rising costs of fuel and transport as well as reduction of weight of cattle while being shipped was the reason MDH abandoned live export of their cattle.

    “We used to some years ago, but have gone another direction. We didn’t get a lot of money ... we thought we could do better,” he said.

    Instead of freighting cattle to Darwin, the cattle is slaughtered and packaged in Brisbane.

    The bulk of the meat is exported to Japan and Korea.

    The price per head of cattle has also increased in the last three months because producers were no longer getting rid of cattle to alleviate the burden drought had on their properties.

    “The situation has eased up now,” Cr McDonald said.

    The announcement of Chinese free trade has had nothing to do with the cattle boom passing through the Cloncurry saleyards.

    About 214,000 head of cattle has passed through the council-owned saleyards from January to October this year.

    Last year 224,000 cattle went through the saleyards.

    Read more:

  • 21 Nov 2014 4:30 PM | Deleted user
    A total of 67 world-class showjumping horses were transported on Qatar Airways Cargo freighters from Liège, Belgium, to Doha, Qatar, for the final round of the 2014 Longines Global Champions Tour season which concluded on 15 November 2014.

    The final Grand Prix of this year's series took place at Al Shaqab, one of the most spectacular equestrian venues in the world, providing a fabulous international stage for the crowning of the overall Longines Global Champions Tour Champion.

    The horses along with approximately 20 tonnes of cargo and equestrian equipment per freighter were transported via two Boeing 777F charter operations, with an accompanying eleven grooms per freighter, to ensure care, and safe and secure carriage from Liège to Doha and back for the horses.

    Horses travel all over the world to compete in prestigious competitions
    “We take great pride in our handling capabilities and ensure all appropriate care is taken, providing pets and other transported animals with a five-star service on the ground and in the air. Our focus remains on providing the special attention required, during all phases of transportation, to ensure a smooth comfortable and restful journey for the animals,” said Mr. Ulrich Ogiermann, Chief Officer Cargo for Qatar Airways. “All Qatar Airways Cargo staff attend a number of training courses in animal handling, and our personalised service, high quality of operation, and excellent record of on-time delivery makes us a prime carrier for the transportation of live animals.”

    Qatar Airways Cargo transports all kinds of animals in accordance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations. Unlike pets such as cats and dogs, horses cannot be transported in the lower deck of regular passenger planes and must be flown on dedicated freighters. Prior to the flight, the horses are loaded into “air stables” or “horse stalls” which are special containers that can fit up to three horses side by side so that they are safe and secure while on the aircraft. A typical air stable is 294 cm wide and 232 cm high.

    Horses travel all over the world to compete in prestigious competitions
    From January 2012 through to October 2014, Qatar Airways Cargo has transported 2,210 horses all around the world. In July 2014, Qatar Airways Cargo flew 53 showjumping horses from Calgary, Canada, to Liège in Belgium where they trained to participate in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) that were held in Normandy in August, while in March 2014 79 horses were transported from Liège to Doha and back, via two freighters for the CHI AL SHAQAB event.

    Jan Tops, President of the Longines Global Champions Tour, said, “The horses had a first-class flight experience and I want to thank Qatar Airways Cargo for its close co-operation on this important matter. The welfare and safety of the horses is our top priority.”

    Qatar Airways Cargo completed the transition from a manually handled cargo environment to a fully automated cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport. The brand new terminal contains a 4,200 sq. m live animal facility with dedicated stalls for horses, kennels for pets and separate holding areas for various live animals. The facility is equipped with veterinary laboratory, washing bays, feeding area, hydraulic work stations, sick bays, quarantine area and exercise area. Expert animal health care services are provided on request, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week.

    Read more:

  • 21 Nov 2014 4:28 PM | Deleted user
    ALAMEDA, Calif. - The Coast Guard worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to transport a baby orphaned Steller sea lion from Seattle to Sacramento, California, Thursday, where it will be in the care of staff members from The Marine Mammal Center.

    At approximately 11:30 a.m., a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento aircrew along with members from TMMC arrived in Seattle from Sacramento to pick up the pup named Leo.

