Dairy cattle with names produce more milk, according to new study

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Giving a cow a name and treating her as an individual with “more personal touch” can increase milk production, so says a scientific research published in the online “Anthrozoos,” which is described as a “multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals”.

The Newcastle University‘s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s (of the Newcastle University Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering) researchers have found that farmers who named their dairy cattle Ermintrude, Daisy, La vache qui rit, Buttercup, Betsy, or Gertrude, improved their overall milk yield by almost 500 pints (284 liters) annually. It means therefore, an average-sized dairy farm’s production increases by an extra 6,800 gallons a year.

“Just as people respond better to the personal touch, cows also feel happier and more relaxed if they are given a bit more one-to-one attention,” said Dr Catherine Douglas, lead researcher of the university’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. “By placing more importance on the individual, such as calling a cow by her name or interacting with the animal more as it grows up, we can not only improve the animal’s welfare and her perception of humans, but also increase milk production,” she added.

Drs Douglas and Peter Rowlinson have submitted the paper’s conclusion: “What our study shows is what many good, caring farmers have long since believed. Our data suggests that, on the whole, UK dairy farmers regard their cows as intelligent beings capable of experiencing a range of emotions.” The scientific paper also finds that “if cows are slightly fearful of humans, they could produce [the hormone] cortisol, which suppresses milk production,” Douglas noted. “Farmers who have named their cows, probably have a better relationship with them. They’re less fearful, more relaxed and less stressed, so that could have an effect on milk yield,” she added.

South Norfolk goldtop-milk producer Su Mahon, one of the country’s top breeder of Jersey dairy herds, agreed with Newcastle’s findings. “We treat all our cows like one of the family and maybe that’s why we produce more milk,” said Mrs Mahon. “The Jersey has got a mind of its own and is very intelligent. We had a cow called Florence who opened all the gates and we had to get the welder to put catches on to stop her. One of our customers asked me the other day: ‘Do your cows really know their names?’ I said: I really haven’t a clue. We always call them by their names – Florence or whatever. But whether they really do, goodness knows,” she added.

The researchers’ comparative study of production from the country’s National Milk Records reveals that “dairy farmers who reported calling their cows by name got 2,105 gallons (7,938 liters) out of their cows, compared with 2,029 gallons (7,680 liters) per 10-month lactation cycle, and regardless of the farm size or how much the cows were fed. (Some 46 percent of the farmers named their cows.)”

The Newcastle University team which has interviewed 516 UK dairy farmers, has discovered that almost half – 48% – called the cows by name, thereby cutting stress levels and reported a higher milk yield, than the 54% that did not give their cattle names and treated as just one of a herd. The study also reveals cows were made more docile while being milked.

“We love our cows here at Eachwick, and every one of them has a name,” said Dennis Gibb, with his brother Richard who co-owns Eachwick Red House Farm outside of Newcastle. “Collectively, we refer to them as ‘our ladies,’ but we know every one of them and each one has her own personality. They aren’t just our livelihood, they’re part of the family,” Gibb explained.

“My brother-in-law Bobby milks the cows and nearly all of them have their own name, which is quite something when there are about 200 of them. He would be quite happy to talk about every one of them. I think this research is great but I am not at all surprised by it. When you are working with cows on a daily basis you do get to know them individually and give then names.” Jackie Maxwell noted. Jackie and her husband Neill jointly operate the award-winning Doddington Dairy at Wooler, Doddington, Northumberland, which makes organic ice cream and cheeses with milk from its own Friesian cows.

But Marcia Endres, a University of Minnesota associate professor of dairy science, has criticized the Newcastle finding. “Individual care is important and could make a difference in health and productivity. But I would not necessarily say that just giving cows a name would be a foolproof indicator of better care,” she noted. According to a 2007 The Scientist article, named or otherwise, dairy cattle make six times more milk today than they did in the 1990s. “One reason is growth hormone that many U.S. farmers now inject their cows with to increase their milk output; another is milking practices that extend farther into cows’ pregnancies, according to the article; selective breeding also makes for lots of lactation,” it states.

Critics claimed the research was flawed and confused a correlation with causation. “Basically they asked farmers how to get more milk and whatever half the farmers said was the conclusion,” said Hank Campbell, author of Scientific Blogging. In 1996, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs provided for a complex new cattle passport system where farmers were issued with passport identities. The first calf born under the new regime were given names like “UK121216100001.”

Dr Douglas, however, counters that England doesn’t permit dairy cattle to be injected hormones. The European Union and Canada have banned recombinant bovine growth hormone (rGBH), which increases mastitis infection, requiring antibiotics treatment of infected animals. According to the Center for Food Safety, rGBH-treated cows also have higher levels of the hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), which may be associated with cancer.

