Vets warn that ‘extreme breeding’ could harm horses

The El Rey Magnum is close to perfection, according to its breeders in Washington state

Vets are warning that the” extreme breeding” of ponies could harm their health and welfare after pictures emerged of a young Arabian horse with a drastically concave profile. Claimed to be already worth “several million dollars”, El Rey Magnum is said to be ” close to perfection” by its breeders at Orrion Farms, an Arabian horse specialist in Ellensburg, Washington state.

But British vets and equine experts have told the Veterinary Record the nine-month-old colt represents” a matter of great concern ,” as its deformed skull could potentially cause exhaling difficulties. The Guardian has been refused permission to publish pictures of the pony, but the creature can be viewed here.

Tim Greet, an equine expert, told the Veterinary Record:” I find the whole thing unbelievable. Arabians have always had a rather’ dished ‘, face but this takes things to a ridiculous level .”

According to Greet, such “deformity” is more significant for a horse than for pedigree dogs such as pugs, which are able to suffer breathing problems. Dogs can breathe through their mouths, but horses can only inhaled through their noses.” I suspect exercising would definitely be limited for this horse ,” said Greet.

Adele Waters, the editor of Veterinary Record, said that every professional veterinarian she had shown the images to had found them shocking.

She said:” My first believes were,’ Is this the work of CGI trickery ?’ Many specialist horse veterinarians have had a similar reaction. But the truth is this is a real pony and it has been bred to meet the demands of a specific market that likes a specific appearance. Where will it aim? Is it genuinely so bad for a horse to look like a pony and not a cartoon character ?”

Waters questioned the morality of such fashion-led breeding, in the wake of similar fears over the health and welfare of flat-nosed puppy breeds such as bulldogs, French bulldogs and pugs.

” The real original Arabian horse’s head was very beautiful but they are now being bred strictly for that[ concave] look. There is no functional value in a pony having a face like that. Veterinarians believe that if you distort the skull like that there’s a risk you affect the airways and the breathing capacity of the pony .”

Dr Madeleine Campbell, an equine reproduction specialist, expert in animal welfare and ethics and director of the Equine Ethics Consultancy, told the Veterinary Record:” Whilst it is obviously impossible to comment on an individual animal based only on photographic proof, as a general principle, any tendency towards breeding for extremes of form which might adversely affect normal function must be condemned, on welfare grounds .”

Doug Leadley, a farm administrator and primary breed adviser for Orrion, claimed that” this horse is a stepping stone to getting close to perfection “. He rejected criticisms of the horse:” I think most of those people don’t breed ponies, or show them or aren’t very involved- those are people who don’t understand .”

American veterinarians have recognised El Rey Magnum as an example of an extreme breed, and one vet has said that the pony has no medical or respiratory issues.

Since launching a promotional video earlier this month, the farm has received interest from across the world, including the UK. According to Leadley, the young pony is already worth several million dollars.

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Italian woman granted sick pay for time off to look after her ill dog

Rome academic wins landmark court case where she argued that two days taken as leave to care for dog should be allowable

An Italian woman has won her battle to be granted sick pay for days she took off to look after her poorly puppy, in a first for the pet-loving country.

The woman, a Rome academic, won her instance with the help of lawyers from the Italian Anti-Vivisection League( LAV ), one of the biggest animal rights groups in Europe, the organisation said.

A judge accepted the lawyers’ example that her university should count her two days off under an allowance for absences related to” serious or household personal reasons “.

Their argument was underpinned by a provision in Italy’s penal code that provides for people who abandon an animal to” grave suffering” to be jailed for a year and fined up to EUR1 0,000.

” It is a significant step forward that recognised that animals that are not maintain for financial gain or their working ability are effectively members of the family ,” said LAV president Gianluca Felicetti.

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Vast animal-feed crops to satisfy our meat needs are destroying planet

WWF report finds 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to meat-based diets which set huge strain on Earths resources

The ongoing global craving for meat is having a devastating impact on the environment driven by the production of crop-based feed for animals, a new report has advised.

The vast scale of growing crops such as soy to rear chickens, animals and other animals puts an enormous strain on natural resources leading to the wide-scale loss of land and species, according to the study from the conservation charity WWF.