    Last month, NOAA contacted the Coast Guard to request assistance with a transfer of the pup, which was found stranded in Ocean Shores, Washington.

    “Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Mammal Investigations responded and picked up the pup for a health assessment and determined rehabilitation was necessary, given the emaciated condition and age of the animal,” said Kristin Wilkinson, NOAA. “Steller sea lions nurse for around one year and without rehabilitation, the animal would have died.”

    PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, Washington, received the animal Oct. 4, 2014, and cared for the animal till the transportation.

    “The Coast Guard played an enormous role in making the transport possible with the least amount of time, which is always a No. 1 priority for the sea lion’s health,” said Lauren Campbell, veterinary technician for TMMC.

    “We have a great partnership with the Coast Guard and because we strive for one goal – to help save Leo – it furthers his chances of a successful life out in the world,” said Campbell.

    In Seattle, the Coast Guard crew worked with Leo’s previous caretakers, PAWS Wildlife Center, and the TMMC staff, to safely load and securely strap the baby mammal aboard a Coast Guard HC-130H aircraft.

    “This flight showcases just one of the many diverse mission sets that our crew are prepared to carry out at a moment’s notice,” said Capt. Douglas Nash, commanding officer of Air Station Sacramento and pilot.

    “Assisting NOAA in transporting the Steller sea lion to a facility that will ultimately rehabilitate and release the pup is a prime example of one of the many ways the Coast Guard works to preserve our coastal resources and marine life," said Lt. Shannon Anthony, 11th Coast Guard District. "This is the ultimate goal of the Coast Guard’s living marine resources mission.”

    The pup was transported by vehicle to The Marine Mammal Center for rehabilitation till it can be released into the wild.

    Read more:

  • 17 Nov 2014 9:23 AM | Deleted user
    An elephant has completed a 1,250-mile trek across land and sea to unpack his his trunk in Bristol.

    The six-year-old bull African elephant arrived at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol on Friday after travelling by land and sea from Sweden.

    The elephant, who is called M’Changa, has come to the UK to live at the zoo’s Elephant Eden.

    A long eventful journey from Boras Zoo in a specialist animal transport vehicle, including severe traffic problems in Hamburg, Germany and a delayed ferry crossing from Calais due to bad weather, ended peacefully under the cover of darkness with keepers from both parks celebrating a successful move for M’Changa.

    The transfer is the result of a long consultation period with advice from elephant experts and the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).

    A zoo spokesman said: “M’Changa will be well cared for at Elephant Eden which is a large specially designed habitat built within the 110 acre park.

    “He will benefit from the new technology designed to offer African elephants the very best in health care and management.

    “Elephant Eden is the largest elephant habitat in northern Europe at 20 acres (eight hectares) and promotes welfare advances for the care of these complex mammals.”

    M’Changa, who weighs 1.5 tons, will join 30-year-old female Buta and nine-year-old male Janu at Noah’s Ark now as the project continues its development. A fourth elephant, a mature bull called Kruger, is also set to join the growing herd before the end of the year from Port Lympne Reserve in Kent.

    Read more:
  • 14 Nov 2014 9:20 AM | Deleted user
    Humane transport of livestock is important for both carcass quality and animal welfare. However, it is difficult to mitigate stress for animals in-transit. During a typical journey, calves lose weight due to the stress of weaning and being withdrawn from feed and water during transport. Many factors contribute to this stress, including welfare of the calves before transportation, and temperature and space allowance inside the trailer during transportation. A better understanding of the pre- and post-transportation risk factors and in-transit factors that influence calf welfare will inform strategies for improving animal welfare outcomes.

    Thus, 2,238 Canadian beef calves, representing 24 commercial loads transported from auctions or single sources to 4 feedlots, were evaluated for transportation welfare between September 2010 and November 2012 in Alberta. Two articles summarizing the results are featured in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Animal Science: "Trailer microclimate and calf welfare during fall-run transportation of beef calves in Alberta" and "Trailer microclimate during commercial transportation of feeder cattle and relationship to indicators of cattle welfare".

