Weekly News Roundup 12/14–12/20
First recipients of Colorado’s new Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program named
Callie Kuntz, DVM, and Kayle Austin, DVM, have been selected as the first recipients of Colorado’s Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program. Through this unique program, established by Colorado law in 2017, graduates of veterinary schools are eligible for up to $70,000 of student loan repayment over four years while working in areas of the state experiencing a shortage of veterinary services. This program recognizes the burden many young veterinarians face after graduation: The average debt for 2016 veterinary school graduates across the country was more than $167,000. It also addresses the need for professional services for large and small animals in rural communities.
Korea closes largest dog meat slaughterhouse
South Korea has shut down its largest dog slaughterhouse in a move hailed by animal rights campaigners as a major blow against the country’s canine meat trade. Seongnam City Council, Gyeonggi Province, closed the Taepyeong-dong dog slaughterhouse, where hundreds of thousands of dogs were killed each year by electrocution before their remains were sold for meat, according to Humane Society International (HSI). South Korea is the only country in Asia where dogs are routinely and intensively farmed for human consumption. There are conflicting figures on the number of farmed dogs, slaughterhouses, and markets across the country, but the HSI estimates around two million dogs are being kept in around 17,000 facilities.
Airlines fight to stop transport of lab research animals
A leading biomedical research advocacy group is urging the US Department of Transportation to order four major international airlines to carry nonhuman primates and other animals to research facilities around the world. The National Association for Biomedical Research filed the complaint against United Airlines, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, and Qatar Airways in August, alleging that the companies “illegally discriminate” against customers who transport animals for lab research purposes while allowing transportation of pets and zoo animals. All four airlines are fighting the move.
Cornell veterinarians to provide care at Westminster Dog Show
The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and its satellite clinic, Cornell University Veterinary Specialists (CUVS), will be the official veterinary care providers for the 143rd annual Westminster Dog Show (February 11–13 in New York City). The collaboration marks the beginning of a multiyear partnership between Cornell and The Westminster Kennel Club, which was founded in 1877 and is dedicated to purebred dogs. The club is renowned for its Best in Show event and agility and obedience competitions. As part of this partnership, CVM and CUVS veterinarians will be on call for the duration of the Westminster show to provide treatment and consultation to all animal guests of the event.
Jerky pet treats: Anatomy of an FDA investigation
More than 10 years after the first reports of pet and people illnesses were linked to jerky treats from China, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is no closer to finding the root cause of the problem. From August 2007 through December 31, 2015, the number of illness complaints linked to jerky pet treats included more than 6,200 dogs, 26 cats, and 3 people. More than 1,140 of the dogs died. The first hint of trouble appeared in August 2007, when bloggers reported the removal of chicken jerky pet treats from the shelves of a major retailer due to traces of melamine in the treats. In September 2007, the American Veterinary Medical Association alerted its members to reports of an acquired form of Fanconi syndrome in dogs.