Intensive and industrial animal agriculture also results in less nutritious food, it reveals, highlighting that six intensively reared chickens today have the same sum of omega-3 as found in simply one chicken in the 1970 s.

The study entitled Appetite for Destruction launchings on Thursday at the 2017 Extinction and Livestock Conference in London, in conjunction with Compassion in World Farming( CIFW ), and warns of the vast sum of land needed to grow the harvests used for animal feed and cites some of the world’s most vulnerable areas such as the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas.

The report and seminar come against a background of alarming revelations of industrial agriculture. Last week a Guardian/ ITV investigation showed chicken mill staff in the UK changing crucial food safety information.

Protein-rich soy is now produced in such huge quantities that the average European ingests approximately 61 kg per year, largely indirectly by feeing animal products such as chicken, pork, salmon, cheese, milk and eggs.

In 2010, the British livestock industry required an region the size of Yorkshire to makes the soy used in feed. But if global demand for meat grows as expected, the report says, soy production would need to increase by virtually 80% by 2050.

” The world is eating more animal protein than it needs and this is having a devastating effect on wildlife ,” said Duncan Williamson, WWF food policy manager.” A staggering 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to the food we feed. We know a lot of people are aware that a meat-based diet has an impact on water and land, as well as causing greenhouse gas emissions, but few know the biggest issue of all comes from the crop-based feed the animals eat .”

With 23 bn chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and guinea fowls on the planet- more than three per person- the biggest user of crop-based feed globally is poultry. The second largest, with 30% of the world’s feed in 2009, is the animal industry.

In the UK, pork is the second favourite meat after chicken, with each person eating on average 25 kg a year in 2015- nearly the whole recommended yearly intake for all meats. UK nutritional guidelines recommend 45 -5 5g of protein per day, but the average UK consumption is 64 -8 8g, of which 37% is meat and meat products.

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It’s an alpha male thing: what dominant chimpanzees and Donald Trump have in common

Donald Trumps Twitter tirades and demands for fealty display he subscribes to an ape-like strategy for success

From early 1974 through most of 1976, a male chimp named Yeroen held the position of alpha leader in the large, open-air chimpanzee colony at Burgers zoo in Arnhem in the Netherlands. His reign was approximately coterminous with the presidential administration of Gerald R Ford in the United States.

Yeroen became famous( among Homo sapiens ) when the Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal showcased his leadership style in a classic 1982 book, Chimpanzee Politics. In their Machiavellian machinations and power games, De Waal argued, chimps turn out to be a lot like human beings.

The curious case of Donald Trump, however , now shows that human beings turn out to be a lot like chimps.

In the wild and in captivity, chimpanzee colonies organize themselves into tightly structured hierarchies. Power is vested in the biggest, strongest, and most outgoing males in the group, with the alpha male on top. The alpha leader predominates all others through tactics of menace, intimidation, bluffing, and outright aggression- and importantly, by forming short-term, pragmatic alliances( let us call them “deals”) with other high-status males.

Chimpanzee politics can be intricate, but they always obey the rules of social dominance. Because chimps and humans evolved from a common ancestor going back 5-7m years, we humans know deep in our brains what social dominance is all about. Our expectation that social status can be seized through physical power and menace- that the strongest, most important and boldest may indeed lord it over the rest of us- is very old, awesomely intuitive, and deeply ingrained.

Social psychologists today distinguish between the social predominance kind of human leadership, on the one hand, and leadership through prestige on the other. Both are grounded in human evolution, but the prestige form is younger, tracing back a mere million years or so to the time when our hominid ancestors began to form culture. In the prestige paradigm, leaders attain their authority in the group by demonstrating culturally valued expertise- as, for example, in cooking, defending the tribe, healing, peacemaking, or( in the modern world) science, education, technology, the arts, business, statute, medicine, communication, and so on .

For human being today, dominance and prestige compete with one another as the two primal express of leadership.

When it comes to US presidents, we expect to see a bit of both.

For Trump, however, it is dominance all the way through.

An especially effective predominance mechanism for the alpha chimp is the charging showing. The top male essentially runs berserk and starts calling, hooting, and gesticulating wildly as he charges toward other males nearby. Pandemonium ensues as rival males cower in anxiety and females grab their little ones and run for cover.

Once the chaos ends, there is a period of peace and order, wherein rival males pay homage to the alpha, visiting him, grooming him, conveying various forms of submission.

