Monday links

What’s the latest in the fields of agriculture, food safety, animal science and toxicology? Check it out here.

Animal Science:

Japanese authorities battle bird flu outbreak — Poultry World
Japanese authorities have culled 92,000 chickens following the discovery of the highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza strain in the west of the country.

Every pen, every pig, every day (even the really cold ones) — Real Pig Farming
In the last couple of weeks, frigid weather has slammed many parts of the world. One U.S.-based pig farmer reflects on how he cares for his animals when temperatures plunge, and the ethical responsibility that all farmers face.

Food Safety:

FSMA: What does ‘qualified’ mean? — Food Safety Tech
The term “qualified” appears a few different ways in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. Cathy Crawford, president of HACCP Consulting Group, clears up some of the ways the term is used.

Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs — The BMJ
Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets, instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

Agriculture:

Robotic weeders: coming to a farm near you? — American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America and Crop Science Society of America
The future of weeding is here, and it comes in the form of a robot. The growing popularity of robotic weeders for specialty crops has grown out of necessity, says one extension specialist. This is partly due to a lack of herbicides available for specialty crops, and partly to the increased cost of hand-weeding.

Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study — University of Illinois
Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions that add up to major yield losses if not detected early. Now, researchers have discovered how the fungus is outsmarting corn resistance genes, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back.

Toxicology:

Doctors concerned about online laundry detergent pod ‘memes’ — ABC 15
What began as a social media joke is prompting concern from doctors about teens consuming laundry detergent pods. The online memes have evolved into “challenges” to bite or consume the detergent packs. Doctors have seen recent cases of teens intentionally consuming the pods.

Offbeat:

Arsonist falcons suggest birds discovered fire before humans did — New Scientist
Some birds of prey have learned to control fire, a skill previously thought to be unique to humans, suggesting that birds may have beaten us to the use of fire. According to ornithologists, some falcons appear to deliberately spread wildfires in order to flush out prey.

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