880933 items (855257 unread) in 106 feeds
By P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed agency staff to create and deliver an updated Animal Welfare Strategy plan within 60 days, according to an internal email reviewed by Reuters. The emailed memo from Chavonda Jacobs-Young, head of the agency's Agricultural Research Service, was sent to all Animal Research Service employees on Friday afternoon in response to recent media reports over controversial animal welfare conditions at its U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska. The new strategy will include updated training for government employees and others who work with animals in the service's research labs, according to the email. In addition, an independent panel will be convened to review the group's animal handling protocols, policies and research practices.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review Oklahoma's controversial method of execution by lethal injection, taking up a case brought by three death row inmates who accuse the state of violating the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The high court just last week allowed the execution of a convicted killer in Oklahoma over the objection of its four liberal members. The three-drug process used by Oklahoma prison officials has been under scrutiny since the April 2014 botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. The inmates challenging the state's procedures argue the sedative used by Oklahoma, midazolam, cannot achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery, making it unsuitable for executions.