Trump’s incendiary tweets are the human equivalent of a charge display. Designed to intimidate his foes and rally his submissive base, these verbal outbursts reinforce the president’s dominance by reminding everybody of his fury and his force. When the alpha chimp charges, you cannot assistance but take note- with your ears and with your eyes.

Look at Mr Trump. What do you assure? He is physically big and dynamic. His face gives the impression of a volcano about to explosion. And explosion he does, with regularity. Trump is more overtly aggressive than any political figure in the United States today, so aggressive, so insulting, so egregiously disparaging that you thought he might not be bluffing when, for example, he threatened to” lock Hillary up”, or when he alerted North Korea that it” will be met with flame and fury like the world has never seen “.

Throughout primate evolution, bluffing appears prominently on every syllabus further written for predominance psychology 101( including The Art of the Deal ). It was a standard tactic for Yeroen. But is Trump bluffing? What if he isn’t?

One of the most bizarre( and psychologically telling) events in the Trump administration so far was the president’s first full cabinet session, on 12 June 2017.

With the cameras rolling, each cabinet official in turn extol how honored or blessed he( or she) was to serve the primal leader. The vice-president, Mike Pence, began the submission fest with these terms:” Thank you, Mr President, and this is the greatest privilege of my life, to serve as vice-president to a chairperson who is keeping his term to the American people and assembling a squad that is bringing real change, real prosperity, and real strength back to our nation .”

Trump trolled by Democrat after staff take turns praising the president

And on it went, around the room, one obsequious gesture after another. Similarly, chimps show a wide range of deference displays in the presence of the alpha, including grooming, stroking, bowing, and other differences on the theme of sucking up.

In the prestige paradigm of leadership, the president’s cabinet would be viewed as a body of experts charged with running government agencies and providing the president with critical advice. But under the aegis of dominance, specific expertise is irrelevant. What matters instead is fealty to the alpha.

This is why Trump will never forgive the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from investigations conducted by charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. In a July interview, Trump described Sessions’ move as” very unfair to the president “.

And this is why various officials in the administration all now know what Sean Spicer learned early in his short tenure as White House press secretary: you may think you are speaking to the American people, but in reality there is an audience of one.

Even the biggest and most aggressive alpha chimp needs allies if he is going to hold on to power. Psychological research shows that among chimps and humen, socially dominant leaders are especially inclined to form short-term contractual relationships that are grounded in pragmatics rather than principle- temporary deals that work today, but may be gone tomorrow:” You may be a horrible person, but if you work with me on Task A today, I will work with you on Task B tomorrow. By Friday, we are able adversaries on some other deal, we may even be trying to kill each other off, but hey, Friday is style in the future, and chimps do not project their leadership programs too far into the future .”

Nor does Trump, it seems. Many commentators have remarked upon his short-term, contractual approach to international relations and to enter into negotiations with Congress.” He’ll promise you the world ,” said Jeremy Shapiro, a former state department official.” And 48 hours later, he’ll betray you without a thought. He won’t even know that he’ll be betraying you .”

The alpha chimp’s focus on temporary arrangements designed to serve immediate goals brings us to the hollow core of Trump’s personality. In a psychological profile I wrote in early 2016, when he was a candidate, I remarked that it is very difficult to discern a moral narrative in Trump’s head about how he came to be the person or persons he is becoming. To the extent there is a narrative there, it is something vague about opposing to win.

Psychological research suggests that constructing a self-defining story about who you are, were, and is likely to be is a signal psychological task of adulthood. Virtually every leader, furthermore, draws upon his or her internalized self-narrative for moral and strategic guidance, and to inspire those whom the leader leads.

As different as they were in their approaches to leadership, both Barack Obama and George W Bush created highly redemptive tales- narrations of suffering and hope- to make sense of their lives. Those tales informed their presidencies, for better and for worse.

By his own admission, Trump is not an especially introspective person. Nor is he retrospective or prospective. There is very little by way of a narrative arc to Trump’s consciousness. Instead, he lives in the angry contractual moment, moment to moment, deal-making scene to deal-making scene, episodic- more like an episode of Seinfeld than a feature-length movie.

