animal rights

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There's good news for Michigan students who don't want to dissect animals in the science lab.

The State Board of Education has adopted a policy that schools give students a chance to opt out of animal dissection.

Students who choose not to dissect real animals would instead follow with the class on a computer program.

It's a policy recommendation, not legislation.

John Austin is the president of the board. He said this could potentially save schools money. And he added that most medical schools don't use real animal dissections anymore to teach students.

user: RTD Photography

The question of how many stray animals are in Detroit has been talked about ever since Bloomberg News put out this piece with the typical "Detroit is a hellhole" headline:

Abandoned Dogs Roam Detroit in Packs as Humans Dwindle

Chris Christoff reported that the city had "as many as 50,000 stray dogs."

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reported that other groups said there's no question that the number has been "wildly inflated."

Tom McPhee of the World Animal Awareness Society estimated there were between 1,000 to 3,000 stray dogs in the city.

Now, yet another estimate has been published.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A bid to make Michigan the first state with an animal abuser registry has been dropped by lawmakers over concerns about cost and other issues.

Instead, the state could soon require that criminal background checks be done on every would-be pet adopter at Michigan animal shelters. The $10 fee for each check could be waived for shelters.

Judges would have to order defendants convicted of crimes against animals not to own animals for at least five years.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - People convicted of animal abuse would be required to register with local law enforcement and prohibited from adopting animals under legislation recently introduced in the Michigan House.

Republican Rep. Paul Muxlow of Brown City and Democratic Rep. Harvey Santana of Detroit introduced legislation last week that would require people convicted of animal abuse to submit their address, photograph and social security number to local law enforcement.

The Wonder Years

Apr 13, 2012
francistoms / flickr

April is prevention of cruelty to animals month. Michigan based writer, Wade Rouse shares a story about why it’s a month of note for him.

Over the last year,  Rouse has been sharing stories about his life, the holidays and other days of significance on the calendar.

You can find his stories in his book titled, It’s All Relative – Two families, three dogs, 34 holidays, and 50 boxes of wine…a memoir.

 

Flickr/Tambako the Jaguar

A newspaper reports a tiger cub exhibit has closed at a Grand Rapids mall after public complaints and a planned protest. The Grand Rapids Press reported Friday that mall officials canceled the touring display that allows shoppers to play with and be photographed with the cubs for a price.

Sarah Hale tells the newspaper she had planned a protest for Saturday against the exhibit but called it off.

user cat's_101 / Flickr

Two board members of the Michigan Humane Society have resigned over questions about the number of animals the agency euthanizes.

The Detroit News reports that Cheryl Phillips of Northville and Lee Lein of Ann Arbor resigned Monday questioning whether the Michigan Humane Society is doing enough to prevent stray animals from being euthanized.

From the Detroit News:

The society's kill rate was about 70 percent in 2010... with locations in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland, the Michigan Humane Society is among the largest in the nation. It operates with a $12 million budget and took in more than 29,000 animals last year, Vice President Mike Robbins said, with about 51 percent of the animals coming from Detroit.

The News reports that Phillips said the society wasn't clearly revealing how many animals were being killed, and she wanted a third party to review the agency's practices, but her proposal was rejected.

At Monday's board meeting she resigned and released a statement that read, in part:

"I doubt that our funders would be happy with a '100 percent healthy adoption rate' if they knew that behind the scenes, fewer than 7,000 of the 24,000 total intakes were actually adopted, and more than 17,000 animals were 'classified' as untreatable by MHS management … and were killed,"

The Michigan Humane Society's director of operations and its chief veterinarian defended the agency's kill rate. From the Detroit Free Press:

C.J. Bentley, director of operations, said the numbers are high because the facility accepts animals regardless of origin or condition. Dr. Robert Fisher, the humane society's chief veterinarian, said animals with terminal or major medical issues are often not adoptable and that "what the public is willing to accept in their homes" helps determine an animal's fate.

The Freep reports that in 2010 the Michigan Humane Society took in 13,725 cats and kittens - 70% were euthanized. And in 2010 the agency took in 11,191 dogs and puppies - 68% were euthanized.