Saturday, June 25, 2011

Q-Fever Spreads in 2 States

Q Fever spreads into the environment most commonly through livestock infected afterbirth and feces. Q Fever is caused by a microbe and can survive for months even years in dust an soil. People can contract Q Fever by coming into contact with the above mentioned material and inhaling infected barn dust. 
Health and agriculture investigators in Washington have traced the outbreak to a goat herd in the central part of the state where animals on two farms have since been quarantined.
The goats from one of the farms were sold to at least one livestock operator in Montana, where three human cases are confirmed and three more suspected, officials said.               (Yahoo News)
Is there a vaccine for animals & people for Q Fever? 
Yes, but not in USA.
A vaccine for Q fever is not commercially available in the U.S., although a human vaccine (Q-VAX®) is produced and licensed for use in Australia. A similar product, which is not licensed, is administered as an Investigational New Drug in the U.S. This vaccine is available through the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases for vaccinating at-risk persons. A vaccine for use in animals has also been developed, but it is not available in the U.S.     Q Fever-U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine     
There is currently not a licensed vaccine to prevent Q fever in livestock in the United States.  Colorado State University            "Q Fever" by Dr. Van Meter

Why do I bring this up? Q Fever can be contracted by humans from livestock, yet there is no livestock vaccine. In 2008 the number of yearly cases of Q Fever went down dramatically with less than 140 human contractions.

Whereas with brucellosis there is an effective vaccine (if ranchers choose to use it) and states like Montana have funding appropriated by the legislature on developing even better vaccines.  The number of human contractions of brucellosis in the USA is 100-200 per year.

Yet, even with all this funding and prevention federal tax payer money is used each year to harass and slaughter Yellowstone National Park Bison with the excuse that these bison transmit brucellosis to cattle, even though there has never been a case of this happening. No cattle are allowed on the bison birthing grounds or even into the state of MT until mid June, long after bison have given birth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

MT Wolf Hunt Comments Needed!

This is from Defenders of Wildlife. 
Montana wolves once again need your support.  As you may have heard, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is proposing a general rifle hunting season for wolves, set to begin Oct. 22 and running through Dec. 31, 2011. They are also proposing an archery and backcountry season beginning in September.  The proposed plan includes a statewide quota of 220 wolves divided across 14 Wolf Management Units (the 2010 year-end minimum count for wolves in Montana was 566).  According to FWP’s models, this represents a 40% harvest rate of the predicted pre-hunt population and will result in a population reduction of up to 25% by year end 2011.  FWP is accepting comments regarding this proposed hunt until 5:00 PM on Monday, June 20.  This doesn’t give us much time! 

We have included some talking points below.  Feel free to use these as a starting point when submitting your comments.

General talking points for wolves in the Northern Rockies:
  • The return of the gray wolf to the Northern Rockies is a remarkable achievement in wildlife restoration and an Endangered Species Act success story. Wolves have a long history in the West and are part of our unique wildlife heritage. 
  • As a Montana resident who support wolf conservation efforts, it’s important that the state manage wolves as native wildlife and appreciate the important ecological role they play, instead of treating them like pests and actively reducing their numbers to minimum levels.
  • Hunting quotas should be as conservative as possible, and based upon professional wildlife management standards.
  • According to a University of Montana study, people who visit the Yellowstone region hoping to glimpse a wolf spend around $35 million annually in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  This is an important economic resource for our state.
  • Elk & Wolves:  Contrary to popular misconception, most elk herds in the Northern Rockies are thriving. Elk numbers in the region have increased 18% since wolf reintroduction and 60 percent statewide in Montana, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Today, there are nearly 400,000 elk in the Northern Rockies and about 1,700 wolves. FWP needs to work harder to dispel myths and misinformation regarding wolves and their relationship with elk and other wildlife.
  • Livestock & Wolves:  Livestock lost to wolves represent less than 1% of total livestock losses in Montana and the Northern Rockies. Disease, coyotes, domestic dogs, and severe weather kill many times more cattle and sheep than wolves do.
The favorable aspects of the plan:
  • It’s good that no trapping is allowed under the current plan.
  • The required 5-day waiting period after purchase of a wolf license is a good idea.  It will help discourage some poachers.
  • The plan includes a mandatory 12-hour reporting after killing a wolf, and carcass inspection within 10 days. 
The things we’d like to see changed in the proposed plan:
  • The proposed 220 wolf statewide quota is too high.  It is a huge jump up from the 75 wolves allowed in the 2009 hunting season, and represents an attempt to seriously reduce wolf numbers in the state without adequate cause.
  • Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks already authorizes the killing of a lot of wolves in Montana (141 wolves in 2010, for example) in response to livestock depredation. This is currently in addition to wolves killed by public hunting. This harvest quota should be reduced to reflect this already substantial loss of wolves blamed for livestock losses.
  • The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks commission needs to lower the hunting quota and focus on wolf conservation as the top objective as directed by the state’s wolf management plan instead of dramatically reducing the wolf population.  The state should err on the side of caution during the first years of state management and maintain a healthy, robust wolf population.
Please see the link below for more information and to submit comments:  

