Litmag report cards & BC animal health regulations

Duotrope’s Digest is just about the coolest thing (aside from Marcel the Shell of course) that I’ve come upon in this virtual world. It’s a report card for literary mags: you can search for information about poetry or fiction submissions at almost every journal in the English-speaking world, and find out what their speed of response is, whether they accept electronic submissions, their acceptance rate, whether they pay, and many other useful details.

The information provided comes from writers who submit work to the journals, rather than their editors and publishers, and the file on each magazine shows how many reports the information is based upon. Writers register, enter the title and submission details for each piece of work, and then report back when the piece has been accepted or rejected.

This is doubly useful, because writers can use it to track their own submissions while performing a public service to others. And because it tracks individual pieces, a writer can see – on the record for each magazine – where else contributors have submitted the same work. Which is helpful if you’re trying to figure out your plan B for a rejected piece, or tap new markets for similar writing.

Meanwhile, the BC government is reviewing its animal health regulations and seeking public input, which I’d say is a *very* good thing, particularly if you look at the way the underlying principles are presented:

A sound BC animal health policy framework (including legislation, regulation and policy) should:

  • Protect human health.
  • Minimize the negative economic impact of animal disease outbreaks.
  • Support the continued productivity and competiveness of livestock operations.
  • Strengthen the confidence of interprovincial and international trading partners.

You will look in vain here for any mention of animal welfare. Our health and financial gain seem to be the only reasons for keeping animals healthy.

Given that the government wishes to extend its definition of “animal” to include pets, wildlife, fish and other aquatic animals, for purposes of “managing health” I’d think the wider public would find it in their personal interests – and those of their non-humanoid friends and family members – to elbow in on the consultation.

It’s unclear to me, having read through the consultation document only once, whether a revised policy would be able to make crucial distinctions between the concerns created by factory farming vs small-scale farming vs pet ownership, for example. And whether they would protect farmers from excessive zeal by regulators, such as the needless slaughter of a water buffalo herd in 2002 (all the animals killed tested negative for BSE, as had been predicted).

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