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Animal protection organisation granted permission to seek judicial review over cosmetic testing

An animal protection organisation has been given permission to seek judicial review against the Home Office to establish whether there is a ban on cosmetic testing in Britain.

Cruelty Free International (CFI) — a leading animal protection organisation behind the case — argued the government has “effectively” overturned a ban first introduced in 1998.

They claimed the Home Office “seems to be telling the public one thing — that cosmetic animal testing is banned in the UK — and doing something entirely different in practice”.


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Creamline eyes AVC Cup berth, clashes with King Whale

Game Friday
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)

4 p.m. – King Whale vs Creamline

MANILA, Philippines – Creamline aims to secure the right to represent the country in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup while King Whale of Taipei guns for the second and last finals berth as the two face off Friday in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

The Cool Smashers, unbeaten in three semis outings, booked the first seat to the one-game finale on a silver platter after the Taiwanese club clawed back from the grave with a 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13 win over the PLDT Power Hitters Tuesday.

A triumph against KWT in their 4 p.m. showdown would seal Creamline the honor of carrying the Philippine flag in the AVC Cup slated set late this month at the PhilSports Complex.

KWT is expected to give the reigning Open Conference champion a run for its money as it shoots for the win that would complete the cast in the finals scheduled Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Although KWT prevailed over PLDT, the former is not assured of a spot in the finals just yet as it would need to win at last one of its last two games including the last versus Cignal tomorrow for it to advance to the finals.

 “Whichever team we’d be facing in the finals, we’re excited,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses.

The Cool Smashers are expected to parade their power-hitting troika of Open Conference MVP Tots Carlos, skipper Alyssa Valdez and Jema Galanza while the Taiwanese should rely heavily on Beatriz Flavio de Carvalho and Chen Li Jun, who came thrugh with the biggest hits in the fifth set to seal the win.

Interesting to watch also is the titanic setter duel between Creeamline’s Jia de Guzman and KWT captain, Liao Ji-Yean.




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Film students link up with the police to raise awareness of wildlife crime

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USW students filming Betty the Badger

Film students at the University of South Wales have joined forces with the first all-Wales Wildlife and Rural Crime Coordinator to help raise awareness of wildlife crime across the country.

The group of second-year BA (Hons) Film students collaborated with Rob Taylor to produce five short films addressing the problems of rural and wildlife crime, and came up with the idea of telling the story from the animals’ point of view.

After briefing the students on the main wildlife priorities for police across the UK, the group decided to focus on the dangers to bats, badgers, birds of prey and poaching.

As the films were for use on social media, they are all under two minutes in duration each and are designed to capture public attention, with the ‘animals’ being interviewed anonymously.

Rob Taylor, who has been in post since July last year, said: “Although the police have excellent social media presence, there is limited access to film capability, and so I approached USW with the idea of asking Film students to help us look at the issues of rural and wildlife crime from a fresh angle.”

In one of the films ‘Bruce’ the Bat’ describes how he and his family were made homeless by the demolition of buildings.



Other films in the series include:

‘Betty’ the Badger, a badger baiting survivor

‘Barry’ the Buzzard, a witness to rural crime

‘Danny’ the Dog, an ex-fighting dog

‘Simon’ the Stag, a poaching survivor

Mr Taylor added: “Rural and wildlife crime is a huge issue throughout the UK, but it’s surprising how many people don’t know about the problems it can cause. It was important that what was produced also sought the attention of younger generations, so that they grow up knowing about these issues.

“Using the fresh ideas from the students, and the access to technology that they have, is vital, as well as their knowledge and experience of social media platforms.

“Their exceptional film work has been received and shared widely throughout the UK, not only by the police but by organisations such as the Badger Trust who are using the videos in their latest awareness campaign.

“These films will make a big difference to raising awareness.”

Different

Luca Bergonzini was one of the students who helped produce the films. The 21-year-old, who lives in Cardiff, said the whole experience was very useful in preparing him for the industry.

“I found the project very interesting and helpful, as it was different to anything I had worked on before,” said Luca.

“It was fun to experiment with the interview style and find the right blend of severity and comedy to get the points across. It was very useful to get the client experience with Rob, who was excellent and helpful. I’m really glad that the work we’ve made may well go on to do some good and inform people of wildlife crime and help prevent it.”

