(Bloomberg) — There are four critical facets of pandemic prevention, according to Lee Hannah, senior scientist at Conservation International. Three of them make immediate sense against the backdrop of our current emergency: stockpile masks and respirators; have testing infrastructure ready; and ban the global wildlife trade, including the open animal markets where COVID-19 may have first infected people.
His fourth recommendation is more grandiose: “Take care of nature.”
The assault on ecosystems that allowed COVID-19 to jump from animals to humans went far beyond merchants hunting and selling rare wildlife. Biodiversity—that is, the health of the entire ecosystem—can restrain pathogens before they ever leave the wild. “We need to tell people right now that there is a series of things we need to do once we’re out of this mess to make sure it never happens again,” Hannah says.
The role of biodiversity in disease prevention has received increased attention of late. In a 2015 “state of knowledge review” of biodiversity and human health by the United Nations, scientists wrote that “an ecological approach to disease, rather than a simplistic ‘one germ, one disease’ approach, will provide a richer understanding of disease-related outcomes.” Recent research has given more support to the idea that biodiversity protection in one part of the world can prevent novel diseases from emerging and leaping into another.
It’s a numbers game, in part. Not all species in a community are equally susceptible to a given disease, nor are they all equally efficient transmitters. In diverse ecosystems well separated from human habitations, viruses ebb and flow without ever having a chance to make it to the big time. null
But as people move in, those protections begin to break down. Disrupted ecosystems tend to lose their biggest predators first, and what they leave behind are smaller critters that live fast, reproduce in large numbers, and have immune systems more capable of carrying disease without succumbing to it. When there are only a few species left, they’re good at carrying disease, and they thrive near people, there may be nothing between a deadly pathogen and all of humanity.
“Virus spillover risk” from wildlife to people rises as contact increases between them, according to research published Tuesday by a team of researchers led by Christine Kreuder Johnson of the One Health Institute at University of California, Davis. Almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to humans (called zoonotic pathogens) after 1940 can be traced to changes in land use, agriculture, or wildlife hunting. SARS, Ebola, West Nile, Lyme, MERS, and others all fit the profile. There may be 10,000 mammalian viruses potentially dangerous to people.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.390.0_en.html#goog_798448485null
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Share: Will Coronavirus Ever Go Away? Here’s What One of World Health Organization’s Top Experts Thinks
Dr. Bruce Aylward was part of the WHO’s team that went to China after the coronavirus outbreak there in January. He has urged all nations to use times bought during lockdowns to do more testing and respond aggressively.
“We are messing with natural systems in certain ways that can make them much more dangerous than they would otherwise be,” says Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. “And biodiversity loss is one of those. Climate change is another.”
A longer-term strategy can help nations see the benefits of rethinking resource use. “The revenue from clearing new forest is extremely high—briefly,” says William Karesh, executive vice president at EcoHealth Alliance, a research nonprofit. “But the cost to the public-health system also goes up because you get very common diseases like malaria.” And as we’re now seeing, new zoonotic pathogens can be even more expensive to deal with.
Despite years of creative and resource-intensive work by governments and nonprofits, companies’ actions to mitigate habitat loss aren’t adding up. Many large companies have pledged to halt deforestation, the largest driver of biodiversity loss, through initiatives like the Consumer Goods Forum, the Banking Environment Initiative and their Soft Commodities Compact. “All have missed the mark,” according to a new report by the Rainforest Action Network.
Hannah, of Conservation International, is working to make sure that the reasons to promote biodiversity, including its pathogen-dulling potential, align with the other endangered elephant in the room: climate change.
In February, Hannah and colleagues announced findings on what the effects of achieving climate and conservation targets might be. Using data on 290,000 species, they were able to squint into the future and see where ecosystems might be saved from mass extinction if nations preserve 30% of natural habitats and meet UN limits for global warming. All told, meeting the goals would cut biodiversity losses in half.
The international community is positioned to make some progress. The Convention on Biological Diversity is a 196-nation effort to protect the richness of living things, tap natural resources sustainably, and share the benefits of the environment’s naturally occurring genetic innovations. (The U.S. and the Vatican are non-members.) The next phase of the biodiversity treaty, currently in draft form, proposes that at least 30% of land and ocean be conserved, up from 17% in the previous round. If governments agree to that goal, then nations and conservation scientists must take on the complicated step of figuring out which 30% is most important to protect and how to do it. null
The way those areas are drawn today rarely reflects the scientific ideal of how to guard biodiversity. Looking at the existing protected lands, a paper in Nature last month found that 90% of conservation space fails to give bird, amphibian and mammal species the full range of environmental conditions across their existing habitats.
