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Bad News for Bees and the rest of us
Federal judge: Seed coatings with chemicals harmful to bees exempt from federal regulation
A federal district judge in Northern California ruled Monday that "seeds coated with neonicotinoid insecticides will continue to be exempt from regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIRFA)," Stephen Davies reports for Agri-Pulse.

In response to a lawsuit by beekeepers and environmental groups, Judge William Alsup said he was sympathetic "to the plight of our bee population and beekeeper," but said that the Environmental Protection Agency should have done more to protect bees and it was the agency's responsibility to make policy decisions on regulations, not his.

Alsup, a Bill Clinton appointee, said "that pesticide-treated seeds cannot be regulated as pesticides under FIFRA as long as the seed coatings themselves are registered, and 'the pesticidal protection imparted to the treated seed does not extend beyond the seed itself to offer pesticidal benefits or value attributable to the treated seed'," Davies writes.

The pesticide industry cheered the decision, saying it will prevent more regulation, Davies writes. Plaintiffs said they "were disappointed, but also noted that Alsup 'dismissed the case on an administrative procedure basis, not on the fundamental question of whether the exempted seeds are harming honey bees'.”

Written by Tim Mandell 

 

Lucky the two-faced cow, who made headlines in September, is at it again

 Brandy and Stan McCubbin feed Lucky, a two-faced calf born on their farm in September. PHOTO/ Kaitlin Keane/CKNJBrandy and Stan McCubbin feed Lucky, a two-faced calf born on their farm in September. PHOTO/ Kaitlin Keane/CKNJ

As of Oct. 27, 2016, Lucky has beaten the record and is now the oldest two-headed calf that Ripley’s Believe It or Not has ever encountered. Before Lucky, the oldest two-headed calf lived 40 days. Lucky, born Sept. 6, on the farm of Stan and Brandy McCubbin, is now 48 days old and doing better than ever.

“She’s doing a lot better than I expected,” Stan said.

While she has one body, Lucky has two partial heads with two mouths, two noses, two ears and two eyes and a third socket space. The phenomenon is called polycephaly, and is said to occur when an embryo begins to split into twins but stops, meaning that the twins remain attached. Having more than one head is more specifically known as ‘bicephaly’ or ‘dicephaly.’

Ripley’s has a long history with these animals. Farmers often wrote to Robert Ripley, telling him of their two-headed animals. The group’s website states that Ripley was intrigued with these animal oddities and called them “pranks of nature.” The Ripley collection today includes a horse with three legs, two-headed calves, pigs, rabbits, turtles and kittens.

According to Ripley’s, Lucky’s condition might not be true polycephaly. It’s more accurate to say she has two faces than two heads, but she’s still just as unique. Lucky’s case is most likely different if she only has one brain.

Calves with polycephaly usually don’t live long. However, Lucky is proving to beat the odds. She can stand on her own now, but with some balance problems. She also has a tendency to walk in a circle, but she’s eating and making a strong effort, according to the McCubbins.

Stan McCubbin commented that in the last three weeks, she has really started to eat like she should, being able to now take four pints from a bottle with no problem. He noted that before, it would take 45 minutes for her to get two pints down, and now she can get all four in about 15 minutes.

“She’s 68 pounds now,” he said. “She’s not gaining a lot of weight, but she’s filling out. She really should be gaining more than that, but we are really in a different ball game with everything.”

All of Lucky’s parts work, including both nostrils and both mouths. She has a split jaw and two cleft palates, which makes it hard for eating.

“But she eats real well out of the right side,” Stan said, adding that she hasn’t moved to grass or dry feed yet.

“I don’t know about the grass and the hay and how that’s going to work,” he said. “I’ve given her some crushed corn and she rolls that around in her mouth and she did well with that. She’s gotten to where she has learned the bottle now.”

Stan said she can’t do a milk diet forever, but can probably go six to eight months.

“She’s got to become more independent,” he added.

Lucky is starting to make normal calf strides, including making small moo noises. She has also made her way into the field with the other cows from time to time. But she still has her own little area set up in the barn.

“We’ve put a lot of work into her. We’ve spent a lot of time,” Stan said. “She’s a big part of things to everybody.”

The family’s 5-year-old daughter, Kenley, agrees that Lucky has become part of the family.

“We spend a lot more time with her,” he said. 

“Yeah, 5 hours a day talking and playing with her,” Brandy joked.

Stan has reached out to multiple vet schools in hopes someone would want to take and help raise her, but none has been interested.

“It would take too much money, and there is nothing to learn from her,” Stan said.

“She’s not a disease, it’s just a deformity. So no one’s interested in taking in an animal to raise that there is nothing to learn from.”

Stan’s biggest concern is when winter starts to set in.

“The cold in the winter especially,” Stan said. On days when the weather drastically changes, Lucky is more susceptible to pneumonia, because when she eats she sometimes takes milk into her lungs. But in the meantime, the McCubbins will continue to love on Lucky and give her the best life possible.