Great characters

Fellow student Sam Meller, who is 21 and also lives in Cardiff, worked as sound engineer on the films. He said: “Working on this project was a great opportunity for me to develop further skills in a studio.”

“I hadn’t spent much time in that environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting our studies during the first year, so it was great to work alongside the crew and watch them create great characters.

“The story promotes such a strong message, and it was a privilege to work on something that can have a positive impact.”

Sally Lisk-Lewis, Senior Lecturer in Documentary Film at USW, added: “This has been a fantastically beneficial collaboration on both sides, and a great introduction to industry and professional practice.

“I’m delighted with what these creative students have achieved, moreover, the reach and impact their videos have had on social media.”


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Vegetarian women are more prone to fracture hips in later life

According to a UK study, vegetarian women are more prone than meat-eating women to have hip fractures later in life.

Over a nearly 22-year period, researchers examined the health and dietary records of over 26,000 women and found that vegetarians had a third higher risk of hip fracture than people who frequently consumed meat.

Researchers believe certain vegetarians may not obtain enough nutrients for strong bones and muscles, making them more prone to falls and fractures. The exact cause of the higher risk is unknown.

“The message for vegetarians is don’t give up your diet, because it is healthy for other things and environmentally friendly,” said James Webster, a researcher at the University of Leeds. “But do take care to plan well and don’t miss out on nutrients that you exclude when you don’t eat meat or fish,” he added.

In addition to lowering the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and some malignancies, vegetarian diets are frequently seen as being healthier than those that include meat.

The BMC Medicine study, however, emphasises the value of a balanced diet regardless of what people eat.  According to Webster, vegetarians are more likely to have weaker bones and less muscle mass, which both increase the risk of hip fractures for several reasons, including possibly reduced intakes of vital nutrients.

Falls, which are more frequent in elderly persons who tend to be more fragile and have weaker bones, account for around 90% of hip fractures.Frailty can be exacerbated by fractures, which raises the possibility of additional falls and worse frailty.

The researchers believe vegetarians are more likely than meat eaters to be underweight and that in addition to having weaker bones and muscles, they may also have less fat, which can serve as a cushion when individuals fall.

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Dealing with Dead Zones: Hypoxia in the Ocean

This image from a NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab animation shows how runoff from farms (green areas) and cities (red areas) drains into the Mississippi. This runoff contains an overabundance of nutrients from fertilizers, wastewater treatment plants, and other sources. This nutrient pollution eventually ends up in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the formation of hypoxic dead zones.

When water runs off of farmland and urban centers and flows into our streams and rivers, it is often chock-full of fertilizers and other nutrients. These massive loads of nutrients eventually end up in our coastal ocean, fueling a chain of events that can lead to hypoxic “dead zones” — areas along the sea floor where oxygen is so low it can no longer sustain marine life. In this episode, we’re joined by NOAA scientist Alan Lewitus to explore why dead zones form, how the problem of hypoxia is growing worse, and what we’re doing about it.

Episode permanent link and show notes


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Vegetarian women are at higher risk of hip fracture

A study of over 26,000 middle-aged UK women reveals those with a vegetarian diet had a 33% higher risk of hip fracture compared to regular meat-eaters.

University of Leeds research, published today (Thursday, August 11) in the journal BMC Medicine, investigated the risk of hip fracture in occasional meat-eaters; pescatarians, people who eat fish but not meat; and vegetarians compared to regular meat-eaters.

Among 26,318 women, 822 hip fracture cases were observed over roughly 20 years – that represented just over 3% of the sample population. After adjustment for factors such as smoking and age, vegetarians were the only diet group with an elevated risk of hip fracture.

This study is one of very few studies to compare risk of hip fracture in vegetarians and meat-eaters where the occurrence of hip fracture was confirmed from hospital records.

The scientists stress the need for more research into the exact causes of why vegetarians were at a greater risk of hip fracture.

Vegetarian diets can be ‘healthy or unhealthy’

Study lead author James Webster, a doctoral researcher from the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, said: “Our study highlights potential concerns regarding risk of hip fracture in women who have a vegetarian diet. However, it is not warning people to abandon vegetarian diets. As with any diet, it is important to understand personal circumstances and what nutrients are needed for a balanced healthy lifestyle.

