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Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say

Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say | Animal Science | Scoop.it

Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say October 08, 2013 7:33 am • Daniel Simmons-Ritchie Journal staff Tens of thousands of cattle lie dead across South Dakota on Monday following a blizzard that could become one of the most costly in the history of the state’s agriculture industry. As state officials spent the day calculating the multi-million dollar impact to the regional economy from Friday's storm, ranchers began digging up hundreds of cattle that are still buried beneath feet of snow. "This is absolutely, totally devastating," said Steve Schell, a 52-year-old rancher from Caputa. "This is horrendous. I mean the death loss of these cows in this country is unbelievable." Schell said he estimated he had lost half of his herd, but it could be far more. He was still struggling to find snow-buried cattle and those that had been pushed miles by winds that gusted at 70 miles per hour on Friday night. Martha Wierzbicki, emergency management director for Butte County, said the trail of carcasses was a gruesome sight across the region. “They’re in the fence line, laying alongside the roads,” she said. “It’s really sickening.” Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, said most ranchers she had spoken to were reporting that 20 to 50 percent of their herds had been killed. "I have never heard of anything like it," she said. "And none of the ranchers I have talked to can remember anything like it." While South Dakota ranchers are no strangers to blizzards, what made Friday's storm so damaging was how early it arrived in the season. Christen said cattle hadn't yet grown their winter coats to insulate them from freezing wind and snow. In addition, Christen said, during the cold months, ranchers tend to move their cattle to pastures that have more trees and gullies to protect them from storms. Because Friday's storm arrived so early in the year, most ranchers were still grazing their herds on summer pasture, which tend to be more exposed and located farther away from ranch homes. Ultimately, Christen said, she believed that more than 5 percent of the roughly 1.5 million cattle in Western South Dakota had been killed. "It's much higher than that," she said. "But I'm not sure where that number is going to land." Jodie Anderson, executive director of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, said the pain for ranchers is now compounded by dysfunction within the federal government. While the government has programs to help ranchers who suffer losses from catastrophic weather events, those programs are in limbo because Congress has failed to pass a farm bill. The legislation is normally passed every five years and controls subsidy and insurance programs for the agriculture industry. Making things worse, because the government is currently in a partial shutdown, ranchers are unable to ask federal officials questions about how they might be reimbursed in the future. "A lot of the government agencies that we would normally be turning to for those answers are furloughed,” she said. “So there's this sort of timing issue that's enhancing the frustration out there in cattle country." The shutdown was caused after House Republicans, including U.S. Rep Kristi Noem, R-S.D., refused to pass a resolution to fund the government unless Democrats weakened or delayed parts of President Obama's 2010 health care overhaul. On Monday, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., pointed to South Dakota's battered ranchers as another example of why House Republicans needed to continue funding the government without preconditions. "Like the snow storm, the government shutdown is causing major disruptions in people’s lives and every day business," he said in a statement. Whether they are eventually reimbursed for their losses or not, however, ranchers are likely to feel the pain for years. David Uhrig, 31, a rancher in Folsom, said he estimated about 25 percent of his herd had been killed, which meant far fewer calves this spring. “We are looking at years of rebuilding to get back to what we lost,” he said. In the short term, however, Uhrig had far more pressing concerns. Like most ranchers, he spent most of Monday searching his land for stray cattle or sorting out cattle that had drifted into neighboring herds. “It’s not uncommon at this point to find cattle that are five miles from where they should be,” he said. “Which doesn't seem like a lot, but to drift five miles in a storm — that’s a lot.” Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota’s state veterinarian, said that the next immediate challenge for ranchers would be disposal of carcasses. “That can be a significant source of disease spread, so we want to make sure those carcasses are burned, buried or rendered as quickly as possible,” he said. Oedekoven said disposal was primarily be the responsibility of ranchers themselves. However, the state was also helping ranchers get in touch with haulers that would take carcasses away for rendering. He added that, while the federal government was in poor shape to offer assistance because of the shutdown and a lack of a farm bill, ranchers should thoroughly document all cattle deaths. He said that could include taking photos, collecting cattle tags, or bringing in a veterinarian or farm service provider as an eye witness of deaths. “If you don’t keep good records about your losses you won’t be available for indemnity funds should they become available,” he said.


