Weekly News Roundup 11-24 to 11-30

 Reporting suspected animal abuse to be mandatory for vets in parts of Canada

Changes to animal welfare laws in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan include a provision that will require veterinarians to report suspected instances of animal cruelty. Kaley Pugh, executive director of Animal Protective Services in the province, said “(Veterinarians) were worried about the effect on their business prior to this, so that they didn’t want to get in trouble with their clients if they did have something they wanted to report.” Pugh added that this added support will protect veterinarians who report abuse from lawsuits.

New survey reveals profound impact of bullying in British veterinary practices

Employees at veterinary practices in the United Kingdom who participated in the survey say they experienced at least one of 15 types of unpleasant behavior in the last year, which ranged from being physically intimidated to being on the receiving end of “sly glances.” The most frequently reported behaviors were: “being belittled in front of other staff” (73%), “being criticized minutely, repeatedly and seemingly unfairly” (65%), and '‘having your authority undermined to others in the practice” (50%). As one veterinary technician commented: "Pay is obviously important when you have a mortgage and bills, but not dreading going into work every day, it’s priceless!" 

Cloned dog cloned

Scientists at Seoul National University in South Korea have used a cloned dog to create four more dogs in an experiment to find out what happens when animals are re-cloned. The team created the dogs—Afghan hounds—with stem cells from Snuppy, the world’s first ever cloned dog, which was born in April 2005. The scientists raised Snuppy to study the health effects cloning has on animals. One of the four re-cloned dogs died at four days old. However, the other three are now nine months and are all healthy.

Study: dogs are smarter than cats

It has to do with their brains, specifically the number of neurons in their cerebral cortex: the “little gray cells” associated with thinking, planning and complex behavior—all considered hallmarks of intelligence. The first study to actually count the number of cortical neurons in the brains of a number of carnivores, including cats and dogs, has found that dogs possess significantly more of them than cats. As far as dogs and cats go, the study found that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have about 250 million. (That compares to 16 billion in the human brain.)

Photo credit: © iStock/carenas1

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