“Vegetarian diets can vary widely from person to person and can be healthy or unhealthy, just like diets that include animal products.

“However, it is concerning that vegetarian diets often have lower intakes of nutrients that are linked with bone and muscle health. These types of nutrients generally are more abundant in meat and other animal products than in plants, such as protein, calcium, and other micronutrients.

“Low intake of these nutrients can lead to lower bone mineral density and muscle mass, which can make you more susceptible to hip fracture risk. This makes it especially important for further research to better understand factors driving the increased risk in vegetarians, whether it be particular nutrient deficiencies or weight management, so that we can help people to make healthy choices.”

Plant-based diets growing in popularity

Vegetarian diets have gained popularity in recent years, with a 2021 YouGov survey putting the size of the UK vegetarian population at roughly 5-7%. It is often perceived as a healthier dietary option, with previous evidence that shows a vegetarian diet can reduce the risks of several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer compared to omnivorous diets.

There is also a worldwide call for reducing the consumption of animal products in an effort to tackle climate change.

Understanding hip fracture risk in vegetarians is therefore becoming increasingly important to public health.

Study co-author Professor Janet Cade, leader of the Nutritional Epidemiology Group in the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, said: “Hip fracture is a global health issue with high economic costs that causes loss of independence, reduces quality of life, and increases risk of other health issues.

“Plant-based diets have been linked with poor bone health, but there has been a lack of evidence on the links to hip fracture risk. This study is an important step in understanding the potential risk plant-based diets could present over the long-term and what can be done to mitigate those risks.”

The team used data from the UK Women’s Cohort Study to investigate possible links between diet and hip fracture risk. The national cohort of middle-aged women was established at the University of Leeds to explore links between diet and chronic disease, encompassing a wide range of different eating patterns. Dietary information was collected using a food frequency questionnaire and was validated using a 4-day food diary in a subsample of women.

At the time they were recruited into the cohort study, the women ranged in age from 35 to 69 years.

Effect of low BMI

The research team found that the average BMI among vegetarians was slightly lower than the average among the regular meat eaters. Previous research has shown a link between low BMI and a high risk of hip fracture.

Lower BMI can indicate people are underweight, which can mean poorer bone and muscle health, and higher risk of hip fracture. Further investigation is needed to determine if low BMI is the reason for the observed higher risk in vegetarians.

Study co-author, Dr Darren Greenwood, a biostatistician in the School of Medicine at Leeds, said: “This study is just part of the wider picture of diet and healthy bones and muscles in older age.

“Further research is needed to confirm whether there could be similar results in men, to explore the role of body weight, and to identify the reasons for different outcomes in vegetarians and meat-eaters.”

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.


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One of Joe Namath’s Furs Is Up for Auction—and PETA Wants It

For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2022

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New York – After learning that Joe Namath is auctioning off a 1970s mink coat, PETA sent the former quarterback a letter this morning suggesting that he instead give the coat to PETA’s fur donation program—which sends furs to people in need at refugee camps and homeless shelters as well as to wildlife rehabilitation centers to be used as bedding for orphaned animals—as Anjelica Huston, Mariah Carey, Kim Cattrall, and other compassionate celebrities have done.

“While nothing can bring back the minks who were killed for Joe Namath’s coat, it could still give some much-needed warmth to those in desperate need,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is encouraging the NFL legend to score a touchdown for kindness by donating these minks’ remains instead of trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of them.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group previously blasted Namath in 2014 after he wore a “caveperson” coyote fur coat to perform the Super Bowl coin toss, calling it an “eyesore.” For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Namath follows.

Dear Joe,

We saw that you’re auctioning off some of your possessions, including one of your infamous fur coats, but if you instead turned it over to PETA, you’d gain some new fans and allow us to help those most in need.

We’ve donated coats to displaced refugees in Afghanistan and Syria, where they offer warmth and comfort to those with the only excuse to wear fur, and to homeless shelters in the U.S., including in New York, not far from where you played with the Jets.

There’s nothing we can do to bring back the animals who were beaten, electrocuted, gassed, and even skinned alive for their fur—so would you consider adding your coat to our donation program? You’d score extra points with this handoff.

Sincerely,

Matt Kilbourne

PETA


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