News Bites for 24 December 2021
Greater appreciation for veterinarians online during pandemic
Data from Elanco Animal Health’s Pulse Institute has shown that public attitudes towards veterinarians have been overwhelmingly positive during the COVID-19 pandemic, as housebound pet owners grew more reliant on their animals for companionship and as a source of mental well-being.
The Pulse Institute is a social ‘listening centre’ that tracks online conversations to better understand consumer attitudes on a range of animal-related issues, including pet care, animal welfare and veterinarians in general.
Analysing social media posts in the United States between May 2019 and February 2020, the Pulse Institute recorded roughly 50,000 mostly neutral mentions of veterinarians daily. Then in March 2020, when COVID-19 started to sweep across the country, veterinary mentions jumped to around 250,000 posts a day. While the bulk of the comments were primarily neutral, the number of positive remarks increased. Read more
Giant rubber whale helps Kiwi rescuers prepare for strandings
New Zealand marine charity Project Jonah, a world leader in whale rescue, has been helping train New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and police in what to do when whale strandings occur. The training has involved use of a two-tonne rubber whale, and a smaller 200kg version representing a dolphin, which are guided to deeper waters.
With New Zealand having one of the highest whale stranding rates in the world, the latex marine mammals help teams prepare for real emergencies. According to the report on phys.org, Project Jonah has a network of 4,000 volunteers it can mobilise during mass standings, most of them ordinary people who have undergone basic training to become marine mammal medics. Read more