    Calves in the study received ear tags with devices that recorded temperature and humidity of the air around them. Similar data loggers were also fitted around various parts of the inside of the trailers (the "deck," "doghouse," "belly," and "back" compartments, 3 to 5 cm below the ceiling) and also to the driver's and passenger's mirrors to record ambient conditions. Truck drivers maintained a log of cattle, recording their conditions before the journey, at any stops during which calves were checked, and when they were unloaded at their destination.

    The study compared the relationship between cattle welfare and trailer microclimate during journeys between 11 and 23 hours in duration. Calves were weaned between 24 and 48 hours before transportation and had access to hay and water in the interval between weaning and transport. Space allowance was also taken into account and ranged from 0.56 to 1.17 m2/animal. Stress was measured before and after transit through salivary cortisol levels, hematocrit, shrink (percentage of initial body weight lost during transport), and morbidity.

    The researchers found that the internal conditions of the trailer are important for calf welfare. This includes temperature and humidity within the trailer and trailer movement. "Vehicle motion is an important consideration in monitoring in-transit climate...due to elevated temperature and humidity at the animal level," the authors wrote. Non-highway travel and stationary periods resulted in the greatest temperature and humidity at the animal level, compared with ambient temperature. Health of the animals before transportation was also an important determinant for post-transportation welfare.

    Variations in stress were observed during winter and summer journeys. Cattle transported in summer months experienced more shrink than those transported in winter months. However, researchers found increased salivary cortisol levels during winter transportation.

    Despite the rise in stress levels in the cattle, most animals arrived at their destination healthy and in good condition. The transportation process did not appear to cause distress to the livestock. Because the calves still expressed some degree of stress, the authors suggest that further research should be conducted on the relationship between transportation and cattle welfare.

    "We inferred that the study results support future investigation of the extension of in-transit microclimate as a risk factor for post-transport treatment and disease," the authors wrote. "...The influence of transport did not result in poor welfare within the study population but may be of importance for higher-risk cattle."

    Full Story here:

  • 06 Nov 2014 4:20 PM | Deleted user

    Apprentice jockey Ross Coakley speaks to Mikey Stafford about the challenges of crossing the world to ride at Flemington

    On Tuesday, Johnny Murtagh will endeavour to become only the second Irish trainer after Dermot Weld to win the Melbourne Cup.

    The five-time Irish champion jockey saddles 8-1 shot Mutual Regard and Royal Diamond at Flemington and, other than the trainer himself and owner Andrew Tinkler, there is no one with a greater vested interest than apprentice jockey Ross Coakley.

    The 20-year-old from Monasterevin has been Mutual Regard’s near constant companion since they touched down in Melbourne more than a month ago, on 27 September. Since then Coakley has taken the six-year-old’s temperature, exercised him, fed him and overseen a weight-gain program so that the Ebor winner regains the mass lost in transit.

    After two weeks Murtagh’s head girl, Valerie Keatley and another lad, Ben Lewis, arrived with Royal Diamond, and the two Irish raiders have been training together in Werribee quarantine centre on the outskirts of Melbourne in preparation for “the race that stops a nation”.

    Murtagh arrived early on Thursday to oversee the final preparations of the two horses for Tinkler’s big gamble. Between quarantine, transport and staffing the price of running a European horse in the Melbourne Cup is estimated to top $150,000.

    After more than four weeks in the country Coakley reckons he is “nearly half Aussie at this stage”, as he gives an insight into the massive operation involved in attempting a raid on the highlight of the Australian racing calendar.

    Before flying on 25 September Mutual Regard had to spend two weeks in quarantine in Newmarket in the United Kingdom.”They can use the Newmarket gallops in the afternoon but their only contact with other horses can be with ones going to Australia,” said Coakley.

    While the apprentice was flying via Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Mutual Regard was travelling on a specially-designed transport plane, supervised and cared for by a groom from horse transport company IRT (an ATA member).

