Texas Bill #762

May 24, 2017

Texas Bill #762
Bill sought to increase penalty for torturing, killing pets to a third-degree felony. Republican’s amendment limits animal cruelty to a state jail felony. Voting to add an abortion-related amendment Tuesday, the Texas House pulled the teeth from a bill intended to enhance criminal penalties for torturing and killing pets.Senate Bill 762 sought to raise the penalty to a third-degree felony, which has a punishment of up to 10 years in prison, for the worst types of animal abuse.

Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, was outraged by the attempt to increase the punishment, saying abortion regulations recently approved by the House would make it only a state jail felony, with up to two years in jail, for abortion doctors who perform a “partial-birth” or a “dismemberment” abortion. Tinderholt’s amendment proposed limiting animal cruelty to a state jail felony.

“I cannot, will not and shall not allow the Texas House to place a higher value to a pet over the life of a human being,” said Tinderholt, who earlier this session filed a bill to outlaw abortion that was not acted upon. Voting largely along party lines, the House adopted Tinderholt’s amendment 83-60, with about 10 Republicans voting against it. http://www.mystatesman.com/news/texas-house-abortion-related-amendment-guts-animal-cruelty-bill/98LmwccAZKMt9dquGXhH2L/

Study debunks cat-psychosis hype

May 24, 2017

Study debunks cat-psychosis hype

A study in Psychological Medicine found no link between cat exposure and psychosis, debunking previous studies suggesting Toxoplasma gondii exposure may be associated with psychosis in humans. T. gondii may be shed in cat feces, where immunocompromised people and pregnant women could pick up the parasite, but there is no evidence to support the idea that the parasite causes mental health issues.

Scientific American online (5/23)

What feline hyperthyroidism means for human health

May 22, 2017

What feline hyperthyroidism means for human health

Hyperthyroidism, now common in domestic cats, was unheard of in felines until the late 1970s, when veterinarian Mark Peterson noticed similarities between a patient’s symptoms and the signs of hyperthyroidism in humans. Veterinarians around the world began to diagnose the condition in cats while research was beginning to link the condition to fire retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Because humans and cats live side by side, scientists are increasingly concerned that the feline disorder is a harbinger of a threat to human health, too.

The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/16)

Is this Australian cat the world’s longest?

May 18, 2017

Is this Australian cat the world’s longest?

Omar, a 3-foot, 11-inch-long domestic cat from Melbourne, Australia, could take the Guinness title for longest domestic cat from a 3-foot 10.5-inch-long Maine coon from England. Guinness World Records is reviewing Omar’s measurements, but Omar doesn’t need the title to gain fame, thanks to social media.

BBC (5/17)

Feline genetic mapping could yield new treatment insights

May 12, 2017

Feline genetic mapping could yield new treatment insights

the genomes of 50 cats, and they plan to continue until they’ve reached 99 felines, all in an effort to identify and prevent genetic diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy and Niemann-Pick disorder. “Continued collaboration with geneticists and veterinarians could lead to the rapid discovery of undiagnosed genetic conditions in cats,” said study lead Leslie Lyons, noting that testing can uncover conditions early, when they may be more readily treated.

The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (5/10)

Is this Australian cat the world’s longest?

May 18th, 2016

Is this Australian cat the world’s longest?

Omar, a 3-foot, 11-inch-long domestic cat from Melbourne, Australia, could take the Guinness title for longest domestic cat from a 3-foot 10.5-inch-long Maine coon from England. Guinness World Records is reviewing Omar’s measurements, but Omar doesn’t need the title to gain fame, thanks to social media.

BBC (5/17)

Feline genetic mapping could yield new treatment insights

May 12, 2017

Feline genetic mapping could yield new treatment insights

the genomes of 50 cats, and they plan to continue until they’ve reached 99 felines, all in an effort to identify and prevent genetic diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy and Niemann-Pick disorder. “Continued collaboration with geneticists and veterinarians could lead to the rapid discovery of undiagnosed genetic conditions in cats,” said study lead Leslie Lyons, noting that testing can uncover conditions early, when they may be more readily treated.

The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (5/10)