DEAR READERS: Please see the following news release from the office of Michigan's attorney general:
"Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have submitted an amicus brief in the Wolf Delisting litigation fighting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ('the Service') decision to remove gray wolves from the list of endangered species. Nessel previously urged the Service not to use Michigan's successful recovery efforts of the species to delist the gray wolf nationwide, but the Service did just that. This brief argues that the Service made this move contrary to the Endangered Species Act and to the detriment of gray wolf populations in other states.
"The brief -- filed (July 23) in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California -- asserts that the Service unlawfully delisted gray wolves based on the species' status in Michigan and other Great Lakes states. This is improper for three reasons: 1. The Service must look to a species' current range, i.e., where it currently exists, to determine whether it is endangered. 2. The Service must analyze the five statutory factors for delisting for each state in which a species is actually located. 3. The Service may not break a species into recovered populations in a way that cuts out orphan populations that would otherwise be entitled to protection.
"In the brief, Nessel argues that the Endangered Species Act does not authorize the Service to pick and choose where endangered species should recover. In fact, the Service must protect the gray wolves where they are also currently found: in Washington, Oregon, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Kansas."
DEAR DR. FOX: Since cats and dogs can be infected with COVID-19, is anyone working on a vaccination for them? I believe most pet owners would want to protect their fur babies. -- V.D., via email
DEAR V.D.: Your question is very relevant in the midst of this pandemic. Interestingly, blood samples from 8% of cats and less than 1% of dogs who came to the University of Minnesota veterinary hospital for unrelated conditions tested positive for antibodies against COVID-19. This (and other studies) indicates cats are more susceptible than dogs, though most cats quickly recover. Rather than advocating vaccinations for cats, I recommend always keeping them indoors, with limited outdoor access.
Vaccines are being given to animals at risk from public exposure in zoos. Nearly 70 zoos in 27 states are getting an experimental veterinary vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 from Zoetis, which is authorized by the USDA on a case-by-case basis in partnership with state veterinarians. Veterinarians and zoologists at the Denver Zoo are developing plans to vaccinate vulnerable animals, and the Oakland Zoo has already vaccinated tigers, mountain lions, bears and ferrets.
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS MUST INCLUDE COMPANION ANIMALS
From the American Veterinary Medical Association:
"Does your family's emergency plan include your animals? Planning and preparation are critical when it comes to protecting the health of your family, pets and livestock. AVMA's 'Saving the Whole Family' booklet includes detailed information on assembling emergency kits and plans for a wide variety of animal species."
The booklet can be downloaded as a free PDF from avma.org.
ANOTHER PET FOOD RECALL
Sunshine Mills recalled six brands of dog food due to the potential for higher-than-allowed aflatoxin levels. The recall involves certain varieties of Triumph Wild Spirit, Evolve Classic Super, Wild Harvest Premium, Nurture Farms Natural, Heart to Tail Pure Being and Elm Pet Foods Naturals. (Full story: Food Safety News, 7/29)
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)