“We could be doing a much better job of getting things in the right places,” says Hannah. “There’s going to be right places for disease control and they may largely overlap the right places for biodiversity.”
In addition to the logistical and financial crises so many continue to endure as a result of COVID-19, extended social distancing has plunged much of the world into a full-blown existential crisis as well. Shelter-in-place mandates, shuttered businesses and community spaces, and the loss of important social and familial rituals has found us confronting an unprecedented moment of alienation. We are profoundly disoriented by the sense of being estranged from our own lives.
While this feeling of separation is emotionally harrowing, I believe it can also provide an opportunity to consider the abjectly alienated existences we routinely inflict on so many of our fellow beings; the nonhuman animals we breed or capture for the purposes of exploitation. For us, this estrangement from the lives we belong to is temporary. For the animals languishing on farms, in zoos, vivisection laboratories, aquariums, circuses, pet stores, breeding mills, kill shelters, and anywhere else humans have imprisoned our fellow creatures, alienation is the very essence of their existence, and a permanent condition.
A “beef” cow at a “livestock” show. Photo by Unparalleled Suffering Photography.
And while the plights of all of these creatures is urgent and worthy of closer examination, in the interest of time I will limit this reflection to animals who are farmed; not only because they comprise the bulk of my research and advocacy, but because our consumption of animals, and our obsession with meat, is now unavoidably implicated in the current pandemic on multiple levels.
Our Fatal Flesh Obsession
While it is widely believed that COVID-19 jumped to humans via the animal flesh trade, this has led to a disproportionately critical focus on wildlife and “wet” markets. In reality, the “livestock” sector is the single largest source of human zoonotic disease pandemics globally. A 2012 global study mapping human diseases that come from animals found that “While zoonoses can be transmitted to people by either wild or domesticated animals, most human infections are acquired from the world’s 24 billion livestock, including pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and camels.”
Indeed, the World Health Organizationstates that “the greatest risk for zoonotic disease transmission occurs at the human-animal interface through direct or indirect human exposure to animals, their products (e.g. meat, milk, eggs…) and/or their environments,” while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that “Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food.”
Just a decade ago, swine flu, an H1N1 influenza virus, jumped from farmed pigs to humans and infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. alone, where it resulted in 12,469 deaths, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, as many as 284,500 people were killed by the swine flu pandemic.
The infamous 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu was also caused by an H1N1 virus. Attributed to having developed from either a swine flu or avian flu virus on a pig or poultry farm (pre-dating so-called factory farms, it should be noted), the pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people globally.
While these pandemics are tragic, they are not inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, they are symptoms of a much deeper sickness, one of our own making, with which we have infected not only ourselves, but whose toxic consequences can now be seen across the globe: in the burning of the Amazon rainforestto make room for ever more cattle ranching; in Australia where the ceaseless bulldozing of koala habitat, and the deliberate mass killing of kangaroos, both on behalf of the beef industry, kill far more of each species every year than the recent wildfires that drew a collective gasp of horror; in the unprecedented rates of wildlife species extinction resulting from habitat loss, whose number one driver is animal agriculture; in the climate crisis to which meat and dairy production contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transport combined, leading to more and increasingly devastating droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, while inching global temperatures inexorably toward the point of no return.
A koala mother and joey on a bulldozed log pile in Queensland. Photograph: WWF
Killing animals is killing us.
And the sickness is not in the scale of our killing; this is not an argument about the evils of industrial animal farming and a need to simply shift to more so-called humane, bucolic forms of exploitation and slaughter. The sickness is the mentality that designates sentient beings as something to be farmed at all. These animals, from whom we have stolen so many dignities; the dignities of self-determination, of bodily and reproductive autonomy, of family, of wildness, and of inherent existential worth, live suspended in a Frankensteinian netherworld of separation, entirely outside the natural order their ancient instincts once belonged to.
