Weekly News Roundup 3/26 to 4/1


Russia claims to be the first country to develop coronavirus shots for animals

Russia’s state veterinary service said on Wednesday that it had become the first regulator in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine for animals intended for use on fur farms or for pet cats and dogs. The agency, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision, said it did not recommend routine vaccination of animals, for now. Though cats and dogs do rarely catch the coronavirus, neither species gets very sick. Lions, tigers, and snow leopards can also catch the coronavirus. The Russian agency noted four reports of pet infections just in the last week, in Italy and in Mexico. It said a vaccine for pets was needed as insurance against variants that might spread more easily. . . . more

Trapped in gloves, tangled in masks: COVID PPE killing animals, report finds

The masks and gloves protecting people from coronavirus are proving a deadly threat to wildlife when thrown away, a report has found. A fish trapped in the finger of a rubber glove in the Netherlands, a penguin in Brazil with a mask in its stomach, and a fox in the UK entangled in a mask were among the victims. The study, published in the journal Animal Biology, is the first overview of cases of entanglement, entrapping, and ingestion of COVID-19 litter by animals. The PPE litter was mainly single-use latex gloves and single-use masks, consisting of rubber strings and mostly polypropylene fabric. . . . more

Free veterinary care program goes national

Homeless and street pets in America’s most vulnerable communities will soon have increased access to care, food, and supplies, thanks to ElleVet Sciences. The animal-focused cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid company has launched the ElleVet Project, a national nonprofit group with the goal of providing veterinary care to pets across the US. The new 501(c)(3) organization is an expansion of the Pets in Need Project, a pilot program launched in California last year to help homeless pets amidst the COVID pandemic. . . . more

Midwestern Pet Foods voluntary recall due to possible Salmonella health risk

Midwestern Pet Foods is issuing a voluntary recall of specific expiration dates of certain dog and cat food brands, including CanineX, Earthborn Holistic, Venture, Unrefined, Sportmix Wholesomes, Pro Pac, Pro Pac Ultimates, Sportstrail, Sportmix, and Meridian brands produced at its Monmouth, Illinois, Production Facility because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Products were distributed to retail stores nationwide in the United States (including Puerto Rico) and to online retailers. . . . more

Thanks to a genetic mutation, these French rabbits prefer handstands to bunny hops

Sauteur d’Alfort is French for Alfort’s jumpers, but rabbits bearing the name don’t hop at all. When most rabbits would jump away—pushing off the ground with both back legs to propel themselves forward—sauteur d’Alfort bunnies instead throw their backends up over their heads, balance on their front paws, and scurry forward. Now, researchers have identified the specific genetic mutation that leads to the bunnies’ particular locomotion. The mutation causes a malfunction in the nerve cells that coordinate messages from around the body to other muscle groups, which is key to a balanced gait. And the researchers’ study implications go beyond rabbits. . . . more

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