From booze to bottoms
SCIENTISTS at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service have developed a new way to make cat litter that's almost fully biodegradable - using waste grains from corn ethanol production. Some cat litters are made with corn or other grains, but this is the first-known use of treated, spent grains, used primarily as an ingredient in cattle feed. The environmentally friendly litter made from dried distiller's grains was absorbent, formed strong clumps and provided good odor control.
* What's the penalty for animal cruelty? In Kentucky, Iowa, South Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming, the answer is, "Not much." Those states have the nation's weakest animal protection laws, according to a December report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The laws reflect inadequate standards of basic care, give limited authority to humane officers and don't require mandatory reporting when veterinarians suspect animal cruelty. South Dakota is the only state with no felony penalty for acts of cruelty. The best states for animals? Illinois, Oregon, Michigan, Maine and California.