Illegal slaughterhouse — goats dogs frogs dragons — found in Melbourne

Police raided a Rockbank, Australia property this week with representatives from the RSPCA, Melton Shire Council, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the regulator responsible for meat safety, PrimeSafe.

"The other agencies attended the residential address in relation to information about possible wildlife and animal cruelty offences, as well as the alleged production and selling of meat," a police spokeswoman said.

An RSPCA spokesman said 22 dogs of varying breeds were found and about 100 goats, one of which had to be euthanased on humane grounds.

PrimeSafe chief executive Brian Casey said two goat carcasses were found and about 20 kilograms of sheep or goat meat was discovered in a freezer.

There was no evidence dogs had been slaughtered, he said.

In Victoria it is illegal to slaughter non-consumable animals such as dogs, horses, cats and donkeys.

"You can slaughter consumable animals [such as goats] but they must be slaughtered at a licensed abattoir," Mr Casey told AAP.

There was an exemption in place to enable farmers to slaughter edible animals on their properties for their own consumption, but the Rockbank property was not a farm, he said.

More than 45 animals were seized by DSE including 30 frogs, four central bearded dragons, a children’s python and a crucifix toad, which were being kept illegally.

"A wildlife licence is required by anyone keeping and trading protected wildlife in Victoria."

27 ill with E. coli at Michigan State; links with another 8 cases in MI

One of the advantages of DNA fingerprinting of bugs that make people sick is that previously hidden patterns emerge.

If Canadians stopped using stagecoaches to transport samples – or developed any kind of urgency around the listeria outbreak – maybe links would have emerged earlier and lives saved.

The outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 at Michigan State University took a new twist Tuesday when state health officials announced that the same strain of O157 has been linked to at least eight other cases throughout the state, including one at the University of Michigan and five at the Lenawee County Jail.

The findings have led investigators to believe that the patients all got ill from ingesting the same contaminated food source.

The Detroit News reports that,

“Within the last two weeks, 27 students at MSU fell ill with bloody diarrhea, including seven who needed to be hospitalized. Stool samples in eight of the patients showed that E. coli O157:H7 was the culprit. …

“Lab test results, called DNA fingerprinting, for three MSU students matched those of patients who became sick from E. coli in Washtenaw, St. Clair, Wayne and Lenawee counties since Sept. 8.”

DNA fingerprinting is a wonderful tool – when used in a timely fashion.