General Animal Protection
Influence of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) on the Attachment Representations of Youth in Residential CareSubmitted on Aug 20, 2014 (Original item from 2014) Companion Animals | Farmed Animals | General Animal Protection
This study assessed an animal assisted therapy (AAT) treatment program for teenaged trauma survivors who were having trouble adjusting to a protective care facility in Spain. Participants visited a farm two days a week for 12 weeks, and worked under supervision with dogs, horses, and other farm and companion animals. The AAT group showed increased trust in relationships compared to the control group. The authors call for research to refine understanding of AAT benefits so that it can be integrated into more therapy programs.
This Humane Society-authored literature review targeted to farmers discusses the advantages of open floor housing over cage housing for chickens raised for slaughter. Foot-friendly flooring, litter for dustbaths, and optimal space allowances for best health and welfare are also discussed. Of particular interest is a cited study that showed more chickens would cross difficult barriers to get to less crowded space than to get to food when very hungry.
Koalas at a conservation center in Australia were observed for this study. Visitor noise of different intensities was recorded and played back while the koalas were videotaped. Koalas became more vigilant when more visitors were in close proximity, and with sudden increases in noise level. The koalas spent nearly 25% of their active time displaying visitor-related vigilance. The authors note this effect may be intensified by smaller enclosures.
This Dutch study compared the impact on global climate change of a mink coat to a synthetic fur coat. All aspects of manufacturing and distributing both coats was considered: growing feed for the minks, raising them, and disposing of their waste, synthesizing the "fur" and backing material for the faux coat, transportation of both coats for sale, and incineration of the coats at the end of their usefulness. The study found that impact of the mink coat on climate change was 3-10 times higher than the impact of the faux fur coat.
A respondent group consisting primarily of Hawaiian rural residents, hunters and conservationists was surveyed on proposed removal methods for stray/feral/free-roaming cats. Capture and lethal injection, capture and shoot, lethal traps, and sharp-shooting were among the methods offered. Based on this survey, the authors claim that the majority of Hawaiians prefer trapping and lethal injection to trap-neuter-release (TNR) programs (respondents also preferred capture and adoption to TNR, but this result was not highlighted). For a critique of the methodology of this study, see the "Related Item" link below.
This article is a critique prepared by feral cat advocate Peter J. Wolf, Martha Girdany of the Kauai Community Cat Project and Frank Hamilton, President of the Animal Coalition of Tampa, of a study published in the journal Conservation Biology. "Desires and Management Preferences of Stakeholders Regarding Feral Cats in the Hawaiian Islands" concludes that most Hawaiians strongly favored capture and lethal injection over Trap-Neuter-Release programs to manage feral cats. Wolf, Kirdany and Hamilton question the methodology used in the study, and contrast the results to widely divergent results in similar studies.
Candidates for the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives in 2014 were surveyed on strengthening animal cruelty, animal protection and animal fighting laws, funding animal care and control services, phasing out lead shot, and licensing animal sellers. 30% of candidates responded. A large majority supported tightening animal protection laws and funding municipal animal services. Smaller majorities supported seller licensing and eliminating lead shot. The report includes copies of each completed survey.
This infographic report describes outcomes of Veganuary 2014, during which 3325 people from countries around the world tried a vegan diet for a month. While there was a wide range of ages and previous dietary practices, 90% of participants were female, and 78% listed animal/ethical concerns as one of their primary reasons for participating. Of 711 people who responded to a follow-up survey, 95% stuck entirely or mostly to their vegan diet, and 50% intended to remain vegan. The goal for Veganuary 2015 is 100,000 participants.
Only 15% of non-human animal experiments are blinded, whereas use of blinding in experiments on humans is widespread. This review identified 10 studies that had both blinded and non-blinded assessors for the same group of test animals, and analyzed them for the presence of 5 types of "effect modifiers" (bias). Result interpretation for all 10 studies exhibited at least one of the modifiers. The degree of distortion varied from small to pronounced. The authors call for more blinding in experiments on animal, particularly where interpretation of results is subjective.
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