November 17, 2017

World News Roundup: November 17, 2017

This week in veterinary news from around the world: new animal welfare laws in a host of countries, animal forensics in Taiwan, and more.
By Kerry Lengyel
Italy Bans All Animal Circus Acts (Animal Defenders International)
Last week the Italian government voted to phase out all animals in circuses and traveling shows. With an estimated 100 circuses and some 2000 animals, Italy becomes the 41st country to pass such as law, and the ban is being hailed as “one of the biggest victories ever in the campaign to stop circus suffering.” The law will be implemented next year.

India Bans Wild Animals in Circuses (One Green Planet)
Earlier this month, India “canceled the recognition of all circuses in the country that force wild animals to perform tricks in the name of entertainment.” This ruling followed year-long inspections in which extreme cruelty was reported in circuses throughout the country. In 1998 the country banned the use of bears, tigers, monkeys, and panthers from participation in entertainment events, but elephants were exempt.

Ireland Bans Wild Animals in Circuses (The Gilmer Mirror)
After a decade of campaigning by animal rights organizations, Ireland has also banned the use of wild animals in circuses throughout the country effective January 1. According to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, “Coming in line with modern welfare standards will mean that greater numbers of the public will be more comfortable with going to the circus.”

UK Animal Slaughterhouses to Install Cameras (Independent)
In an attempt to clamp down on animal mistreatment, starting next spring all slaughterhouses throughout the United Kingdom will be required to have closed-circuit television installed. According to the new government mandate, “The footage from the cameras will be accessible to official vets working for the Food Standards Agency, who will highlight cases in which animals have been poorly treated.”

Animal Welfare Campaigns Making Change in Indonesia (Animals Asia)
Animal rights campaigns have led to a string of bans and regulations against cruelty in Indonesia, such as the ban on staged fights between dogs and wild boars in West Java. Other bans, such as Kandi Zoo in West Sumatra no longer permitting selfies with its baby orangutan, and Lembah Hijau Zoo in Sumatra no longer forcing sun bears and orangutans to perform for food, have also been instituted.

Poisoning Wolves in Alberta Deemed Inhumane (CBC News)
Conservation group Wolf Awareness Inc. says Alberta’s “use of poison as a way to cull wolves is inhumane and kills too many other animals inadvertently.” To cull the wolves, the government allows firearms and strychnine, which is a poison that causes the animal’s muscles to contract, eventually suffocating it, while the animal remains awake and lucid. About 1200 wolves have been culled since population control efforts began in 2005, but at least 250 other animals have been accidentally poisoned in the process.

Animal Forensics in Taiwan Still Developing (Taipei Times)
Veterinary forensic science has not yet developed as a profession in Taiwan, but one National Taiwan University veterinary professor and his student are laying the foundation. The two said that “with the support of others, such as the Taipei Animal Protection Office, they have been able to gradually establish the field of veterinary forensic science.” By building experience through requests from criminal cases and giving speeches across the country, they have been able to establish a veterinary forensic medicine team.

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