The American Veterinary Medical Association has launched an exciting new feature for veterinarians and the public. The AVMA’s new Animal Welfare Hub provides a one-stop resource for any person seeking information on animal welfare policies, guidelines, or other animal welfare – related topic.
Animal lovers everywhere hold the responsibility of providing and advocating for the needs of our companion animals. One of the most important aspects of this responsibility is education. It also requires a great deal of attention to the mental and physical well-being of our pets and wildlife. To that end, the veterinary profession has taken the opportunity to share this wealth of information.
There are currently two AVMA entities working toward the overall objectives of this project: the Animal Welfare Committee and the Steering Committee on Human-Animal Interactions. In addition to these two standing committees, the AVMA has a number of other tasks forces and planning groups that are constantly working toward improving animal welfare.
By visiting the AVMA website, you can sign up for their quarterly animal welfare newsletter and read about ongoing projects and existing policies. If animal welfare is something that you’d like to learn more about, you should absolutely check out the resources they have provided on their site (after you’re finished enjoying all of these super happy animal photos).
Here are some resources for our aspiring animal welfare activists (click to learn more):
There are countless other animal welfare organizations on the international, national, state, and local levels. If you’re interested to learn how you can make an impact, speak with one of your local organizations. They will point you in the right direction!
Today is National Manatee Appreciation Day, and we want to do our part to pay tribute to these unique and peculiar marine mammals. Each year, this last Wednesday in March is dedicated to raising awareness in the United States about Manatees in order to encourage preservation of their natural habitat and to protect the species. (Floridians also spend an entire month celebrating the Manatee every year during November).
There are plenty of reasons that Manatees have garnered such a following, the most obvious of which is that they are totally adorable.
Manatees are oftentimes referred to as “Sea Cows”, but we won’t tell them that. Interestingly enough, it isn’t the cow that they are most closely related to. They are most similar to elephants, and have been known to weigh in at as much as 3,500 pounds! Manatees have spent thousands of years becoming what they are today, having evolved from prehistoric land mammals. Did you know that of all the marine mammals that have been identified, Manatees are the only herbivores? The only teeth they have are molars designed for grinding vegetation.
So, why is it important for us to focus on preservation of this gentle veggie-loving giant? What makes them so special? It’s about more than just the manatee. It’s about the ecosystem in which the manatee lives. Manatees control the overgrowth of some types of vegetation, while providing fertilization for others. Without the Manatee, survival for other sea creatures would be difficult, especially those who depend on this balance of vegetation.
It is believed that original sailors’ tales of mermaids at sea were actually based on manatee sightings. According to the History Channel, on January 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus recorded an encounter with three mermaids, which were later found to be three manatees travelling together. In his journal, he stated that they were “not half as beautiful as they are painted to be.”
We love you, manatee. We think you are beautiful. Don’t change a thing.
For more information on Manatees, go to www.savethemanatees.org