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Weekly News Roundup 1/29 to 2/4

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FDA reports more than 100 pet deaths nationwide linked to recalled pet food

The US Food and Drug Administration has updated the number of pet deaths to 110 in connection to fatal levels of aflatoxin in Midwestern Pet Foods’s recalled dog and cat food products. In addition to the deaths there are more than 210 pets who are sick after eating Sportmix pet food. The update comes after multiple Midwestern Pet Foods recalls of dog and cat food products after tests showed levels of aflatoxin that exceed acceptable limits. The pet deaths are associated with lots of Sportmix High Energy. No human illnesses have been reported. Lot code information may be found on the back of the bag and will appear in a three-line code, with the top line in the format “EXP 03/03/22/05/L#/B###/HH: MM”. More than 1,000 lot codes are affected. . . more

Miami Heat to use coronavirus-sniffing dogs to screen fans at games

The Miami Heat are bringing back some fans, with help from some dogs. The Heat will use coronavirus-sniffing dogs at AmericanAirlines Arena to screen fans who want to attend their games. They've been working on the plan for months, and the highly trained dogs have been in place for some games this season where the team has allowed a handful of guests—mostly friends and family of players and staff. Starting this week, a limited number of ticket holders will be in the seats as well, provided they get past the dogs first. The coronavirus-sniffing dog idea has been put into place at airports in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Helsinki, Finland, in recent months. And if a fan is allergic to or afraid of dogs, the Heat are offering an option to skip the dog screening and submit to a rapid antigen test instead.. . . more

Human activity forces animals to move 70% further to survive

For the first time, scientists have calculated the global impact of human activity on animal movement, revealing widespread impacts that threaten species survival and biodiversity. While it has been shown that activities such as logging and urbanization can have big impacts on wildlife, the study by scientists at the University of Sydney and Deakin University in Australia shows that episodic events such as hunting, military activity, and recreation can trigger even bigger changes in animal behavior. The study points to a global restructuring of animal movements caused by human disturbance, with potentially profound impacts on animal populations, species and ecosystem processes. . . . more

Arkansas cat tests positive for COVID

A house cat in central Arkansas tested positive for COVID-19, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture announced Tuesday. Heidi Ward, DVM, PhD, extension veterinarian for the division, said the Arkansas Department of Health recently confirmed the cat had been infected. It’s the first cat in the state to test positive, the university said. It’s since recovered and is said to be healthy. Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 100 animals in the US have contracted COVID-19, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. . . . . more

Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine announces landmark diversity initiative

IDEXX Laboratories has launched an initiative with the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM), which it intends to support by a contribution of $3.6 million over six years from the IDEXX Foundation. This intended support represents an inaugural investment in a larger effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in veterinary medicine. The TUCVM is the only veterinary medical professional program in the United States located on the campus of a Historically Black College or University, educating 70% of African-American veterinarians. The initiative includes nine full scholarships, mental health support for veterinary students, emergency funding for students in need, and monies for important capital improvements at the TUCVM facilities. . . . more

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