The goal for each moment is to win the moment. And that is it. “Were not receiving” storyline beyond winning the moment. “Were not receiving” overarching moral narration of atonement or liberation or progress. There is no valued end nation toward which you and the people you result strive in the long term , no envisioned aim to the narrative in which Americans enjoy greater freedom, equality, or happiness.

Almost 40 years ago, in an interview with People magazine, Trump said:” Man is the most vicious of all animals, and life is a series of battles ending in victory or defeat .” His philosophical musing on human nature applies even better to life in a chimpanzee colony. The alpha chimp survives each angry moment to win the next combat- until his winning streak ends.

Dan P McAdams is the Henry Wade Rogers professor of psychology at Northwestern University. He is the author of The Art and Science of Personality Development and the author of the recent paper The Appeal of the Primal Leader: Human Evolution and Donald J Trump

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Flotillas of fire ants add new layer of horror to post-Harvey flood havoc

Images of ants swarming together in rafts and riding on top of floodwaters alarm Texans

There is a new menace to the millions of people in Texas affected by ex-hurricane Harvey: large “rafts” of fire ants that have been spotted drifting in floodwaters.

Displaced by record flooding, the insects have responded by creating rafts built on top of dead ants to stay on the top of water and keep dry.

Mike Hixenbaugh (@ Mike_Hixenbaugh)

Pro tip: Don’t touch the drift fire ant colonies. They will ruin your day. #Harvey uwJd0rA 7qB

August 27, 2017

Hailing from the floodplains of the Paraguay river in South America, the ants are accustomed to flood-prone environments.

Despite the raft-making behaviour being well known to entomologists( it was observed following hurricane Katrina ), images of the ants sailing on floodwaters have caused panic online. A picture of a huge swarm posted to Twitter by Bill O’Zimmerman caused particular alarm.

Bill O’Zimmermann (@ The_Reliant)

Meanwhile, in Cuero, the river has brought my aunt all of the flame ants. Yes, those are all( of the) flame ants. dEibWYxAdl

August 29, 2017

Alex Wild, curator of entomology at the University of Texas, said he had never seen anything like the Cuero swarm in his career as an ant researcher.

Fire ants entered the southern United States in the 1930 s and have been spreading there with devastating consequences ever since. The ants have also received their way to Australia, China and Taiwan, where they are considered an invasive species. In Australia the ant was first observed in Brisbane in 2001 but has since been spotted in Sydney.

The ants are exceedingly aggressive, attacking en masse and inflicting an rub and burning sting that they are able last an hour. Secondary infections from the stings can be serious, and in rare cases allergic reactions have killed people- they are thought to have caused dozens of deaths in the United States.

Compounding the risk posed by the flotillas, the naturally aggressive flame ants are more defensive and deliver highest dose of venom when flooded, according to research by Louisiana etymologist Linda Bui.

Fox Keegan (@ FoxCurtailed)

If you’re in Houston and don’t guess things could get worse, only remember: Flame Ants float 43 whwDxnUz

August 27, 2017

The rafts have been known to last for weeks before breaking up; however without access to food the ants cannot survive.

In the meantime, while some have suggested” killing them with flame” experts say that a little bit of detergent is the best defense against the drift dangers.

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Tropical storm Harvey: the tale in so far- video report

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How Slovenia is helping its baby dragons

The eyeless subterranean salamanders of Postojna Cave are under threat but theres hope in sight

Postojna Cave in Slovenia is one of Europe’s longest cave networks and one of the world’s most spectacular subterranean tourist sites. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come here every year to gaze at its wonders: its huge stalactites and stalagmites, its curtains of coloured rock and bridges that have been carved out of the local limestone by the river Pivka over millions of years.

Given such glories, “its not” surprising that few tourists take note of the two concrete shanties draped with black polythene that have been erected in a shadowy alcove in one obliterate part of the 24 km-long labyrinth. But the shacks contain wonders of their own. In racks of trays of water, scientists have placed specimens of one of the world’s strangest creatures: the blind aquatic salamander Proteus anguinus- or olm, as it is known locally. It constitutes a project that could have profound implications for the future of these remarkable creatures.

” We now have 21 newborn olms prospering in our trays ,” told Primoz Gnezda, a biologist working in Postojna Cave.” For the first time we have witnessed the hatching of proteus larvae- and, after one year, they are all healthy. And that devotes us hope we can save our olms for the future .”