A mother goat at a “livestock” show. Unparalleled Suffering Photography
“Isolated from the natural world to which they belonged for millennia, farmed animals are forced to live their short lives in severely degraded physical and psychological environments that are far different from the ecosystems and cultures from which they historically derive. Severed from the intricate social structures that governed and guided their free-living communities, and confined, without the possibility of escape, to a human world where they have no place in the present, no link to the past, and no possibility of a future, domesticated animals have no power whatsoever over the most important aspects of their lives.
Humans decide where they will live; if they will ever know their mother; if, and how long, they will nurse their babies; when, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends; when, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species; when, how, and if, they are going to reproduce; what, when, and how much they will eat; how much space they will have, if any; if, and how far, they will be allowed to roam; what mutilations they will be subjected to; what, if any, veterinary care they will receive; and when, where, and how they are going to die.”
Photo by Toronto Cow Save.
What can it mean that in a society obsessed with personal identity and freedom, we have erased the very concepts of identity, liberty, autonomy, and consent from entire populations of sentient individuals without so much as blinking at the moral implications of the indignity and debasement we needlessly inflict on them in the name of profit and palate pleasure?
To degrade any individual, much less entire species, to the lifelong status of property, captive, and commodity, is the grossest devaluing of life, and the ultimate alienation.
A dead hen on the egg conveyor. Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals Media
“When we use other individuals, they have not a thing to call their own; not their bodies, not their children, not even their very lives. Nothing. Reduced to commodities and resources, every moment of their existence is governed by human economics of the service that can be taken from them, the cash value of such substances as milk, eggs and body fibres that can be stripped from their living bodies, and ultimately the value per kilo of their pitiful corpses hacked and sawed to pieces. Our use of them is thorough and utterly pitiless.
These are the innocent victims of our deluded species. They do not ‘live’ as we know and value the word. They endure an existence. They are powerless, brought into the world by violation on an industrial scale for the sole purpose of gratifying human indulgence.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can thrive without causing this devastating harm.”
And here’s author Will Tuttle:
“Harboring the idea of owning another living being is in itself an act of violence, and our outer violence toward nonhuman animals, which is so devastating to us all, springs from this idea… [W]e are never owners of others. We can be their guardians, companions, friends, protectors, admirers, and appreciators, and this blesses us far more than we might think. The move from “owner” to “guardian” frees both the “owners” and the “owned,” and establishes the foundation for peace, freedom, and justice. We are all harmed by the culturally mandated ownership mentality that reduces beings to mere commodities, whether for food, clothing, entertainment, or the myriad of other uses. It is long past time for us to awaken from the cultural trance of owning our fellow beings…”
It is no coincidence that our systematic destruction of animal lives, which is in large part facilitated by our refusal of their subjectivity, is also destroying the earth. As I write this, U.S. slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have been identified as the largest hotspot for coronavirus infection in the country, but are being forced to stay open by executive order of Donald Trump in order to supply the flesh fetish. Meanwhile, headlines continue to report “mass meat shortage” fears alongside images of people in full medical masks browsing empty meat refrigerators.
Our culture is in a state of addiction. It is pathological. And it is wrecking our planet, which ought to be incidental to the immorality of needlessly breeding billions of sentient individuals into captivity, reproductive subjugation, and slaughter. Bodies are not commodities. Body parts are not barcodes. Beings are not property.
Until we divest from this poisonous sense of entitlement, this stupor of violence, exploitation, and consumption, our species is doomed.
A big CBP welcome to our new K9 teams in @CBPElCentro Sector! The agents & their canine partners graduated from a 7-week K9 academy where they trained to search all operational environments and identify concealed humans and the odors of controlled substances. @USBPChiefELCpic.twitter.com/RXNbov472R
February 1, 2020 | 3:43pm
rhesus macaques monkey Florida
A rhesus macaques monkey is pictured in Silver Springs, Fla. in 2017. AP
Forget Florida man, now there’s Florida monkeys.
A roving band of feral, herpes-ridden monkeys is now roaming across northeast Florida.
The STD-addled rhesus macaques had previously been confined to Silver Springs State Park near Ocala, Florida, but are now being spotted miles away in Jacksonville, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Palatka, Welaka and Elkton, Florida according to a local ABC affiliate, First Coast News.
Even more worrying: over a quarter of the 300 feral macaques — an invasive species native to south and southeast Asia — carry herpes B, according to a 2018 survey, National Geographic reported.