In August 2008, Live Science published a study which revealed that cows have strange sixth sense of magnetic direction and are not as prone to cow-tipping. It cited a study of Google Earth satellite images which shows that “herds of cattle tend to face in the north-south direction of Earth’s magnetic lines while grazing or resting.”

Newcastle University is a research intensive university in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north-east of England. It was established as a School of Medicine and Surgery in 1834 and became the “University of Newcastle upon Tyne” by an Act of Parliament in August 1963.

The School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is a school of the Newcastle University Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering, a faculty of Newcastle University. It was established in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne as the College of Physical Science in 1871 for the teaching of physical sciences, and was part of Durham University. It existed until 1937 when it joined the College of Medicine to form King’s College, Durham.

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RU486 Abortion pill hearings begin in Australia

Friday, February 3, 2006

An Australian Senate inquiry into the abortion pill “RU486” has started public hearings in Melbourne. A controversial conscience vote on the issue to overturn laws which prohibit Australian women’s access to the drug, will be held in Federal parliament on February 9.

The Senate committee is considering a bill to remove ministerial control of the abortifacient drug Mifepristone – or RU486. Health Minister Tony Abbott says the issue of whether to allow women access to the drug “is one of principle.” Abbott, who is against abortion, insists he is the right person to control the drug’s use in Australia.

Besides its use internationally as an “abortion pill”, there may also be a small chance that it may help treat various other medical disorders including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and inoperable brain tumours amongst other conditions. Mifepristone is effectively banned in Australia, with Minister Abbott controlling whether it is made available.

The bill, sponsored by a group of female senators and MPs, would hand Mr Abbott’s powers over to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – the body that controls all other pharmaceutical drugs in Australia. The bill seeks to have the TGA determine the drug’s availability and not the Health Minister.

Democrats Leader Lyn Allison, said she was “cautiously confident” the parliament will overturn the current arrangements when the conscience vote takes place. “Those who are in favour of the bill are saying this is a choice that ought to be available to women and that on the basis of the studies that have been done overseas it is at least as safe as surgical termination,” Senator Allison said.

Reproductive Choice Australia (RCA)say that medicine is placed at the whim of politics, saying that over 80% of Australians are pro-choice. A national survey found 87% of women aged 18 to 49 support a woman’s right to choose.

RU486 is available in much of western Europe and North America, but was effectively banned in Australia under laws initiated by now-retired pro-life senator Brian Harradine.

Christine Read, medical director of family planning group FPA Health, said Misoprostol, also known as Cytotec, is across the world to invoke contractions to expel the fetus after a woman had taken RU486. “It is used extensively in obstetrics and gynaecology for termination of pregnancy and to induce labour, so it’s used in the medical management of miscarriage,” Dr Read said.

Dr Sharman Stone, said yesterday the issue was not about Misoprostol, but rather that “the TGA should make the decision about any drugs – that is its job. Any other conversations about other drugs are simply irrelevant to this argument,” Dr Stone said.

Family First senator Steve Fielding says lifting a ban on RU486 would pave the way for do-it-yourself home abortions. “RU486 is different to other drugs in that it is an abortion drug which could see do-it-yourself home abortions,” he said in a statement. “The question is, should policy be made by bureaucrats or our elected leaders?

Senator Fielding claims Australians are worried about the high number of abortions in Australia, as reflected in submissions received by the Senate committee.

On Monday the committee will move to Sydney for a final day of hearings.

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Guide For Best Restaurants

Guide for best restaurants



In this article our focus is to provide you easy access to quality restaurants in your city. It is not a easy task from any point of view.This resign is new business hub of ncr or you can say of India. Noida is also important city of delhi resign of NCR, which is again very important from business point of view. Through this article you can find the list of all important food joints address and their details. It helps you in finding quality food.

I tried my best to provide you list of best of best restaurants. NCR cities emerge as the satellite town of Delhi. There are many reasons contributes to this rise of Gurgaon. This resign is new business hub of ncr or you can say of India. Noida is also important city of delhi resign. Quality Restaurants in NCR Judgement was not easy if are focusing on NCR resign. Its not like that Gurgaon was the only business hub of India. In early 80 India largest car manufacturing company maruti started it plant in Gurgaon city of Haryana. That was main reason for the growth of Gurgaon. After that it become the hub for different kinds of industry from car to real estate, it, electronic and other. As Gurgaon growth becomes eminent then it becomes the one of the growing cities of India. New people shifted to Gurgaon, there were some basic needs of these people. Food was the one of the main priority of these people. It is not a small resign to assess. NCR cities emerge as the satellite town of Delhi. There are many reasons contributes to this rise of Gurgaon. This resign is new business hub of ncr or you can say of India. Noida and Faridabad also important city of delhi resign. City specific restaurants list Every citu has its own set of culture which paly important role in many things. Faridabad has great history of manufacturing related industry. It is the first metropolitan city from the Haryana state. Faridabad has its own set of advantage and disadvantages. This city touches the border of utter Pradesh and delhi both, which is in favour of this maga city of Faridabad. So it is very important city for migrants from different part of country. For this restaurants in faridabad

become the theme of search.

