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It's baaaaaack...
Case of Mad Cow Disease Is Found in U.S. -- The Department of Agriculture announced that it had identified a case of mad cow disease, the first in six years, in a dairy cow in central California. The cow "was never presented for human consumption, so it at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health," John Clifford, chief veterinary officer at the department, said in a statement. Dr. Clifford noted that milk did not transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name for mad cow disease. He expressed confidence in the health of the nation's cattle and the safety of beef during a press briefing in Washington.

Burger King takes on animal welfare.
Burger King Says All Egg, Pork Products At Restaurants to be Cage-Free by 2017 -- Burger King today became the largest restaurant chain to put a time frame on their pledge to purchase only cage-free chicken and pork products. The fast-food giant vowed to use only cage-free eggs by 2017. A similar promise was made concerning pork from sows not raised in gestation stalls. "These changes by Burger King Corp. will improve life for countless farm animals and encourage other companies to abide by animal welfare principles up and down their supply chain," said Humane Society of the United States president Wayne Pacelle.

No more "birth tourism" in China.
Hong Kong to limit mainland China maternity services -- Hong Kong hospitals will limit maternity services to most pregnant women from mainland China from next year, under new proposals from its incoming chief executive. Mainland women will be prevented from giving birth in Hong Kong unless they have a Hong Kong husband. While the proposal would only apply to public hospitals, private hospitals have also agreed to follow suit. Increasing "birth tourism" from the mainland has caused tensions. Soaring numbers of mainland women have sought to give birth in Hong Kong to ensure that their child receives Hong Kong citizenship.

Chicken hospice. That's a new one.
Retirement Homes Beckon for City Chickens of Portland -- While many Portlanders still pluck aging birds for the broiler, others seek a blissful, pastoral end for them. Because most chickens lay the majority of eggs early in life, and can live about 10 years, the quest for a place where chickens can live out their sunset years has brought a boom at least two farm animal sanctuaries and led Pete Porath, a self-described chicken slinger, to expand the portion of his business that finds new homes for unwanted birds. "I would say I'm a halfway house for chickens on the move," he said.

- Sheena Moore

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