The monkeys were introduced to the area in the 1930s by a local cruise operator, Colonel Tooey’s Jungle Cruise, which released 12 monkeys over a series of years onto a man-made island inside Silver Springs State Park. The monkeys swam to freedom and reproduced at alarming rates and are now wandering around residential areas.
“The potential ramifications are really dire,” University of Florida primate scientist Dr. Steve Johnson told First Coast News. “A big male … that’s an extremely strong, potentially dangerous animal.”
In 1984, the then-Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission allowed licensed trappers to cull the monkey population by trapping and hunting. Over a thousand of the monkeys ended up in zoos or research facilities — or were simply killed. It was “a program that proved deeply unpopular with the public,” FCN noted. Since 2012 there has been no active management of the monkey population.
Greta Mealey, who works for DuMond Conservancy for Primates & Tropical Forests in Miami, told FCN that the monkeys are not a major threat to humans. “They’re not going to come up to us and interact with us. They would be more fearful.”
But, she added, “It’s not the kind of animal you probably want hanging around.”
Mealey’s grandson, Jason Parks, 8, of Julington Creek, saw one of the monkeys and described it as “being about chest high with ‘sharp claws and stuff. … My sister named him George.’”
It’s time for all, including ethical hunters + sportspeople, to come out against the wanton waste of wildlife + cruelty associated with coyote, fox + bobcat killing contests. Such wholesale eradication of predators for cash + prizes is anything but science-based wildlife mgmt. https://t.co/bbp6S4l7FL
amp.theguardian.comOne of the malnourished lions sits in her cage at the Al-Qureshi park in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty ImagesSudan
Park officials and vets say some of the five cats have lost almost two-thirds of their body weight
Sun 19 Jan 2020 19.58 EST
Online calls to help save five “malnourished and sick” African lions at a park in Sudan’s capital grew on Sunday.
The lions are in cages at Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi park, which is in an upmarket area of the city, and have not had enough food and medicine for weeks.
Many people have demanded they be moved.
Osman Salih launched a Facebook campaign, Sudananimalrescue, and wrote: “I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park … Their bones are protruding from the skin.
“I urge interested people and institutions to help them.”
Park officials and vets said the lions’ conditions had deteriorated over the past few weeks. Some had lost almost two-thirds of their body weight.
“Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” said Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at the park, which is managed by the Khartoum municipality but is partly funded by private donors.
Sudan is in the middle of an economic crisis led by soaring food prices and a shortage of foreign currency.
On Sunday residents, volunteers and journalists visited the park to see the lions after their photographs went viral on social media networks.
One of the five cats was tied with a rope and was fed fluids through a drip as it recovered from dehydration, an AFP reporter who toured the park wrote.
Chunks of rotten meat covered in flies lay scattered near the cages.
The condition of the park was also affecting the animals’ health, another official at the park said.
“They are suffering from severe illnesses,” a caretaker, Moataz Mahmoud, said. “They are sick and appear to be malnourished.”
It is unclear how many lions are in Sudan but several are at the Dinder park along the border with Ethiopia.
African lions are classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Their population dropped 43% between 1993 and 2014, with only about 20,000 alive today.
Happy New Year from all of us at the NhRP! Please see some of the year’s highlights in the fight for #nonhumanrights and what we achieved together in 2019 in our first ever Annual Report: https://t.co/htjD08EA96
Finnish photographer Lassi Rautiainen captured the amazing sight of a female grey wolf and a male brown bear. The unlikely friendship was documented over the course of ten days in 2013. The duo was captured walking everywhere together, hunting as a team and sharing their spoils.
Each evening after a hard of hunting the pair shared a convivial deer carcass meal together at the dusk in the wilderness.
Image Credit & More Info: kesava | wildfinland.org.
They hung out together for at least 10 days.
“It’s very unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on like this” Finnish photographer Lassi Rautiainen, told the Daily Mail in 2013 when he took these surprising photos. “From what I could find, it’s actually the first time, at least in Europe, where such a friendship was developed.”
“No-one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends,” Lassi continued. “I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone…It is nice to share rare events in the wild that you would never expect to see.”
Lassi’s guess is as good as any, as there are no scientific studies on the matter, and it is very hard to find such cases – especially in the wild.
“It seems to me that they feel safe being together,” Lassi adds.
The duo comes from two species that are meant to scare everything the meet. However, this male bear and female wolf clearly see each other as friends, focusing on the softer side in one another and eat dinner together.
The two friends were also seeing playing!