Via Stéphane Bisaillon, Josh Nelson
Sydney Bolyard's insight:

This excerpt of an unfortunate event across South Dakota has left several farms without sufficient cattle availability and loss of profit. In not way was this incident the farmer’s fault. This occurrence was completely out of their hands because it was just the weather. 

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Summer Rain Reimer's curator insight, December 8, 2013 1:38 PM

There was a blizzard  in South Dakota. They didn't know about the  storm coming .They left the cattles out over night and it snowed  really bad. The cattles got buried in the snow and they can't get out  because the snow was heavy . Over 10,000 cattles got killed by the blizzard. They hadent grown their winter coats to keep them warm because it takes a long time to grow the winter coats. But the blizzard came to South Dakota early then they expected and that why they had died. cause their coats didnt grow all the way in .

Josh Nelson's curator insight, December 9, 2013 5:16 PM

Cassie Chriswell:

This all took place in South Dakota!  It was a big blizard that cost a lot of money due to all the cattle lost.  Officals say that it is going to be a multi-million dollar loss due to the calculations.  That's not good!  Winds gusted up to and at 70 miles per hour on that Friday night.  It was so bad because most of the cattle hadent grown a there winter fur coat yet.  Most of the cattle got blown away or frozen to death due to the cold weather.   Estimates we made that 1.5 million cattle died in South Dakota due to the biggest blizard.

Connor Emmert's curator insight, December 10, 2013 10:53 AM

This kinda of thing really sucks. but theres really nothing anyone can do. I think maybe having more shelter may have helped though. the damage is in the millions , not to mention the farmers that dont have that kind of insurance. this is just a crappy thing all around

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The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt

The Experiment Is on Us: Science of Animal Testing Thrown into Doubt | Animal Science | Scoop.it

New scientific research has cast grave doubt on the safety testing of hundreds of thousands of consumer products, food additives and industrial chemicals.

 

Everyday products, from soft drinks and baby foods, to paints, gardening products, cosmetics and shampoos, contain numerous synthetic chemicals as preservatives, dyes, active ingredients, or as contaminants. Official assurances of the safety of these chemicals are based largely on animal experiments that use rabbits, mice, rats and dogs.

 

But new results from a consortium of researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest such assurances may be worthless 

 

In summary, repeated experiments confirmed that, when it comes to inflammation, mice and humans have little in common, a finding important enough in itself given the prevalence of inflammation-related diseases in humans. These include allergies, celiac disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
Sydney Bolyard's insight:
Throughout this lengthy article, the topic of animal testing is discussed. My personal opinions override further understanding of this testing because I am 100% this action. Animals have rights and privileges that should not be taken away from them. Not only that, but animal testing is completely inhumane. Before you do anything to an animal, you should think about if you would do the same to a human being. If the answer is no, you shouldn’t go through with the testing. 
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Kassidi Cadle's curator insight, September 25, 2013 9:35 AM

This article is saying that the animal testing is turning out to be a waste of time. The mice that we do all the testing on is not even related to humans.

Trevor Lakes's curator insight, September 25, 2013 10:58 AM

this states that the testing on mice that the united states does actually doesnt help since mice and humans are closely related.