Olms expend their lives in total darkness in the Postojna cavern complex. They can grow to up to a foot in duration, attaining them the world’s largest cave-dwelling animals and they can live up to a century, though they usually breed only once every six or seven years. The creatures can see the bioelectric fields of other organisms- helping them hunting in the dark for their main prey, the cave shrimp. And experiments have suggested that they use the Earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves. In addition, they possess photosensitive scalp: if you glisten a torch on the tail of an olm, it will swim away from you.

That extraordinary decide of attributes has brought olms considerable renown among animal fans , not least David Attenborough who has included them in his list of endangered animals he would most like to save from extinction. They are, he tells,” one of the ultimate experts” in the natural world. They have adapted to living in total darkness by losing their sight and can survive for up to 10 years without food.” The olm lives life in the slow lane which seems to be its secret for living a long life … and perhaps that is a lesson for us all ,” says Attenborough.

Given their remote, stygian home, it might be expected that olms would be relatively new to the world of science but their existence has been known about for centuries. That’s because their habitat- the subterranean pools and rivers of the great karst outcrops of Slovenia and the north Adriatic coast- occasionally becomes inundated during rainstorms and when that happens the olms get flushed out into the open. In medieval days, the appearance of these writhe, white, eyeless animals in the midst of severe cyclones caused some alarm. Locals believed they were the spawn of a mythical beast, most likely a dragon. So they become known as baby dragons- and the name has stuck , not least on the mugs and fridge magnets on sale in the tourist stores. In fact, with their clammy white scalp and tiny legs, olms look more like miniature versions of Gollum than baby Smaug.

An olm on the cave bed: they can live up to 100 years. Photo: Alamy

Slovenia is extremely proud of its remarkable little blind salamander which featured on the country’s pre-Euro coins. But the beast faces problems. For a start there is the threat of pollution to its water from surrounding factories and townships – many of which are outside Slovenia. It has also suffered from “members attention” of collectors. As a outcome Proteus anguinus is now rated as vulnerable by the International Union for Nature Conservancy.

That explains the specific elation that fulfilled the news that young baby dragons had been bred and were now being carefully nurtured in that dark subterranean hut. It was the first time olms had been persuaded to breed in a scientifically controlled surrounding within Postojna Cave.” In the cave, in nature, olms hatch all the time ,” said Saso Weldt, another cave biologist,” but nobody has ever seen that happen or insured a hatchling younger than about two years- until now .”

The discovery that a mom olm had started to lay eggs was induced in January last year by cave guide Juan Pablo Maschio. He reported having seen one is connected to the wall of the aquarium in the cave that allows tourists to see living examples of Postojna’s distinctive salamanders. Biologists who rushed to the tank found the mother opposing to fend off other olms. Three years earlier, in 2013, another captive olm had laid eggs but none hatched and many were eaten by the other olms in her tank. This time the Postojna team were able to move the other olms out of the tank and allow their” dragon mum” to go on to lay her eggs. On 30 May, four months after the first egg was laid, the first baby dragon was born. In the end, a total of 21 larvae were hatched.” It was just fantastic. We all had tears in our eyes ,” told Katja Dolenc Batagelj, head of the Postojna Cave laboratory.

At present, all 21 baby dragons are prospering and have grown from 2 to 7cm over the past year, and studies of the beasts continue. Last year, Lilijana Mali, of the University of Ljubljana- working with Stanley Sessions of Hartwick College, New York, and others- discovered that olms have evolved a unique genetic feature in which a piece of Y-chromosome( in most creatures present merely in males) has become attached to an X-chromosome. Such a translocation can mix up sex determination and cause gender ambiguity, even in humans. This translocation may have arisen to conserve genes that are useful in the olms’ lightless, low-food environments. However, it may also pose reproductive problems for the species.

” The established in our breeding colony in Postojna dedicates us a chance to to be implemented by more the investigations and find what has been the impact on the genes of Proteus anguinus in evolving in this strange environment ,” tells Mali.

The story underlines the importance of the Postojna team’s success in establishing a breed colony.” There may be thousands of our newborn dragons in the caves but equally there is a constant danger of pollution ,” tells Batagelj.” Merely a slight change to the water here might have a devastating effect this is something that colony is a lifeline .”