To stay updated on Lucky’s journey follow her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Luckythetwofacedcow.

Lucky the two-faced cow, who made headlines in September, is at it again.

As of Oct. 27, 2016, Lucky has beaten the record and is now the oldest two-headed calf that Ripley’s Believe It or Not has ever encountered. Before Lucky, the oldest two-headed calf lived 40 days. Lucky, born Sept. 6, on the farm of Stan and Brandy McCubbin, is now 48 days old and doing better than ever.

“She’s doing a lot better than I expected,” Stan said.

While she has one body, Lucky has two partial heads with two mouths, two noses, two ears and two eyes and a third socket space. The phenomenon is called polycephaly, and is said to occur when an embryo begins to split into twins but stops, meaning that the twins remain attached. Having more than one head is more specifically known as ‘bicephaly’ or ‘dicephaly.’

Ripley’s has a long history with these animals. Farmers often wrote to Robert Ripley, telling him of their two-headed animals. The group’s website states that Ripley was intrigued with these animal oddities and called them “pranks of nature.” The Ripley collection today includes a horse with three legs, two-headed calves, pigs, rabbits, turtles and kittens.

According to Ripley’s, Lucky’s condition might not be true polycephaly. It’s more accurate to say she has two faces than two heads, but she’s still just as unique. Lucky’s case is most likely different if she only has one brain.

Calves with polycephaly usually don’t live long. However, Lucky is proving to beat the odds. She can stand on her own now, but with some balance problems. She also has a tendency to walk in a circle, but she’s eating and making a strong effort, according to the McCubbins.

Stan McCubbin commented that in the last three weeks, she has really started to eat like she should, being able to now take four pints from a bottle with no problem. He noted that before, it would take 45 minutes for her to get two pints down, and now she can get all four in about 15 minutes.

“She’s 68 pounds now,” he said. “She’s not gaining a lot of weight, but she’s filling out. She really should be gaining more than that, but we are really in a different ball game with everything.”

All of Lucky’s parts work, including both nostrils and both mouths. She has a split jaw and two cleft palates, which makes it hard for eating.

“But she eats real well out of the right side,” Stan said, adding that she hasn’t moved to grass or dry feed yet.

“I don’t know about the grass and the hay and how that’s going to work,” he said. “I’ve given her some crushed corn and she rolls that around in her mouth and she did well with that. She’s gotten to where she has learned the bottle now.”

Stan said she can’t do a milk diet forever, but can probably go six to eight months.

“She’s got to become more independent,” he added.

Lucky is starting to make normal calf strides, including making small moo noises. She has also made her way into the field with the other cows from time to time. But she still has her own little area set up in the barn.

“We’ve put a lot of work into her. We’ve spent a lot of time,” Stan said. “She’s a big part of things to everybody.”

The family’s 5-year-old daughter, Kenley, agrees that Lucky has become part of the family.

“We spend a lot more time with her,” he said. 

“Yeah, 5 hours a day talking and playing with her,” Brandy joked.

Stan has reached out to multiple vet schools in hopes someone would want to take and help raise her, but none has been interested.

“It would take too much money, and there is nothing to learn from her,” Stan said.

“She’s not a disease, it’s just a deformity. So no one’s interested in taking in an animal to raise that there is nothing to learn from.”

Stan’s biggest concern is when winter starts to set in.

“The cold in the winter especially,” Stan said. On days when the weather drastically changes, Lucky is more susceptible to pneumonia, because when she eats she sometimes takes milk into her lungs. But in the meantime, the McCubbins will continue to love on Lucky and give her the best life possible.

To stay updated on Lucky’s journey follow her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Luckythetwofacedcow.

 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2016

A flooded poultry operation in Duplin, N.C.  (Waterkeeper Alliance photo by Rick Dove)A flooded poultry operation in Duplin, N.C. (Waterkeeper Alliance photo by Rick Dove) 

Hurricane Matthew's destruction has led to flooding that has decimated livestock in rural eastern North Carolina, one of the top pork producing regions in the state, Daryl Fears reports for The Washington Post. "Conservationist organizations and government agencies that dispatched surveillance helicopters over Cumberland and Robinson counties on Tuesday reported that waters from swollen rivers and creeks had reached at least a half-dozen poultry houses and possibly some hog houses at animal feed operations."

Brian Long, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said they were aware of poultry farms being flooded, but had no confirmation of hog losses, Fears writes. Rick Dove, an environmentalist for the Waterkeeper Alliance who claimed to have seen thousands of floating carcasses, estimated the number of dead chickens “is probably in the millions" and “there could be tens of thousands of dead hogs.”

Another concern is animal waste getting into fresh water, Fears writes. "The state doesn’t disclose the amount of waste the animals produce, but some organization estimate it at more than 15 million pounds of manure annually." (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 10/12/2016 11:06:00 AM

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