Josh Nelson's curator insight, September 25, 2013 11:59 AM

thank you Kassidi Cadle

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Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say

Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say | Animal Science | Scoop.it

Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say October 08, 2013 7:33 am • Daniel Simmons-Ritchie Journal staff Tens of thousands of cattle lie dead across South Dakota on Monday following a blizzard that could become one of the most costly in the history of the state’s agriculture industry. As state officials spent the day calculating the multi-million dollar impact to the regional economy from Friday's storm, ranchers began digging up hundreds of cattle that are still buried beneath feet of snow. "This is absolutely, totally devastating," said Steve Schell, a 52-year-old rancher from Caputa. "This is horrendous. I mean the death loss of these cows in this country is unbelievable." Schell said he estimated he had lost half of his herd, but it could be far more. He was still struggling to find snow-buried cattle and those that had been pushed miles by winds that gusted at 70 miles per hour on Friday night. Martha Wierzbicki, emergency management director for Butte County, said the trail of carcasses was a gruesome sight across the region. “They’re in the fence line, laying alongside the roads,” she said. “It’s really sickening.” Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, said most ranchers she had spoken to were reporting that 20 to 50 percent of their herds had been killed. "I have never heard of anything like it," she said. "And none of the ranchers I have talked to can remember anything like it." While South Dakota ranchers are no strangers to blizzards, what made Friday's storm so damaging was how early it arrived in the season. Christen said cattle hadn't yet grown their winter coats to insulate them from freezing wind and snow. In addition, Christen said, during the cold months, ranchers tend to move their cattle to pastures that have more trees and gullies to protect them from storms. Because Friday's storm arrived so early in the year, most ranchers were still grazing their herds on summer pasture, which tend to be more exposed and located farther away from ranch homes. Ultimately, Christen said, she believed that more than 5 percent of the roughly 1.5 million cattle in Western South Dakota had been killed. "It's much higher than that," she said. "But I'm not sure where that number is going to land." Jodie Anderson, executive director of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, said the pain for ranchers is now compounded by dysfunction within the federal government. While the government has programs to help ranchers who suffer losses from catastrophic weather events, those programs are in limbo because Congress has failed to pass a farm bill. The legislation is normally passed every five years and controls subsidy and insurance programs for the agriculture industry. Making things worse, because the government is currently in a partial shutdown, ranchers are unable to ask federal officials questions about how they might be reimbursed in the future. "A lot of the government agencies that we would normally be turning to for those answers are furloughed,” she said. “So there's this sort of timing issue that's enhancing the frustration out there in cattle country." The shutdown was caused after House Republicans, including U.S. Rep Kristi Noem, R-S.D., refused to pass a resolution to fund the government unless Democrats weakened or delayed parts of President Obama's 2010 health care overhaul. On Monday, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., pointed to South Dakota's battered ranchers as another example of why House Republicans needed to continue funding the government without preconditions. "Like the snow storm, the government shutdown is causing major disruptions in people’s lives and every day business," he said in a statement. Whether they are eventually reimbursed for their losses or not, however, ranchers are likely to feel the pain for years. David Uhrig, 31, a rancher in Folsom, said he estimated about 25 percent of his herd had been killed, which meant far fewer calves this spring. “We are looking at years of rebuilding to get back to what we lost,” he said. In the short term, however, Uhrig had far more pressing concerns. Like most ranchers, he spent most of Monday searching his land for stray cattle or sorting out cattle that had drifted into neighboring herds. “It’s not uncommon at this point to find cattle that are five miles from where they should be,” he said. “Which doesn't seem like a lot, but to drift five miles in a storm — that’s a lot.” Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota’s state veterinarian, said that the next immediate challenge for ranchers would be disposal of carcasses. “That can be a significant source of disease spread, so we want to make sure those carcasses are burned, buried or rendered as quickly as possible,” he said. Oedekoven said disposal was primarily be the responsibility of ranchers themselves. However, the state was also helping ranchers get in touch with haulers that would take carcasses away for rendering. He added that, while the federal government was in poor shape to offer assistance because of the shutdown and a lack of a farm bill, ranchers should thoroughly document all cattle deaths. He said that could include taking photos, collecting cattle tags, or bringing in a veterinarian or farm service provider as an eye witness of deaths. “If you don’t keep good records about your losses you won’t be available for indemnity funds should they become available,” he said.


