How to treat a hamster

The other week I developed Man Flu. I was quite buoyed when I announced it to the family at the dinner table and they were all brimming with remarkable sympathy. Then I realised that their sympathy was aimed at themselves, who would apparently now face a week of hell.

No matter. Being young and virile I shrugged it off after only a short week of intensive care and heroic battle and in such a fashion that nobody would have ever guessed I was ill. I struggled manfully to work each day and did all the househusband work expected of us these days whilst our wives are preoccupied with their coffee cards.

Then, I had a weekend on call. I’m not sure if it was the drama of the inevitable dropkicks (“My neighbour’s dog is barking, can you come out?”); or, as one of my colleagues lovingly said, “the stress of you donning overalls,” – but I had a sort of Man Flu relapse. Continue reading How to treat a hamster

Vet Ethics: Ag-gag laws – the good, the bad and the indifferent

The so-called “ag-gag” legislation is a hot topic in some animal farming and animal activist and circles. Recently passed in several States, ag-gag laws criminalize aspects of undercover filming or photographing in factory farms, puppy-mills, and other animal-producing facilities in the USA. This anti-whistleblower legislation arrives at a time when other whistleblowers, and their revelations on a wide range of matters, have generated worldwide interest. Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, and WikiLeaks are some of the more famous (or infamous) examples.

The ag-gag laws were passed after shocking footage of animal cruelty in American facilities – not dissimilar to the footage Australians saw in 2011 of the live export trade – emerged into the public domain. In one instance, video was taken of sick cattle in a California beef factory being pushed with forklifts, kicked, hosed, and electric prodded. Apart from the confronting cruelty, the footage caused a sensation because meat from the ill cattle went to school cafeterias, prompting the largest meat recall in US history.

Another public revelation involved footage of turkeys at Butterball farm in North Carolina being beaten with metal bars and dying from festering wounds. This video was taken by an activist from Mercy For Animals who was employed at the turkey farm. There are, of course, many other instances of animal abuse and suffering that have been uncovered, often by people working undercover at the facilities.

Ag gag laws aim to make this kind of activity illegal. Continue reading Vet Ethics: Ag-gag laws – the good, the bad and the indifferent

Veterinarian support for O’Farrell’s national park hunting plan

The President of the AVA’s Conservation group, Geoff Dutton, has offered support for NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s decision to allow hunting in 79 of the state’s national parks, provided animal welfare is being carefully considered and a strict licensing system is imposed.

Under the changes, licensed shooters can apply to hunt feral animals including pigs, dogs, cats, . . . → Read More: Veterinarian support for O’Farrell’s national park hunting plan