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A contest was held to find this year’s funniest animal photo. Here are 15 of the best.

A hamster has to get somewhere fast. It would also like to eat some nuts, if possible. Finally, it comes up with a genius solution.

That solution, miraculously caught on camera by photographer Julian Radd, was the win of the 2015 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards.

The awardings are the brainchild of Tanzania-based photographers Tom Sullam and Paul Joynson-Hicks, who launched the contest last year.

The pair, along with a panel of judges, run the rivalry in partnership with Born Free, a global animal rights group supporting anti-poaching efforts in Tanzania and around the world.

“Instead of drawing attention to wildlife through proving foxes being ripped to pieces by hounds, or a bird thats being slashed open and its filled with litter, we just thought, Lets celebrate the wildlife and raise awareness that route, ‘” Sullam told .

This year, different groups received virtually 3,000 entries. While high-quality photos can be more competitive, the tournament ultimately only has one inviolable regulation : Be funny .

“The humor scoring outweighs the photographic scoring, ” Sullam said.

Here are 15 of this year’s best entries:

1. This cheetah cracking up.

2. These one-and-a-half owl.

3. This baby elephant taking a moment to collect itself on the side of the road.

4. This field mouse on stilts.

5. These monkeys not fighting the feeling.

6. These puffins going diagonal.

7. This eagle, definitely not trying to figure out how to eat you. Not at all.

8. This chipmunk, slowly realise it’s in over its head.

9. This seal say about “Hey.”

10. This kangaroo enjoying the comforts of modern society.

11. This fluffy monkey, preparing a vicious sneak attack.

12. This odd couple, a chipmunk and a toad, experiencing a deep sensory connection.

13. These squirrels squirreling it real hard.

14. This wasp with a fancier jewelry collecting than you.

15. And lastly, this snowy owl, discovering its bliss.

Sullam says he hopes the photos, while lighthearted, reinforce the importance of protecting these animals for those who insure them.

“Its going to get the same impact, ” he told. “Its merely not negative.”

The winners will be announced Nov. 9, 2016.

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National emergency? Belgians respond to terror raids with cats

An official request for citizens to avoid tweeting anything that could inform terrorists what is going on resulted in a national outbreak of pet pics

When, on Sunday evening, Belgian police asked citizens not to tweet about the armed operations that were being carried out around the country, anyone could have been excused for reacting with fear.

Brussels in lockdown for a third day

Belgian forces searching for suspects in the aftermath of the Paris attacks told citizens to stay indoors and not go near their windows for safety reasons.

They also appealed for social media silence about any police action users might witness presumably to keep the suspects in the dark.

A tense time, no doubt. But Belgium reacted how else? with cats.

Instead of speculation about the sort of threat police might be reacting to, many people used the #BrusselsLockdown hashtag to post pictures of their pets.

Seimen Burum (@SeimenBurum) November 22, 2015

Don’t share info on situation #BrusselsLockdown that may help suspects. Confuse them with #cat pics @lopcute

Lore De Witte (@loredewitte) November 22, 2015

“I got this” #BrusselsLockdown

Delphine Jory (@Ladyblogue) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown en live.

anna-rose phipps (@lopcute) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown CodeNameSpinner

Amit Bhat (@amitbhatr) November 22, 2015

Don’t worry super cat is here #BrusselsLockdown

TineEeckhout (@TineEeckhout) November 22, 2015

May the force be with us. #BrusselsLockdown

JaneAustenMaMaschio (@ExTimUpperClass) November 22, 2015

#relax, Mes amis #BrusselsLockdown

melissa jacobs (@deathrep) November 22, 2015

#BrusselsLockdown You ROCK Belgian people! Showing the world how to deal with terrorism! Love from #NativeAmerica !

And after the all-clear was announced by officials with the news of arrests there was a sigh of relief and a message of gratitude.

CrisisCenter Belgium (@CrisiscenterBE) November 22, 2015

Thanks to the media and citizens for their silence online as asked during the juridicial intervention tonight #BrusselsLockdown

Belgian police later thanked the cats for their help.

Police Fdrale (@PolFed_presse) November 23, 2015

Pour les chats qui nous ont aid hier soir… Servez-vous! #BrusselsLockdown

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Jon Stewart’s beautiful 12-acre farm is now a safe haven for abused animals.

