BSE is confirmed in Calif. dairy cow | Study: Bats harbor 66 virus strains that could harm humans, animals | Equine influenza outbreak was perpetuated by weather conditions
April 25, 2012
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BSE is confirmed in Calif. dairy cow
The USDA has confirmed a California dairy cow had bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the nation's fourth-ever case and first since 2006. Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. John Clifford said the food supply was never in danger, and the animal had an atypical case of the disease discovered via routine testing. AVMA CEO Dr. Ron DeHaven, a past APHIS administrator who was the nation's chief veterinary officer in 2003 when the first U.S. case was discovered, said the finding illustrates the success of the USDA surveillance program. USA Today (4/25), MSNBC/The Associated Press (4/24), Reuters (4/25)
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Study: Bats harbor 66 virus strains that could harm humans, animals
Scientists in Germany and elsewhere found 66 new paramyxovirus species in bats, part of the group that causes diseases in humans and animals including measles, mumps and rinderpest. It's not clear whether these new viruses are transmissible to people, but experts say the potential for transmission is increased due to decreasing bat habitats. National Post (Canada)/Agence France-Presse (4/24)
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Equine influenza outbreak was perpetuated by weather conditions
Veterinary researchers found certain weather patterns perpetuated the spread of equine influenza during an outbreak in Australia in 2007 that involved some 70,000 horses and cost more than $350 million. The findings could be extrapolated to understand the spread of influenza viruses that infect humans, researchers say. (4/24)
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Rare white orca may have had offspring
Russian scientists first spotted an adult male all-white orca two years ago, and he wasn't alone. There were two male orca calves with mottled white skin in the pod, suggesting the adult white orca fathered offspring. Reports of other white marine mammals have occurred sporadically over the last half-century. The Seattle Times (4/24)
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Smartphone application provides pet poison information
A new smartphone application provides owners with an extensive list of household toxins and initial steps to follow should a pet be exposed to one. The application also has a direct link to the Pet Poison Hotline, which has board-certified veterinary specialists in internal medicine, emergency critical care and veterinary toxicology available to consult on poisonings. (Mich.) (4/25)
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Don't leave young children unattended with dogs
After a recent tragedy in which a child was mauled to death by the family dog, veterinarian Janet Crowe recommends that children under the age of 10 should not be left unattended with a dog, regardless of the breed. Older children should also ideally be supervised with pets because they can tease or otherwise agitate dogs. WCBD-TV (Charleston, S.C.) (4/23)
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Dog dumping ground is investigated
An area on the banks of the San Jacinto River in Crosby, Texas, has become a dumping ground for live and dead dogs, and some cats, and Belinda Smith of the Harris County District Attorney's Office is investigating. It's thought that owners falling on hard economic times are dumping the animals; dumping a live animal is a Class A misdemeanor with fines of $4,000 and up to a one-year jail term. KRIV-TV (Houston) (4/24)
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Around the Office
Google introduces its cloud-storage solution
Google has rolled out its cloud-storage service, Google Drive. The service, which will be integrated with Google Docs, comes with 5 GB of free storage, but you can get more by paying a monthly fee. Mashable (4/24)
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Policy Watch
FDA releases final plan for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program
In a report, the FDA summarizes its food safety goals for 2012-2016, including better scientific oversight, more collaboration among groups and more explicit nutritional information on food products for people and pets. The plan has almost 100 initiatives aimed at improving the quality and safety of the food supply. (4/24)
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USDA strengthens efforts to curb livestock with illegal drug residues
To prevent meat with illegal drug residues from reaching store shelves, the USDA plans to do more testing of animals from producers with a history of livestock with illegal residue. The USDA will also provide a compliance manual detailing how slaughter operations can avoid buying animals with illegal residues. The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (tiered subscription model) (4/23)
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Association News
Responsible Pet Ownership
Owning a pet is a privilege, but the benefits of pet ownership come with responsibilities. The AVMA has taken information from its Responsible Pet Ownership policy and made it available in a more "digestible" form on its website. This includes links to brochures (available for download now, available in print next month) and one-page flyers, all in English and Spanish. View AVMA's Responsible Pet Ownership Web page.
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Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-- Thomas Edison,
American inventor
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