    “The plane is divided in two, horses below and the people on top. They are lifted on to the plane in boxes or containers, they would be like transport containers, maybe half the size, some of it would be open-grilled so they can see through that,” explained Coakley, who arrived just three hours before the sixth favourite in the betting.

    Tired and jet-lagged, he had to prepare the stables before Mutual Regard’s arrival and spent the next two weeks “trying to catch up with naps”.

    “That was a long day,” said Coakley, who does not believe the horse was feeling the same ill-effects after his trip halfway around the world – the fact that horses only sleep for around three hours a day could explain why don’t appear to be affected by jetlag

    “No, a horse doesn’t get jetlag. Well, not this time anyway, which was my first time with the experience. What I see is they don’t suffer too badly, any of the horses I saw get off the box at least. It can affect them in different ways like it can affect people, but our horses seemed fine.

    “The big thing is they lose weight, on the average between five and 15kg. But when you take it that a horse weighs between 415 and 500 odd kilos, in the grand scheme of things it is not a lot,” added Coakley. “They are not drinking as much water, or not getting fed as much. When they fly they can be a bit more picky on drinking water.”

    While Coakley had to adjust to long days and 6am starts, as he took the horse’s temperature every morning for the quarantine vets, every effort was made to make Mutual Regard feel right at home in Victoria.

    “What we try to do is try and keep the same routine as we would at home, work the same way, feed them the same time. Horses are creatures of habit, it is best to try and keep routine, that is what we try do.”

    After Japanese stayer and Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti ($5.50) won the Caulfield Cup and Aidan O’Brien finally broke his Australian duck with the aptly-named Adelaide in the Cox Plate, there is genuine fear down under that foreign raiders could complete a clean sweep of the spring majors.

    Having seen Admire Rakti and the German third favourite Protectionist ($7.50) up close in Werribee alongside the Irish pair, Coakley believes Australian fears are well founded.

    “Looking at it, it is very much between the internationals,” he said. “Protectionist and Admire Rakti both seem to be in good form, Admire Rakti’s win in Caulfield was very, very impressive. It was a hard race. Protectionist, his work around Werribee is very, very impressive. Whether he would want quick, quick ground I’m not sure.”

    Coakley rode Mutual Regard to an impressive victory in the two-mile handicap on Irish Derby Day at the Curragh but missed out on the big ride at York and had to watch Louis Steward guide him home in the Ebor after picking up a three-day whip ban when winning on Steuben at Southwell.

    He will be watching from outside the rail again on Tuesday as Murtagh has handed three-time Melbourne Cup winner Damien Oliver the ride.

    “I think lots of European trainers, they tend to want the service of Australian jockeys as they are on these tracks all the time,” said Coakley.

    “It’s a different tempo, there’s no sustained gallop, the tracks are tight, they don’t like tracing too wide. They go quite slow and then sprint. It can catch out European horses – our stayers can get lost. You need a certain style of horse,” he added.”The best and most experienced of European jockeys can get caught out. They’ll go fast for the first furlong with the pace, then when the rest drop back they try to get back in position, pull up the handbrake, and can struggle to get back into contention.

    “Hiring an Australian jockey can minimise the risk of that happening. They are less likely to get caught out. That’s not to say it can’t happen still.”

    Employing Oliver and Royal Diamond’s pilot Steve Arnold helps, but how does Coakley assess the chances of either Murtagh raider emulating Weld’s history-making Vintage Crop (1993), the first northern hemisphere winner of the Melbourne Cup, or Media Puzzle (2002), Weld’s second winner in the race.

    “At home Mutual Regard can be lazy,” said Coakley. “But at the races he has done the business time in, time out. He is very consistent. Other horses are the opposite, they’re world beaters in training but then bottle it in races. There’s no prize money in the gallops.

    “I think Royal Diamond is overpriced in the sense he is a dual group 1 winner. I think his age is being taken against him,’ he added of the nine year old. “The ground being hard could come against him. He is a strong traveller, which should sort the racing here.”

    It’s been a long journey for both Irish challengers, now all that remains is the 3,200-metre sprint to the Flemington post.


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