Anna and Maybelle are living in a pig’s paradise.

GIF via The Daily Squeal/ Facebook.

They feast on green grass. They sunbathe on 12 acres of pristine pasture. And they get belly scratch …

GIF via CBS This Morning/ YouTube.

…from Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey. Every. Single. Day.

GIF via CBS This Morning/ YouTube.

Anna and Maybelle are just two of about a dozen other animals living in the lap of luxury on the Stewarts’ farm 50 miles outside of New York City, “CBS This Morning” reported.

The former “Daily Show” host and his wife, who is an author and animal proponent, have operated Bufflehead Farm in New Jersey since 2013, according to The New York Times. Along with Anna and Maybelle, they care for four dogs, three rabbits, two guinea pig, two fish, and a bird.

And while that might seem like a full house( er, yard ), the Stewarts are just getting started.

Jon and Tracey’s big, furry family is about to get even bigger .

On Oct. 24, 2015, the couple announced that their property will officially become a Farm Sanctuary.

Farm Sanctuary, an advocacy group that fights the factory farm industry and cares for abused animals, has three other animal safe havens in the U.S .; the Stewarts’ New Jersey property is likely to be its fourth.

Soon cows, sheep, chicken, goats, turkeys, and( of course) more pigs will be arriving at Bufflehead Farm .

Tracey, who has a newly released animal welfare book called “Do Unto Animals, ” announced the big news at the nonprofit’s jamboree in New York City this past weekend.

“We’re getting married! ” she told the crowd, according to a press release. “Farm Sanctuary and us, we’re getting married.”

“We bought a farm in New Jersey with the intention of starting a farm sanctuary of our own with an educational center, but what I’m announcing tonight is that our farm is actually going to be the New Jersey branch of Farm Sanctuary. We’re going to build new proponents, new curious learners, and new leaders for this very important motion . ” Tracey Stewart

Caring for rescued animals is quite the 180 from Jon’s previous day chore as host of “The Daily Show.”

Photo by Saul Loeb/ AFP/ Getty Images.

But for Jon who called himself his wife’s “wingman” during this next chapter and who has quietly eased into eating a vegetarian diet farm life doesn’t seem so bad … although he joked about missing the perks of Tv stardom during his recent Emmy speech.

“To everybody on television, I simply want to tell you cling to it! ” he joked on stage last month after “The Daily Show” won Best Variety Talk Series at the awarding display.

“I have been off of television for six weeks, seven weeks, whatever it is. This is the first applause I’ve heard. It is a barren wasteland out there.” He told the Emmy’s audience. “You get used to craft services. Out in the world, there are tables with food but you can’t take it. It costs money, and very little of it is gluten free or vegan.”

The comedian, however, seems perfectly at peace in hog heaven, if you will right where he is.

GIF via CBS This Morning/ YouTube.

Although pig masseur and late night host may seem dramatically different, it appears that Jon is still doing what he does best in retirement: helping dedicate a voice to the people and animals that deserve to be heard .

Check out the story from “CBS This Morning” on Jon and Tracey’s big news below:

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United Airlines facing new animal crisis after dog dies in cargo hold

American carrier apologises after the death of King Charles spaniel Lulu, which follows the demise of a giant British rabbit named Simon

United Airline has apologised to the owners of puppy that died in the cargo hold during a flight from Houston to San Francisco, the most recent death of an animal under the airlines care.

ABC News reported that Lulu, a five-year-old King Charles spaniel, was aboard the United plane on Sunday when the flight was delayed on the tarmac for two hours.

The Rasmussen family from Houston said their dog, which had been cleared to fly by a veterinarian days before the flight, died in the cargo hold.

We are so sorry to learn of Lulus passing and have reached out to our client to offer our condolences and assistance, United said in a statement. We are deeply upset any time an animal suffers an injury while travelling with us and especially grieved in the rare instance that one passes away.

We are conducting a thorough review of this incident.

Data from the US transportation department shows that United had nine of the 26 deaths of animals reported last year during air transport, more than any other airline.

Uniteds handling of animals drew headlines this spring when a giant rabbit named Simondied during a journey from Britain to the Iowa state fair. Investors in the animal have sued United, claiming its workers were responsible for its death.

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