Pigeon bill gets lift from lawyers - Pennsylvania Bar Association delegates, who represent over 29,000 lawyers in the Commonwealth, voted recently to support legislation to outlaw pigeon shoots in the state. It is believed to be the first time in the history of the association that it has endorsed legislation related to the humane treatment of animals. Bills are perched in both chambers (H.B. 1411 and S.B. 843) to end to live pigeon trap shoots in Pennsylvania, the last state where they are openly practiced. Participants compete for prizes to shoot live birds launched from mechanical boxes only a few feet from the shooters. Thousands of birds are killed and many more who are maimed die slow deaths from their injuries.
The bills will also stop block shoot events where live, tame, white turkeys have had their feet tied to bales of hay to be shot with arrows by people standing a few away. The bills have received near universal support from newspaper editorial pages, but face stiff opposition from the NRA and the Pennsylvania Flyers Association, the lobby for pigeon shooters. Both groups claim the passage of a law banning pigeon shoots would open the door to banning hunting.
Feline medical breakthrough - The Food and Drug Administration has announced the approval of the first drug approved for the treatment of hyperthyroidism in cats. Felimazole (methimazole) is an antithyoid drug and works by blocking the creation of thyroid hormones in cats. Hyperthyroidism, one of the most common diseases in middle-aged and senior cats, is caused by an increase in production of thyroid hormones from the thyroid glands. Thyroid hormones play an important role in controlling the body's metabolic rate. Hyperthyroid cats generally have weight loss, despite increased appetite and food intake. The disease can also cause increased thirst, hyperactivity, rapid heart rate and irritability. Left untreated, the disease can result in heart failure or high blood pressure.
Tennessee lawmakers approve anti-puppy mill bill - Tennessee - the site of a huge puppy mill bust last year - may soon have a new law requiring licensing and basic humane standards for dogs kept in commercial kennels. passed both chambers by wide margins last week. The Tennessee Commercial Breeder Act requires large scale commercial breeding operations with more than 20 unsterilized female dogs maintained for breeding purposes to acquire a license from the Department of Health; establishes inspections as a prerequisite for licensure; and requires humane care standards for dogs and cats. The bill also requires commercial breeding operations to comply with state sales tax requirements, and holds commercial breeders accountable to consumers by forcing adherence to the Consumer Protection Act. Last June, the Humane Society of the United States led the largest puppy mill bust in Tennessee history, seizing more than 700 animals from deplorable conditions.