Again, comments are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, June 20.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flower Budget FY 2012

 After yesterday's announcement by VP Biden to cut spending of taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody and then his attack on the Desert Tortoise website, comes another fluke.

In the FY 2012 agriculture appropriations bill there is a provision requiring the National Arboretum to maintain a very specific portion of its azalea collection. The bill says, The Committee encourages the National Arboretum to work collaboratively with supporters of the National Arboretum to raise additional funds to ensure the long-term viability of these and other important collections.

Also, the bill would cut $832 million from a program that provides food assistance to low-income mothers and children. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the reduction could result in as many as 475,000 people being turned away from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) if food prices continue to rise.--Huffington Post

Since this is an "agriculture appropriations bill," we can't forget wolves. The bill states:

Wildlife Damage Management – The Committee provides $72,500,000 for Wildlife Damage Control, approximately $4 million above the President’s request. ... Special emphasis should be placed on those areas such as livestock protection...predator control, and other threats to agriculture industries. [p. 20]

If you're a single mother, child, or wolf, you can't compete with the priceless Azalea.

US politics ARGH!

Monday, June 13, 2011

V.P. Biden Wants to Stop Wasteful Spending

Biden has good ideas. One thing to note though, is his attack on the Desert Tortoise, an endangered species. In cutting funding for things like a website about this animal, Biden says he will be stopping wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody. Interesting...So, endangered species are of no importance? 
If you'd like to send any comments to the V.P. you can contact him here  Ask him to quit spending taxpayer money on abusing America's Last Genetically Pure Bison who reside in Yellowstone National Park.  This definitely qualifies as one of those things that benefit nobody.

The White House, Washington

Good morning,
Did you know that the government spends millions to maintain buildings that have sat vacant for years? Or that your tax dollars pay to needlessly ship copies of the Federal Register to thousands of government offices across the country even though the same information is available online?

And I bet you didn't know that your tax dollars pay for a website dedicated to the Desert Tortoise. I'm sure it's a wonderful species, but we can't afford to have a standalone site devoted to every member of the animal kingdom. It's just one of hundreds of government websites that should be consolidated or eliminated.

This kind of waste is just unacceptable. Particularly at a time when we're facing tough decisions about reducing our deficit, it's a no-brainer to stop spending taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody.

That's why President Obama asked me to head up the Campaign to Cut Waste—a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the Federal Government.

Like millions of American families, the Federal Government has to take a hard look at spending and live within its means. Most of these cuts we're going to make are small. They won't close our deficit or solve all of our fiscal problems. However, no amount of waste is acceptable, and these cuts will add up over time. This year alone we've found $33 billion in savings, but we know there's a lot more work to be done.

When we passed the Recovery Act back in 2009, President Obama insisted that we use that program to set a new standard in government transparency and accountability. And he appointed me as "Sheriff Joe" to make sure the job gets done.

Now, there were a lot of naysayers back then who said that there was no way we could implement the Recovery Act without massive waste, fraud and abuse.

You know what? They were wrong. Thanks to our diligence (and some help from advanced computer models and sophisticated data analysis), the Recovery Act has had an unprecedentedly low level of fraud, with less than 0.6% of all awards experiencing any waste or abuse.

