New Jersey could become first state to license pet groomers

New Jersey could become the first state in the country to regulate pet groomers after a bill unanimously passed a committee hearing Monday. The Pet Grooming Licensing Act was pushed through after an investigation documented dozens of cases of dogs dying during or shortly after groomings at PetSmart. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle introduced the bill in 2014. “Everyone I tell, they're surprised groomers don’t require licensing,” she said. “There’s room for regulation. No one is against safety. It’s time to put pets over profits.” The bill, known as Bijou’s Law, would establish a Pet Groomers Advisory Committee within the Division of Consumer Affairs and require that groomers pass an exam for a license. The groomer would also need to be at least 18 years of age and “be of good moral character.”

Use of anesthesia changes the outcome of animal research studies

General anesthesia is used during surgery and other research procedures in animal studies to minimize pain and maintain welfare. But does anesthesia affect the results of research studies? Yes, finds a new study published in the September 2018 issue of Experimental Neurology. The authors found that general anesthesia used during surgery and other procedures in animal studies can affect the results of the studies, leading to misinterpretation of results. “These shifts may confound experimental results, particularly as the size of the shift caused by anesthesia can depend on the time of the day it is administered,” said study author Guy Warman, PhD, a senior lecturer in anesthesiology at the the University of Auckland in New Zealand. “Circadian rhythms in physiology and cognitive parameters can cause large differences in parameters across the course of the biological day.” To best minimize the effects of anesthesia, Warman suggests standardizing the time of day anesthesia is given across a study.

Research into how animals use their tails to swish away insects could help keep humans itch free

An adult elephant weighs in at nearly five tons. His peskiest threat is a fraction of that. But in order for a pachyderm to slap away a tiny mosquito once she lands on his backside, an elephant must generate the same amount of torque it takes to accelerate a car. That’s one finding in a new study that looked at how animals use their tails to keep mosquitoes at bay. The researchers also discovered that mammals swish the tips of their tails at a velocity of one meter per second, nearly the same speed as a mosquito flies. The findings could help engineers discover new methods of building robots and energy-efficient machines that protect humans and animals from mosquitoes. “Most people assume that animals use their tails to swat at bugs, but we wanted to know how they do it,” said David Hu, PhD, associate professor of fluid mechanics at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the researcher who supervised the study. “They basically have two methods of attack: the swish and [the] swat.” Swishing at one meter per second, an animal creates enough wind to keep nearly 50% of mosquitoes from landing on his rear end.

Officials issue alert after rabid cat found in Florida

Florida health officials have issued a 60-day alert in Miami–Dade County after a second cat tested positive for rabies this year. The Florida Department of Health announced the alert Tuesday morning. It covers a limited area in North Miami Beach and will last until December 14. An earlier alert following the discovery of the first rabid cat covers another area in North Miami Beach and is set to expire November 24. Health officials say one person is receiving rabies treatment after coming into contact with an unvaccinated stray cat; another person is being checked after being scratched by the cat. The cat has been euthanized. Beside the two cats, six rabid raccoons were found on Zoo Miami land during the summer.

Research firm: Pet insurance market will double by 2022

Market research firm Packaged Facts forecasts that the US pet health insurance industry, estimated at slightly more than $1 billion in 2017, will nearly double to reach $2 billion by 2022, according to a release. Packaged Facts’ findings were featured in the recently published report, Pet Insurance in the US, Sixth Edition. The pet insurance market will grow more than 14% per year, supported by a number of trends in both this emerging market and competitive ones, according to company experts. Most notably, increased consumer awareness will be crucial to growth. “Consumers are increasingly aware of the available pet insurance plans in the US marketplace. Through marketing efforts and consumer education by pet insurance companies and associations, consumers are learning the benefits that pet insurance can offer when a pet becomes ill or is injured,” said David Sprinkle, research director at Packaged Facts.

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