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Weekly News Roundup 1/17 to 1/23

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Compelling new evidence that your cat might eat your corpse

It’s one of those pet owner musings—a conversation topic so dark that it inspired the title of a book by a mortician: Would Fluffy eat me if I dropped dead? The answer, according to small but growing body of scientific literature, is a fairly clear yes. The newest entry into these annals includes photographic evidence of such dining in progress. In a recent paper, researchers describe the consumption of two different human corpses by two different cats, both of whom displayed a taste for arm tissue. To be clear, the bodies were there for this purpose. Both were donated to Colorado Mesa University’s Forensic Investigation Research Station, the kind of facility commonly known as a “body farm.” . . . more

Three new veterinary colleges Join AAVMC

Three new member institutions have joined the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), bringing the association’s total number of members to 53. The newest members are the University of Bristol Veterinary School (UBVS), the Long Island University College of Veterinary Medicine (LIU-CVM), and the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine (UA-CVM). UBVS has earned full accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE). LIU-CVM and UA-CVM have each received a Letter of Reasonable Assurance from the COE and will enroll their inaugural classes in the fall of 2020. . . . more

Spotify unveils playlists for pets

Spotify recently unveiled a playlist generator specifically for users’ pets. The music streaming service’s Pet Playlist website presents users with five options—cats, dogs, iguanas, birds, or hamsters—and asks for a rough overview of the animal companion’s personality traits, with the option to upload a picture of the pet and their name. According to Spotify, pet playlists are created using an algorithm that considers both a user’s listening habits and a pet’s personality traits to ensure that content is appealing to both pets and their owners. . . . more

The adorable pangolin is the most-trafficked animal in the world

In the rainforests of the Congo, Cameroon, and Central African Republic lives an elusive mammal who looks like a cross between an anteater, an armadillo, and a pinecone: the pangolin. And because of poachers, the pangolin is the most-trafficked animal on earth. In April 2019, Singapore seized a world record 25.6 tons of pangolin scales, worth $76.5 million and taken from an estimated 38,000 pangolins. In December, scales from some 50,000 African pangolins were seized by Chinese authorities. In all, it is estimated that more than 100,000 pangolins, mostly from Africa, were killed by traffickers last year—compared to 200 rhinos and 1,000 tigers. . . . more

Women leaders in animal health industry recognized with third annual Feather in Her Cap Award

More than 250 industry leaders attended the third annual Feather in Her Cap Award dinner where women leaders in the animal health industry were recognized for their achievements and significant contributions to the industry and for mentoring and developing future women leaders. The sold-out gala dinner and award presentation were held this week in Orlando, Florida. Elizabeth Greene, CEO of Brief Media, was awarded the Feather in Her Cap Award and received a gold feather brooch and a feathered hat. Greene was honored for founding Brief Media, which developed and launched Clinician’s Brief, a clinical veterinary journal, and developed the digital version of Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. She created a joint venture to provide unique continuing education event opportunities for veterinarians, including the New York Vet Show, the Chicago Vet Show, the Wild West Vet Show, and the Austin Vet Show. . . . more