The heart touching pictures of the unusual duo was captured by nature photographer Lassi Rautiainen, in the wilderness of northern Finland.
Rare pictures depict the bear and the wolf sharing a meal in leisure!
The friendship looks like something straight out of a Disney movie.
Nature never ceases to amaze us. While scientists are baffled by the unusual friendship, the pair seems to be enjoying each other’s company.
“No one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends,” said Lassi. “I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone”.
The friends were seen meeting up every night for 10 days straight.
Spending so much time on the Internet and being there all the time these days, reading everything that is served to us – good or bad – sadly enough, often are the times we hear or read stories of dogs being used for experiments.
And, truth be told, it breaks my heart every time.
Image result for Drone footage shows hundreds of dogs kept in extreme stress for research
What took the internet by storm this time, is this video taken by a drone of hundreds of dogs being kept in horrible conditions and living the life no one would want. The video was uploaded on YouTube by Shark, and according to its caption, the dogs are there for experiments.
In a Covance Research facility, in Cumberland, Virginia you can see hundreds of Beagles in extremely stressful conditions.
Keeping them trapped and in such horrible conditions according to experts is developing them ‘very toxic and aggressive behavior patterns.’ In the video, you can hear the poor creatures barking and crying at all time.
Another thing noticed there, is the so-called ‘repetitive behavior’ of the dogs which is caused by stress, seeing many of them pacing in circles. This is an indicator of a serious problem with the mental state of an animal or person. It really breaks your heart!
The cages that the Beagles are being kept, are over-filled and you can clearly see they are under so much stress, where fighting and other signs of dominance occur. Who even blames them?
It is heartbreaking knowing that these lovely dogs are going under so much stress. While the barking and the crying of the Beagles – is the new sound of the Covance research facility.
Turns out that the Covance research facility has been blamed for illegal treatment in the past as well. They were accused by PETA for immoral practices in a monkey laboratory.
To help these loving creatures who are suffering from living a stressful life being trapped in cages, living a life they do not deserve, people have created a petition to shut down the Covance research facility and rescue the poor dogs.
Neil Aldridge’s image of a blindfolded young white rhino, which was sedated for transport to preserve it from poachers, features in the book. The price of rhino horn on the black market is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study NEIL ALDRIDGE/photographersagainstwildlifecrime.com
At the beginning of the 20th century, half a million rhinos roamed Africa. Today, there are fewer than 5,000. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached; since 2013, more than 1,000 have been killed each year. Overwhelmingly, their horns end up on the Chinese and Vietnamese market, where a burgeoning elite views rhino products as an elixir for all manner of ills, or as an ornamental trinket—the ultimate status symbol.
Rhinos are the most iconic of a host of endangered species driven to extinction by such rampant black markets. Pangolins, the only mammal with scales, are frequently found roasted and served in restaurants across East Asia. Black bears are farmed for their bile, which is extracted for use in traditional medicines, while shark fins and turtles are turned into soup. More than 6,000 tigers are held in captivity in China today—before their skeletons are soaked in rice wine and sold to the elite.
This has posed a challenge to some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers. Should their practice and livelihood change as the animals they spend their careers capturing teeter on the brink of extinction?
“Magazines shy away from publishing such imagery. It doesn’t sell well”
A new collective, Photographers Against Wildlife Crime, has formed to address this question and to confront the nation primarily connected to this horrific rise in poaching: China. Co-founded by the award-winning photographer Britta Jaschinski, the group includes some of the most renowned wildlife photographers in the world, including Adrian Steirn, Brent Stirton and Brian Skerry. It was formed in part due to wildlife crime’s lack of visibility in Western publications, Jaschinski says.
“Millions of animals are caught and harvested from the wild and sold in China as food, pets, tourist curios, trophies and for use in traditional Chinese medicine,” she says, adding that the issue doesn’t get the column inches it deserves. “The subject is so upsetting for a lot of people that magazines shy away from publishing such imagery,” Jaschinski adds. “It doesn’t sell well.”
Reaching the target audience
Together, Jaschinski and her colleagues crowdfunded and self-published a collection of their photographs alongside contemporary reporting on the issues behind wildlife crime. The book was initially published in English and quickly sold out. “But we realised we weren’t reaching the target audience that really mattered,” Jaschinski says.