Via Stéphane Bisaillon, Josh Nelson
Sydney Bolyard's insight:

This excerpt of an unfortunate event across South Dakota has left several farms without sufficient cattle availability and loss of profit. In not way was this incident the farmer’s fault. This occurrence was completely out of their hands because it was just the weather. 

more...
Summer Rain Reimer's curator insight, December 8, 2013 1:38 PM

There was a blizzard  in South Dakota. They didn't know about the  storm coming .They left the cattles out over night and it snowed  really bad. The cattles got buried in the snow and they can't get out  because the snow was heavy . Over 10,000 cattles got killed by the blizzard. They hadent grown their winter coats to keep them warm because it takes a long time to grow the winter coats. But the blizzard came to South Dakota early then they expected and that why they had died. cause their coats didnt grow all the way in .

Josh Nelson's curator insight, December 9, 2013 5:16 PM

Cassie Chriswell:

This all took place in South Dakota!  It was a big blizard that cost a lot of money due to all the cattle lost.  Officals say that it is going to be a multi-million dollar loss due to the calculations.  That's not good!  Winds gusted up to and at 70 miles per hour on that Friday night.  It was so bad because most of the cattle hadent grown a there winter fur coat yet.  Most of the cattle got blown away or frozen to death due to the cold weather.   Estimates we made that 1.5 million cattle died in South Dakota due to the biggest blizard.

Connor Emmert's curator insight, December 10, 2013 10:53 AM

This kinda of thing really sucks. but theres really nothing anyone can do. I think maybe having more shelter may have helped though. the damage is in the millions , not to mention the farmers that dont have that kind of insurance. this is just a crappy thing all around

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288 military dogs put down by MoD

288 military dogs put down by MoD | Animal Science | Scoop.it

Some 288 military dogs have been put down by the Ministry of Defence in the past three years. The figures emerged after it was revealed that two guard dogs used to protect the Duke of Cambridge were euthanised within days of him leaving his military base. According to the Sun, 288 dogs were put down by the MoD from January 2010 to June this year. Among those humanely killed, 81 were because of age, 61 due to osteoarthritis and 33 were related to dangerous temperament. An MoD spokesman said: "Our animals play an invaluable role on military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere and are much loved by the troops. "Most animals are re-homed. Regrettably, due to the challenging nature of their work, some of our dogs get injured or contract illnesses and need to be put down. These decisions are taken only as a last resort following veterinary advice." The Sun reported that Bruce, a Belgian Shepherd, and Blade, a German Shepherd, were put down after William completed his final shift as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

Sydney Bolyard's insight:

Although it is sad, it is understandable as to why it was decided to euthanize the animals. It is inhumane to keep animals alive just for the sake of keeping them alive. I have had in my own experiences to have to go through the process of putting an animal down, and it is difficult, but it was in the dog's best interest because he was suffering of untreatable cases of IBD and allergies. It is nice to see these animals recieve new homes to serve as animals. 

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Genetically Modified Food Isn't As Scary As You Think - PolicyMic

Genetically Modified Food Isn't As Scary As You Think - PolicyMic | Animal Science | Scoop.it
PolicyMic Genetically Modified Food Isn't As Scary As You Think PolicyMic While Washington State has been in the news more for one of its initiatives which passed last year, another recent legislative battle has caught the attention of some of the...

Via Kendra Nance
Sydney Bolyard's insight:

-       In this particular article, there is a “see-saw” discussion, per say, as to whether or not GMOs are safe or not. As far as I am concerned, I was under the impression that genetically modified foods are processed and are questionable when it comes to consumption. It is mentioned in the article that an individual has gathered information that it is possible GMOs cause cancer. It is not said whether that is true or not, but anything is possible. I, myself, prefer organic produce because I know it has not undergone any ‘voodoo’ production.

