Trapping not necessary for rabies control, says N.Y. wildlife official

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

NEW YORK, N.Y.––New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation Bureau of Wildlife official Gordon Batcheller rattled readers of Fur Age
Weekly on May 17. “Although the harvest of raccoons is one way of reducing the risks of
contact,” Batcheller wrote in a guest article, “the relationships between hunting or trapping
and population size are too complex to make a simplistic statement like: hunting and trap-
ping is a necessarymeans of control.”
Batcheller went on to describe progress in developing means of vaccinating rac-
coons to halt the mid-Atlantic raccoon rabies pandemic, now in its 14th year. His remarks
were a sharp departure from the traditional position of state wildlife agencies, whose
income is derived in part from the sale of trapping licenses, and were a direct rebuttal to
recent claims by several Fur Age Weekly columnists.

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ANIMAL HEALTH & BEHAVIOR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Chinese authorities have begun
purging officials of Shenqui county in
Henan province for collaborating with
Wang Zhiqiang, an entrepreneur who built
a rural empire around a factory that manu-
factured fake veterinary medicines––among
them “antibiotics” made of talcum powder
and cornstarch, and “intravenous solution”
made of monosodium glutamate dissolved
in water. Wang allegedly bought off police
and politicians, held investigators for ran-
som, and tortured witnesses. Federal
authorities finally arrested Wang and shut
down his No. 1 Veterinarian Medicine
Factory, as he styled it, last

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Agriculture

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The Food and Drug Admini-
stration held hearings May 6-7 on whether
to approve the sale of milk produced with
the aid of the genetically engineered hor-
mone bovine somatotropin (BST), and if
sale is approved, whether the milk should
be specially labeled. Four chemical
firms––Upjohn, Monsanto, American
Cyanamid, and Eli Lilly––have reportedly
spent $500 million to develop and introduce
BST, which boosts milk production per cow
by up to 20%. BST is opposed by con-
sumer groups concerned about the possible
effects of the drug on human health, which
may include altering the growth rate of
bone and liver cells; animal protection
groups worried that BST may increase the
stress on cows; and dairy farmers anxious
that many of them could be put out of busi-
ness, since BST enables fewer cows to pro-
duce more milk, which is already in over-
supply. The same debate is underway in
Canada, where a multi-department review
of the possible effects of BST is to be com-
pleted later this year.

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Guest Column: Let veterinarians do the job

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

by Lewis R. Plumb
Excellent shelter statistics for
Harris County, Texas (Houston metropoli-
tan area) were reported in the April issue of
ANIMAL PEOPLE. But while much
detail and comment was included, further
analysis is possible.
The Harris County area, with six
animal control and/or sheltering operations
active, has an estimated pet population of
1.28 million. About 8.5% of these will
arrive at a shelter each year, with 82.4% of
arrivals being killed for population control
purposes. At an average cost of $50 per
euthanized animal (the cost to catch, keep,
kill, and dispose of the carcass), the total
population control cost is $4.5 million a
year. With an average dog or cat litter size
of six, there is a need for an additional
16,000 spays per year to eliminate surplus
births. These must be effective spays,
meaning spays that would not otherwise be
done, on animals who have a very high
probability of breeding if not done.

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BOOKS: Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats.

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats. B y
Diane Stein, The Crossing Press (P.O. Box 1048,
Freedom, CA 95019; 800-777-1048), 1993, 186 pages,
paper $16.95.
One American in three resorts to alternative health
care methods for some ailments, the New England Journal
of Medicine reported in January. Recognizing the potential
value of some alternative treatments, the National Institutes
of Health recently formed an Office of Alternative
Medicine, with an initial budget of $2 million. Yet the
availability of similar therapies for companion animals has
received relatively little attention. Pat Lazarus raised the
possibility in her 1983 volume Keep Your Pet Healthy The
Natural Way, and a few alternative-oriented veterinarians
such as Richard Kearns have attracted faithful followings,
but perhaps because there are few health food stores for ani-
mals, interest has been comparatively slow to develop.

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Fixing a cat on the air

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Alan Givotovsky, DVM, of Vachon Island, Washington, says he isn’t sure
whether he’d again perform a neutering operation on live radio. On February 3, Givotovsky
neutered a tomcat in the studio of KISW-Seattle during the early morning drive time to pro-
mote neutering, while disk jockey Bob Rivers supplied commentary and took calls from lis-
teners.
“Field surgery most of the time is pretty clean,” Givotovsky told ANIMAL PEO-
PLE, “but people were anxious because we weren’t in a clinic.” In fact, Givotovsky got up
at four a.m. to pack up and take along just about all the equipment he’d normally have had at
his clinic. The operation took 45 minutes, Givotovsky said, because of the preliminary
introduction, the time required to anesthetize the cat, and interruptions for songs, advertis-
ing, and the news.

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Rabies Update

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

New Jersey Department of Health veterinarian Colin T. Campbell told a region-
al conference on rabies held March 24 in Syracuse, New York, that the state of New Jersey
has allocated only $55,000 of the estimated $160,000 necessary to complete a two-year field
trial of the long-awaited Wistar orally administered raccoon rabies vaccine on the Cape May
peninsula. The state Department of Environmental Protection and Energy is seeking grants to
make up the balance. The vaccine is embedded in bait balls; raccoons who take the bait
vaccinate themselves. The bait balls are being air-dropped in batches of 20,000 at a time,
directed at the probable corridors of raccoon movement from the vicinity of the nearest
known rabies cases, which are presently about eight miles away. About 145,000 bait balls
will be dropped in total if the project is successfully completed.

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ANIMAL HEALTH

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Massachusetts SPCA veterinari-
ans Michael G. Aronsohn and Alicia M.
Faggella recently published protocols for
anesthetizing and neutering 6-to-14-week-
old kittens in the Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association, vol. 202,
#1, pp. 53-62.
The USDA announced April 1
that from now on it will require environ-
mental impact statements filed in connec-
tion with animal disease eradication activi-
ties to include identification of any pesti-
cides that might be used; any chemicals
used for sanitation; and a protocol for dis-
posing of carcasses and contaminated
manure and debris.

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Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

The Burger King franchise at
Watkins Glen, New York, in February qui-
etly introduced the spicy bean burger sold
by British Burger King outlets. Priced at
$2.29, the vegetarian burger is made from
kidney beans, carrots, onions, potato
flakes, and peppers, breaded and deep
fried, served on a bun with catsup, cheese
(optional), and tomato. Associated Press
quoted the manager as saying six weeks
later, “The demand is unbelievable. People
are coming from all over. There’s not a seat
in the restaurant. They say there are 12 mil-
lion vegetarians in the U.S. If we can kick
into that market, it’s well worth our while.”
According to AP, the spicy bean burger
will be introduced nationally if it remains
popular in Watkins Glen through the end of
the summer.

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