Working in conjunction with a Chinese printer based in London, Jaschinski and her team have translated the book into Mandarin. After months of negotiating with the authorities, they are now in the process of distributing the book across the Chinese mainland.
The book is the first of its kind to be created specifically for a Chinese audience, and explicitly sets out to end the demand for wildlife products in China. It will be launched across the country in July and August, actively targeting the Chinese wildlife consumer market, the trading nucleus for one of the biggest black markets in the world.
The illegal wildlife trade is the world’s fourth biggest criminal trade after drug smuggling, illegal firearms trade and human trafficking. The price of rhino horn on the black market, Jaschinski points out, is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study by Science Advances. Rhino horn is estimated to fetch up to $60,000 per pound on the black market, and the illicit industry as a whole is estimated to be worth $20bn. Andrea Crosta, the director of the Elephant Action League, has called ivory the “white gold of jihad”, pointing out that al-Shabaab, an Islamic terrorist organisation, is funded directly by the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade in China.
Ban is barely enforced
In 2017, the Chinese authorities announced that all trade in ivory and its products would be made illegal. But the ban was barely enforced, Jaschinki says. The trade in rhino and tiger has been prohibited since 1993, but in October 2018, China alarmed conservationists by announcing that products from captive animals are authorised “for scientific, medical and cultural use”.
“I’ve worked on wildlife crime for 25 years—and I don’t distinguish between legal and illegal wildlife crime,” Jaschinski says. “China is becoming the economic leader of the world; I wanted to look at the horrendous treatment of animals and nature in the country, and especially at the link between poaching and trade in the country, and the mistreatment of animals in captivity in China.”
While the images are often appalling, they have artistic merit, for each photographer involved has approached the subject from a different perspective, and by employing a different style. In the introduction to the book, Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury, writes: “Some set out to highlight injustice through statement art, creating images that are unforgettable through their power—fury expressed beautifully. Others take dismembered beauty and reincarnate it in a haunting arrangement, turning evidence into art. Or they use the iconography of classical art to give their compositions human resonance, echoing a crucifixion, a deathbed repose or the spoils of war.”
If you need to take your companion animals with you. Then you need to leave the A.C. on in the car with water for them to drink. Otherwise, leave them at home and out of the heat. Too many times I have seen people leaving their companions in a hot car. Too many times I have had to call cops while busting the window open to save a dog’s life.
People need to understand if it’s too hot for them then it’s really too hot for their companions.
If you yourself see an animal in a hot car. You need to alert the local authorities, and let them know you had to break the window to save a life. This goes for young kids as well. Do not leave kids in the car on hot days either. Hot cars are death sentences.
Please be vigilant this summer and take precautions…
By Zachary Toliver
Published June 4, 2019
Fireworks explosions are more than terrifying for animals—they can be fatal.
A Toledo, Ohio, baseball team has announced that it will no longer host dog-friendly events in conjunction with fireworks shows after a dog named Stella died during a recent display.
The death occurred during the Toledo Mud Hens’ “Paws and Pints” promotional night, which encourages families to bring their companion animals to the ballgame. A fireworks show followed the game at Fifth Third Field. While no official cause of death has been released, dogs have been known to suffer heart attacks during these loud, frightening displays.
Many online commenters have pointed out that the minor league baseball team should have known that fireworks make dogs anxious and even petrified. In a statement, the Toledo Mud Hens admitted that it fell short in hosting a safe, friendly event for all family members. The team also stated that it will be “making a memorial contribution to an animal charity” of the grieving family’s choice.
Whether they’re set off on the Fourth of July, on New Year’s Eve, or at any other raucous celebration, fireworks are terrifying for animals.
Many dogs and cats flee in fear from the deafening blasts. They become confused and panicked, and animal shelters see a spike in the number of admissions after fireworks displays.
Our Animal Companions Depend on Us to Keep Them Safe
Simply keeping animals indoors during fireworks displays may not be enough. It’s important for frightened animals to have their guardians nearby. They may flee their homes when trying to escape the startling and confusing blasts. It’s not uncommon for dogs to break through a window or screen door or to dig under a fence in panic. Prepare your home and animal companions before the event:
Distract your cats and dogs by giving them lots of love and attention.
Play some soothing background music or turn on the TV.
Close the curtains or blinds.
Make sure that all your animals are wearing collars with current identification tags and that they’re microchipped.