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Jacob Voorhies's curator insight, October 15, 2013 12:42 PM

people are being fraked out over genetically modified foods. but so far there isnt enough evidence to prove that these GMO's are even harmful to humans. all they do is help the crop grow and help protct against pestisides

 

Almedin Cajlak's curator insight, November 5, 2013 4:27 PM

Wow! I didn't know about this one. After reading this article, I feel like unsafe because the farmers didn't do their job to protect their food crops. It is kinda scary because the rat thing will strike them that you can't see because they're tiny. Having modified food causing tumors which is really scary because I feel like they should do their job to see what happend to their food crops they grew on the farms.

Josh Nelson's curator insight, December 9, 2013 6:36 PM

Cassie Chriswell: 

This article is about people responce to GMO's and if they are good or not in there eyes.  GMO's  stand for genetically modified organisms.  When you modifie food that is bacially the job that the GMO's in food do.  It could harm animals and even humans if they have to much GMO stuff in it.. But at the same time it could save a person's life.  Bacially all they do it to help grow and reproduce in the food industry. it helps us (humans) by helping us grow crops!  

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165-million-year-old proto-mammal shows that traits like hair and fur originated well before the rise of mammals

165-million-year-old proto-mammal shows that traits like hair and fur originated well before the rise of mammals | Animal Science | Scoop.it

A newly discovered fossil reveals the evolutionary adaptations of a 165-million-year-old proto-mammal, providing evidence that traits such as hair and fur originated well before the rise of the first true mammals. The biological features of this ancient mammalian relative, named Megaconus mammaliaformis, were described by scientists from the University of Chicago in the Aug 8, 2013 issue of Nature.

 

"We finally have a glimpse of what may be the ancestral condition of all mammals, by looking at what is preserved in Megaconus. It allows us to piece together poorly understood details of the critical transition of modern mammals from pre-mammalian ancestors," said Zhe-Xi Luo, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago.

 

Discovered in Inner Mongolia, China, Megaconus is one of the best-preserved fossils of the mammaliaform groups, which are long-extinct relatives to modern mammals. Dated to be around 165 million years old,Megaconus co-existed with feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic era, nearly 100 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed Earth.

 

Preserved in the fossil is a clear halo of guard hairs and underfur residue, making Megaconus only the second known pre-mammalian fossil with fur. It was found with sparse hairs around its abdomen, leading the team to hypothesize that it had a naked abdomen.

 

On its heels, Megaconus possessed a long keratinous spur, which was possibly poisonous. Similar to spurs found on modern egg-laying mammals, such as male platypuses, the spur is evidence that this fossil was most likely a male member of its species.

 

"Megaconus confirms that many modern mammalian biological functions related to skin and integument had already evolved before the rise of modern mammals," said Luo, who was also part of the team that first discovered evidence of hair in pre-mammalian species in 2006 (Science, 331: 1123-1127, DOI:10.1126/science.1123026).

 

A terrestrial animal about the size of a large ground squirrel, Megaconuswas likely an omnivore, possessing clearly mammalian dental features and jaw hinge. Its molars had elaborate rows of cusps for chewing on plants, and some of its anterior teeth possessed large cusps that allowed it to eat insects and worms, perhaps even other small vertebrates. It had teeth with high crowns and fused roots similar to more modern, but unrelated, mammalian species such as rodents. Its high-crowned teeth also appeared to be slow growing like modern placental mammals.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Sydney Bolyard's insight:

This article reveals new found information stating that scientists have discovered a fossil of an animal (resembling a small squirrel), which leads to further discovery of evolution. The primary of form of evolution scientist are interested in are the adaptations of fur. Later in the article, it describes the hypothesis that scientists have formed as to what this newly discovered mammal's characteristics were likely to be. Any new discorvery of species is facinating because you figure how old the earth is and how long people have been around, and we are still finding new organisms.

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Anela Leilani Kaiawe's curator insight, September 25, 2013 9:34 AM

this is a test run

Olivia Haltom's curator insight, December 6, 2013 9:44 AM

i think this is interesting because its talking anout an extinct animal from 165 million years ago.