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It was a tough job for people it was never so easy to shift in the NCR. There were in search of some platform where they can find the food they were looking. Internet resolved their problem to a great extent. On net restaurant in faridabad

was solution for their food related problems. So on internet and other medium come search his/her desired food or food related items. As we know faridabad is a cosmopolitan city where people from different part of country live.

Restaurants Search in faridabad It is the city of dreams. To fulfil the need of cosmopolitan city, there was need for some online portal. Food portals emerged as the choice of those who were looking for such platform. Delhi is the capital of India and I can say with conviction that it is also the food capital of country. People of capital have great sense of food taste. So for those people who are looking for restaurants in delhi

online search medium is also the best option available among all the other options. So there are numbers of way or option available for search of food, however online option is best option among all the option available to the hungry person. Here result is accurate and instant, so he does not need to wait for someone who will guide him or tell him about the food. He can fulfil his entire food related query through online portals. In major city like Gurgaon these are need of people who are new to city. New people who are not comfortable with other city food generally look for food which they like. They like the food form their state or you can they migrant place.

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Polish humanitarian Irena Sendler dies at age 98

Monday, May 12, 2008

Irena Sendler, a Polish humanitarian who saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish people during World War II, died on May 12 in a Warsaw hospital. She was 98.

In 1942, when the Germans began liquidating the Warsaw Ghetto, Sendler, who had been active in the ?egota underground organisation dedicated to helping Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, smuggled children out by drugging them and placing them in body bags as typhoid fever victims. She then placed them with Polish families and in convents, hiding their records in jars so they could have their identities re-established after the war.

She was arrested by the Gestapo Gestapo in 1943 and sentenced to death after being tortured in Warsaw’s Pawiak prison. Her colleagues from ?egota saved her by bribing her German captors before the planned execution.

Born on February 15, 1910 in Otwock, Poland, Selndler had been a front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize, and had been recognised by Israel’s Yad Vashem institute as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for her work.

In 2007, she was honoured by the National Assembly for organising the “rescue of the most defenceless victims of the Nazi ideology: the Jewish children.”

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Queues form outside struggling UK bank; calm urged

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nervous savers have re-formed queues this morning outside many branches of Northern Rock, after the £2.68 billion bank took an emergency loan from the Bank of England, the UK central bank.

Shares in the bank had dropped 25% by lunchtime yesterday in London – and stood nearly 60% lower from their high of February – after the Bank of England acted in its capacity as “lender of last resort” to provide Northern Rock with short-term financing to enable it to continue operations.

The Bank of England hasn’t acted as lender of last resort since 1973, when the collapse of Cedar Holdings – a pioneer of second mortgages to UK home-owners – threatened a crisis in the country’s banking industry.

Northern Rock has been hit hard since June this year by the turmoil in world credit markets. Although only 0.24% of its assets are exposed to subprime US housing debt, the bank’s business model saw it grow its loan book by 43% in the first six months of this year. Rather than lending money deposited with it by savers, Northern has borrowed aggressively in the short-term capital markets.

“Northern Rock is not a reckless lender,” said Angela Knight, head of the British Bankers Association on national radio this morning. Urging the bank’s savers not to withdraw their money in panic, “the mortgage lending it does well and it does in a high quality, high calibre way,” she added.

But savers queuing to withdraw their money from Northern Rock today said they were “horrified” by the Bank of England needing to step in.

“I am going to take out the lot, every penny,” said one Northern Rock saver to Bloomberg as he queued outside the bank’s West End branch in London.

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Employees killed in Foxconn manufacturing factory

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On Friday evening, an explosion in Chengdu, China caused partial shutdown of a facility operated by Foxconn, one of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers and a major supplier to companies like Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony, Apple, Motorola and Nokia. Initial investigations now suggest the explosion was caused by poor ventilation, which lead to high concentrations of combustible dust.

The blast happened at 7:18PM, around the time workers change shifts. A fire followed. Emergency services had control by 7:30PM. At least three people were killed, at least fifteen injured. Foxconn halted production to investigate, saying “All operations at the affected workshop remain suspended and production at all other workshops that carry out similar processing functions have also been halted pending the results of the investigation. All other production operations in our facilities in China continue operating normally.”

On Monday, city officials gave the cause as combustible dust in the air at a polishing workshop. Hong Kong-based labor rights group Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior said they reported aluminium dust problems in March when they reviewed working conditions at Foxconn. After the explosion, they commented that workers were complaining “the ventilation of the department is poor. Workers polish the iPad cases to make them shiny. In the process, there is lots of aluminum (aluminium) dust floating in the air. Workers always breathe in aluminum dust even though they put on masks. When workers take off their cotton gloves, their hands are covered with aluminum dust.”