As popular as fireworks displays are, animals don’t understand that the bursts of light and deafening explosions are just for fun. For more ways to keep animals safe, check out our feature below.
Fireworks are a staple for the 4th of July; however, the loud sounds can be incredibly terrifying and stressful for your companion animals.
In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters because the scary noises often cause animals to run away out of fear. Here are five ways you can help keep your companion animal safe during July 4th celebrations.
1. Make sure your companion animals are properly identified.
In the unfortunate event your companion animal does run away, ensure he/she is wearing a collar with an ID tag that displays your name, phone number, and address. It’s also a good idea to get him/her microchipped and registered (if they aren’t already) to better help identify them if they do run away.
2. Avoid noisy areas.
If you plan on partaking in the 4th of July festivities, avoid bringing your companion animal to crowded, noisy events—especially if they include firework displays.
3. Don’t leave your companion animals outside.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but even if you think your backyard is secure, do not leave your companion animals outside during the hectic festivities. Keep them safe and help alleviate their stress by bringing them inside.
4. Make your companion animals comfortable.
If you do plan on going out for the 4th of July celebrations, make sure your companion animal is comfortable, and ensure your home is escape-proof. Make sure all of the windows are closed, lower the blinds/close the curtains, and give them a cozy bed or crate to help them feel safe throughout the night.
5. After the celebrations, make sure your yard is clear of fireworks debris.
Even if you didn’t set off fireworks, debris from your neighbors’ 4th of July festivities can make their way onto your property and into the mouths of your beloved companion animals. Before you let them outside to play, ensure your yard is clear of any items that could be dangerous to your pets.
Animal shelters often encounter the issue of cramped space due to the number of cats and dogs that are rescued and surrendered but never find a forever home, one boy from New Jersey is aware of this problem, so he decided to do something about it. Despite his young age Darius Brown has found a way to use his talents for the betterment of animal lives. To help our furry companions get adopted faster, he creates handmade bow ties for shelter cats and dogs to get the attention of possible owners.
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So it turns out that like humans, animals’ brains sync up with one another during social interactions. This, according to new research examining the neural activity of Egyptian fruit bats and mice engaging within their respective social groups.
We already know from prior research there is synchronization of neural activity in humans’ brains during social activities such as conversation when one person picks up social cues from the other and modulates his or her own behavior based on those cues. Now there is evidence the same thing occurs with nonhuman animals–especially with animals that are highly social by nature like bats and mice.
The synced-up bat study overview
Researchers monitored the bats for sessions of about 100 minutes each as they engaged in a wide range of natural social interactions, such as grooming, mating, and fighting. The bats were filmed with high-speed cameras, and their specific behaviors and interactions were carefully characterized.
As this was happening, the scientists were using a technology called wireless electrophysiology to simultaneously record the brain activity in the bats’ frontal cortices across a wide range of neural signals, ranging from brain oscillations to individual neurons and local neural populations. They saw that the brains of different bats became highly correlated and that this correlation was most pronounced in the high-frequency range of brain oscillations. Furthermore, the correlation between the brains of individual bats extended across multiple timescales of social interactions, ranging from seconds to hours. Remarkably, by looking at the level of correlation, they could predict whether the bats would initiate social interactions or not.
The in-sync mice study overview
Researchers used a device called a miniaturized microendoscope to monitor the brain activities of mice during social situations. These tiny devices, which weigh only two grams, are fitted on the mice and allow the researchers to monitor the activity of hundreds of neurons at the same time in both animals. They saw that mice also exhibit interbrain correlations in natural social interactions where animals freely interact with each other. Moreover, the access to thousands of individual neurons gave them an unprecedented view of both animals’ decision-making processes and revealed that interbrain correlation emerges from different sets of neurons that encode one’s own behavior and behavior of the social partner.
Social interactions are often nested within the context of a dominance hierarchy. By imaging two mice in a competitive social interaction, they discovered that behavior of the dominant animal drives synchrony more strongly than behavior of the subordinate animal. Remarkably, they also found that the level of correlation between two brains predicts how mice will respond to each other’s behavior as well as the dominance relationships that develop between them.
Journal Reference: Lyle Kingsbury, Shan Huang, Jun Wang, Ken Gu, Peyman Golshani, Ye Emily Wu, Weizhe Hong. Correlated Neural Activity and Encoding of Behavior across Brains of Socially Interacting Animals. Cell, 2019;
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