There's absolutely no reason why we can't apply these same principles and techniques to all government spending.

And that's exactly what I intend to do with the help of a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board, a group composed of independent inspectors general and high-level agency officials who will help me root out waste, fraud and abuse across the government. Helping me ensure that your tax dollars are being spent on things that matter, like investments in education, innovation and improving our infrastructure.

So, folks, we're changing the way your government does business (and spends your hard-earned tax dollars), and I think you're going to like the results.


Vice President Joe Biden

P.S. If you're interested in keeping up with our progress in hunting down wasteful spending, you can sign up for regular email updates.

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

Friday, June 3, 2011

Yellowstone Bison Experiment

Yellowstone National Park has given permission to APHIS and the USDA to experiment on 100 bison the effects of GonaCon. This is a pesticide contraceptive approved by the EPA. GonaCon is a single-shot immunocontraceptive vaccine. It is effective for 1-5 years. (These people need to use it.)

Buffalo w/Calf along Hebgen Lake. photo by Eva Vincent
As part of its program to develop tools for managing populations of overabundant wildlife species, NWRC [National Wildlife Research Center] scientists have developed a new GnRH immunocontraceptive vaccine (named GonaCon™) that shows great promise as a wildlife infertility agent. (Technical discussion on how GnRH immunocontraception works)

GonaCon was originally made to reduce white-tail deer populations, which the EPA has classified as a public health pest.

To read a PDF fact sheet on GonaCon click here.

Create 'Animal Appreciation Week'

This is a great petition to sign!
This petition is dedicated to the kitten lovingly named 'Little Heart', who was savagely beaten and nearly stabbed in Virginia by a 12 year old boy. Another child intervened in time to knock the blade from the 12 year olds hands, sparing the kitten from even more unspeakable torture. The kitten suffered a broken leg, and has since passed on. As of 06/03/2011, it is unclear whether or not the horrific abuse bestowed upon the kitten contributed to it's death. As of right now, the child has only been charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty. 

 Sadly, this sort of case happens more often that we think. Adults are not taking enough time to educate their children of the wrongs of Animal Cruelty. I say that schools should be required to have an annual 'Animal Appreciation week', where the children learn more about animals and animal welfare. There should also be a focus on educating them about the wrongs of Animal Cruelty, and teach them how they can help animals instead of hurt them.

 One of my suggestions for an idea would include learning about how animals help people, such as therapy dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, etc. 

SIGN Petition

Tell Nestea STOP Abusing Animals

Tell Nestea to Stop Abusing Animals

Before taking your next sip of tea, check the label on the bottle because you may be drinking a cupful of cruelty to animals. Nestlé, the maker of Nestea, is testing and paying others to conduct painful and deadly tea tests on animals. The company has caused animals to suffer simply to investigate the possible health benefits linked to tea products and ingredients, even though not one of these experiments is legally required for beverage manufacturers, and regulators have stated that animal tests are not sufficient to prove a health claim about a product.
In these cruel tests, mice and rats were tormented and then killed by such means as decapitation. The following are some details of the horrors endured by the animals used in Nestea's tea experiments:
  • Mice bred to suffer from brain dysfunction and rapid aging were fed green-tea extracts and then locked in a dark chamber, only to receive painful electric shocks to their feet; the mice were then killed.
  • Mice bred to suffer from muscle degeneration were fed green-tea extracts, after which experimenters cut open the animals' leg muscles and then decapitated them.
  • Experimenters injected toxic chemicals into mice to destroy insulin-producing cells, causing the animals to develop diabetes. After this cruel procedure, the mice were force-fed tea extracts and then killed.
  • Rats made to suffer from high fat and cholesterol levels were forced to consume tea extracts through a tube that was forced down their throats; the rats were then killed and dissected.
Modern, cruelty-free research methods are available and are in use by other leading beverage companies around the world. We need YOU to join us in telling Nestea to ditch its cruel-tea to animals and to use non-animal methods instead.

Please take a moment to ask Nestea to stop testing on animals and join other brands—such as Lipton, Arizona, Snapple, Honest Tea, Tazo, Twinings, Stash Tea, Celestial Seasonings, Luzianne Tea, and others—that don't experiment on animals.