Sunday, January 18, 2009

Worldwide News Bytes

CALIFORNIA: Animal rights group threatens UC Davis researchers 12.jan.09 ∙ Opposing Views The University of California, Davis, is on high alert after a radical animal rights group -- known as "Revolutionary Cells Animal Liberation Brigade" -- posted bomb warnings on an Internet site on Saturday. Two scientists working at the university's California National Primate Research Center were called out by name and home street address. "We are the Revolutionary Cells Animal Liberation Brigade," said the statement. "And we could not stand by and let the atrocities continue. We chose two primate vivisectors and mailed them letter-bombs." The group says this is "not a hoax" and that it is "the beginning of our campaign against UC Davis and the CNPRC and we will not end until the torture and killing of primates ends." Established in 1962, CNPRC is a federally funded biomedical research facility and part of a network of eight national primate research centers sponsored by the National Center for Research Resources, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There are approximately 4,700 monkeys in the CNPRC. Read more. UK: Caffeine A Hallucinogen Eureka Alert ∙ 13 Jan 2009 ∙ Durham University Researchers at Durham University in the U.K. announced yesterday in the journal, Personality and Individual Differences, that high caffeine consumption could be linked to a greater tendency to hallucinate. “People with a higher caffeine intake, from sources such as coffee, tea and caffeinated energy drinks, are more likely to report hallucinatory experiences such as hearing voices and seeing things that are not there, according to the Durham University study. '”High caffeine users' – those who consumed more than the equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee a day - were three times more likely to have heard a person's voice when there was no one there compared with 'low caffeine users' who consumed less than the equivalent of one cup of instant coffee a day. “In the study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Medical Research Council, 200 students were asked about their typical intake of caffeine containing products, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks as well as chocolate bars and caffeine tablets. Their proneness to hallucinatory experiences, and their stress levels, were also assessed. Seeing things that were not there, hearing voices, and sensing the presence of dead people were amongst the experiences reported by some of the participants.” Read article. UK - Africa: Rabies alert 10.jan.09 ∙ APA London -- The United Kingdom health officials, in conjunction with ’Alliance for Rabies Control’ (ARC), have sent health warnings to Britons travelling to Africa, after a young Belfast woman on Thursday, became the latest victim to die of rabies in a British hospital. The shock-stricken family of Lisa McMurry, an animal welfare worker, said she became infected with rabies during one of her many visits to animal sanctuaries in Africa. "Lisa began to feel unwell after returning from her last trip in March 2008. “The rabies was confirmed late December 2008, and the poor woman died yesterday", a family member said. Doctors in UK have described rabies as one of the most horrific and dramatic illnesses of all; and around 100 children worldwide die every day from rabies, with overall 55,000 deaths from the disease in Africa and Asia every year. Link to article. UK: Animal welfare experts hot under the collar over dogs in coats 10.jan.09 ∙ ∙ Jasper Copping The growing trend for dog owners to clothe their pets has led to warnings from animal welfare experts who say it could be causing the animals to overheat. The RSPCA has compared the practice to leaving dogs in cars during hot weather and warned that if people consistently allow their dogs to get too hot when wearing clothing they could face prosecution. Owners and experts have also said that the growth of "canine couture"– dressing dogs in "fashionable" clothing – is demeaning to the animals and could even encourage bad behaviour. Dog clothing has become a big business in recent years. Among the products now available are all-in-one trouser suits, which only leave the head and paws exposed, "jumpers", which cover the body and the front legs, and even "hoodies". Fancy dress designs, such as Elvis Presley-style jumpsuits and pirate costumes, are also available. Click to read more.

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