COMMENTS: Animal Planet

Then there is the rat poison, identified as the toxin in the moist pet food made, and now recalled, by Menufoods. Aminopterin is banned in this country and so may have arrived here in a shipment of gluten from wheat grown in rat-infested fields in China, ABC's David Kerley reported. NBC's Tom Costello called the entire week one of "fear and heartbreak" for pet owners nationwide even though the Food & Drug Administration's death toll for dogs and cats still stands at only 14. CBS' Sharyn Alfonsi consulted the American Veterinary Medical Association to find out whether that is all there is to the pet scare. She suspects not: New York City statistics that showed 5% of visits to animal clinics earlier this week have been for the kidney failure that the rat poison causes.

And for the second straight day ABC violated our rule for animal stories: most days none is indicated and never more than one per newscast. Yesterday ABC added Ned Potter's grizzly bears to the pets; now Neal Karlinsky (subscription required) showed us the battle between salmon and sea lion in the waters of the Columbia River below the Bonneville Dam. Both species are endangered so wild life agents are not allowed to harm the mammals to protect the fish.


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