As advances are made in canine genetics and related nutrigenomics — specific dietary requirements related to genetic background — the burden of disorders and suffering related to our selective breeding of various kinds of dogs may be alleviated, and our canine companions can enjoy a better quality of life in future generations. Overall, mixed breeds have the best prognosis.
Dear Dr. Fox: I would like to hear your rationale as to the difference between horse slaughter for human consumption, which you discussed in a recent column, and that of cattle, hogs, poultry and fish?
— B.W., St. Louis
Dear B.W: My “rationale” is quite simple: While killing is killing regardless of the species, there is a difference in slaughtering animals raised or caught specifically for human consumption and those such as horses and dogs, who have enjoyed a close human bond.
This difference is cultural and, some would argue, also ethical. It is a kind of emotional betrayal of the animals’ devotion and service. There is also a biological difference — horses have not been selectively bred to be less reactive to being herded and transported. I have visited livestock slaughtering facilities across the United States as well as in India and Africa and documented my concerns several years ago.
For an in-depth and in-field account of the continuing horrors in the meat industry, which would mean an intensification of this holocaust of the animals if horse slaughter were to become legal in the U.S., read the book by my friend and former co-worker Gail A. Eisnitz, “Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry.”
Pro-Pet food recall: Pro-Pet LLC of St. Mary’s, Ohio, has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited number of its dry dog and cat foods for possible salmonella contamination. Affected foods include Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food, QC Plus Adult Dog Food and Joy Combo Cat Food.