Category Archives: Animals

'Dirty meat': Shocking hygiene failings discovered in US pig and chicken plants

Previously unseen government records detail ‘deeply worrying’ incidents in pork and poultry plants, raising fears of ‘dirty meat’ entering the UK under a post-Brexit trade deal

Shocking hygiene failings have been discovered in some of the US’s biggest meat plants, as a new analysis reveals that as many as 15% (one in seven) of the US population suffers from foodborne illnesses annually.

A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying”.

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Source: gad

The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s angry young men

Algeria’s ‘lost generation’ has been shaped by years of conflict, unemployment and state repression. Sheep fighting offers an arena where men can escape the constant supervision of the state. By Hannah Rae Armstrong

Last August in Algiers, one week before the holiday of Eid al-Adha, men in tracksuits and trainers were guarding their sheep in anticipation of the fights to come. Kbabshis, as these men are known, scour villages looking for lambs that are fast, belligerent and shock-resistant. They then spend years raising them to be champion fighters. Coaches are tough but also surprisingly tender. They treat their sheep like mistresses, stopping by the garages where they install them, bringing food, caressing and massaging them before they head out together for long walks on the beach.

Professional trainers toughen their sheep by chaining their horns to a wall: as they pull and twist to break away, the resistance thickens their sinewy necks. Unlike with cockfighting, there is no gambling on sheep fights, but speculation on the sheep market can make it a lucrative trade. Each fight lifts the value of its victor and sentences the loser to slaughter. A champion ram might fetch as much as $10,000 – although most sheep trainers on a winning streak prefer to chase glory than cash. The sheep are given names that inspire fear, like Rambo, Jaws or Lawyer. In the third round of one recent match, Hitler delivered a brutal defeat to Saddam.

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Source: gad

Offended by Koreans eating dog? I trust you’ve never had a bacon butty | Chas Newkey-Burden

Frightened animals being caged, killed and turned into food – we’d never dream of such evils in the west … would we?

Would you eat rabbit? Even those who regularly consume meat from chickens, sheep and pigs will often balk at the thought of eating a cuddly little bunny rabbit. But what’s the difference? Why do we see some animals as furry friends and others as fair game to chop up and eat? With the Winter Olympics turning attention towards South Korea, dog meat has been put on the media menu. The west has gone into shock mode. They eat dogs? They must be mad!

Dogs are smart and friendly – but so are pigs

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Source: gad

Focusing on animal welfare is a smart move for Labour | Abi Wilkinson

Policies that motivate your base are no bad thing if they’re also popular among the wider electorate. Priorities such as a ban on exporting live animals will play well

During the last general election, animal welfare issues generated relatively little mainstream media attention. Though polls showed the vast majority of people opposed repealing the fox hunting ban, the consensus among commentators (myself included) was that the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge – to allow a vote on the issue in parliament – wouldn’t be a priority for voters. Other things, like the NHS, security, education and perceptions of competence, seemed far more likely to swing the result.

Meanwhile, on social media, something significant was happening. Not so much on Twitter, where journalists tend to spend a lot of their time. But over on Facebook, which has a far larger active user base, articles and videos about the potential legalisation of fox hunting went viral, sometimes racking up seven-figure view counts and reaching people who weren’t necessarily particularly politically engaged. The other big animal welfare story of the election – the Conservative U-turn on banning wild animals from circuses – spread similarly rapidly. That ban is also supported by the vast majority of voters and has already been implemented in Scotland.

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Source: gad

'Paramedic ants' observed treating injured comrades

The social insects have been seen cleaning wounds and possibly administering antibiotics to prevent infection

When the battle is done the victors head home, their march broken only to gather the wounded, who are hauled back to base for life-saving treatment.

Not a heroic scene from the second world war, but the daily grind for African Matabele ants, which leave their nests in the hundreds to launch raids on feeding termites – and risk life and limb in the process.

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Source: gad

The love pug: why our passion for flat-faced dogs and cats has to stop

Vets are calling for an end to pugs being pictured on Valentine’s Day cards, as demand for the animals with flattened faces, including French bulldogs and Persian cats, continues to grow

Those mournful, protruding eyes might be cute; the eye infections, not so much. The snorts and grunts are endearing – except when you remember it is because the animals are trying to breathe.

The trend for flat-faced dogs, such as pugs and French bulldogs, shows no sign of stopping. This week, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) called on greeting cards manufacturers to stop using pictures of these dogs on Valentine’s Day cards – they have become a staple image, and are also often used in advertising.

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Source: gad

As the commuter video shows, blind people are still seen as a problem | Jon Cronshaw

The viral video of a blind man being berated on the tube is a sad indication of what life can be like if you’re visually impaired

When I first saw the footage of a man trying to barge past Kika the guide dog and her handler on a London Underground escalator, I was saddened but not surprised. Last week, I qualified with my second guide dog, Digit. It’s been almost two years since my first dog, Watson, retired. Working with Digit has reminded me just how much I’ve missed having a guide dog to help me get around, yet the footage made me nervous about the potential altercations I may encounter.

Over the years, I’ve faced a number of access issues when trying to go about my life. Before we moved to Morecambe, Lancashire, my wife and I visited for a weekend break and went to a pub that had an upstairs restaurant. We ordered a drink and set off for the dining room, only to be told that we could not take the guide dog into the restaurant without the barman ringing his boss (he was under the impression that his boss would say no on account of other diners’ potential allergies). As an alternative, he told us we could eat in the bar.

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Source: gad

YouTube penalises Logan Paul for dead rat Taser video

Google pulls all adverts from vlogger’s content for displaying a ‘pattern of behaviour’ that ‘damages the broader creator community’

YouTube has once again penalised vlogger Logan Paul for posting inappropriate content, just weeks after he was suspended from the company’s paid-content program over a video trivialising suicide.

The YouTube star has had all adverts on his videos suspended over what Google describes as a “pattern of behaviour”, repeatedly posting content which push the boundaries of what is acceptable on the site.

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Source: gadt