Nebraska is the latest state affected by avian influenza as officials announced plans to cull 1.7 million chickens on a Dixon County farm in the northeast part of the state. Efforts to contain the virus are underway, including veterinarians overseeing removal of the birds. Nebraska is a big egg-producing state, with 10 billion chickens on egg farms, most in the northeast region.
The U.S. is poised to send inspectors to chicken processing plants in China, which could ultimately open the way for expanded meat trade between the countries, including allowing chicken imports from China. Concerns about the safety of chicken from China have contributed to delays in talks regarding the issue. Under current regulations, China may only sell chicken to the U.S. in the form of pet food. The FDA is looking into reports of canine illnesses and deaths associated with chicken jerky treats for dogs that were made in China.
Thanks to Orangutan Outreach's Apps for Apes program, the orangutans at the Smithsonian's National Zoo enjoy 10 iPad apps as part of their regular enrichment. The animals' preferred apps include cognitive skills challenges and virtual instruments. Orangutan Outreach has provided iPads for apes in other zoos in part to promote conservation of the endangered species. The idea is to "show zoo visitors how similar humans and apes are, be it through observation, talking with wildlife experts or seeing the apes use the same technology we use every day," said Richard Zimmerman, Orangutan Outreach's founding director.
Veterinary students at the University of Sydney have created a board game, Dog Village, aimed at educating children about the risks and prevention of rabies. According to the World Health Organization, 40% of people who suffer bites from potentially rabid animals are younger than 15. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization may mass-produce the game in an effort to improve the care of dogs and protect people from contracting rabies.
The recent egg recall triggered by a salmonella outbreak in the U.S. probably could have been avoided if the nation's chickens were given salmonella vaccines, some say. Officials in the U.K. say the vaccines have helped ensure egg safety in Europe. An Iowa veterinarian said he expects more poultry producers to begin having their flocks vaccinated as a result of the outbreak.