Foxconn responded by saying the group was trying to “capitalize on the tragic accident” and misrepresented “Foxconn’s commitment to the health and safety of our employees.”

Foxconn is responsible for making iPads and iPhones for Apple. Research group IHS iSuppli said the explosion may cause loss of production of 500,000 iPads during this quarter of the year. They said there is a larger facility in Shenzhen, but it cannot cope with re-compensating the possible loss.

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Business Bank Consultant Help For Commercial Financing

By Steve Bush

This article candidly reports that small business owners need to be adequately prepared to take aggressive steps when searching for effective commercial financing options and also makes a credible case for the inclusion of an experienced business bank consultant in any efforts to improve commercial loans. Commercial borrowers should benefit whether the business consultant is called upon to serve as a commercial finance expert providing a second opinion or as a business loan umpire to make a final call before completing any new business financing agreements.

An acceptable business bank consultant must be capable of differentiating between good banks and bad banks. However in the current commercial lending climate it is essential to include non-bank sources for programs such as business cash advances in the complete assessment of practical commercial loan options. As a result, although this report clearly makes direct reference to commercial bank consultants for this important role, in no way does this mean that the small business finance expert chosen should only be familiar with bank financing.

Certainly many observers will debate whether there are really any banks which can be viewed as good banks, but in the end all that is really needed is just one bank that meets specific business requirements. An important part of commercial bank consulting is to identify one or more viable candidates qualifying as a good bank if a small business is currently using what is deemed to be a bad bank and still needs an ongoing commercial banking relationship in some form. In a dose of reality, only a few good banks can pass the test for final consideration when a new business bank is selected based upon specialized and unique small business finance criteria.

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If their current bank ends up in the bad bank category by any definition used in the business bank consulting review, a borrower will be left with the uncomfortable chore of firing their banker. This is obviously what can be an excruciating portion of the process for virtually any small business owner. It will usually help to realize that the analysis of new business finance alternatives would not have been necessary if the existing banker had been performing as expected and needed.

It is of course likely that any bank referred to as a bad bank will challenge the assertion. Fortunately most small business owners have sufficient memories to recall that very few banks were credible sources of accurate information during the recent banking chaos. As with many economic and financial activities, there are independent statistics available to help judge whether small business financing is experiencing a severe downward trend or not.

Selecting a business loan expert is easily the most important step in hiring a qualified business bank consultant. This task must be pursued until a business owner is satisfied no matter how difficult it might seem. The commercial lending process has grown more challenging for small businesses, and the proper use of a business consultant might prove to be the most successful strategy for improving commercial loans and working capital financing.

About the Author: Steve Bush delivers

small business financing

and business bank consulting help for

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throughout the United States. Stephen and AEX Commercial Financing Group are experienced business consultants for all

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Bomb blast kills Iraqi police, army recruits

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

A suicide car bombing in al Hilla, south of Baghdad, has killed 125 people, mostly Iraqi applicants for police and army waiting for medical exams becoming the worst single event since the initial invasion. At nearly the same time another car bomb exploded in Musayyib, 30km north of Hilla.

The attack occurred about 8:30 a.m. local time Monday, in a crowd of mostly Shi’a recruits applying for positions with the country’s security forces, and as citizens were arriving at the nearby outdoor market.

The recruits were waiting for required medical exams at a clinic across from the mayor’s home and the market. Shoppers in the market, men, women and children, were among the dead from the blast.

There are conflicting reports regarding the Musayyib explosion, with some reports indicating only the bomber died and others suggesting a police officer also dying from the blast.

Babil province police released a statement regarding the blast, reporting several arrests were made after but not elaborating further.

Attacks by the insurgency forces appear to have increased in deadliness. Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said Monday at a news conference in Baghdad “the number of casualties is much more than before.”

al Hilla was the scene of a major battle in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with several hundred Iraqi forces reported to have been killed in fierce fighting. The city is now included in the Polish military zone under the occupation of Iraq.

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Australian and British psychologists study errors in passport face matching

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Researchers from Australia’s University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the United Kingdom’s University of York and University of Aberdeen have measured face matching aptitude of 49 Australian passport-issuing officers and compared it against a control group of 38 students from UNSW. In the test given to both groups, both had a roughly 20% error rate. The study “Passport Officers’ Errors in Face Matching” was published in PLOS ONE this Monday.

Previous psychological research has shown difficulty of deciding if two photographs are of the same stranger or of two different unfamiliar people. As coauthoring psychologist Dr David White says, “Despite this, photo-ID is still widely used in security settings. Whenever we cross a border, apply for a passport or access secure premises, our appearance is checked against a photograph”.

In the person-to-photo test, 30 officers —with mean age 48.0, 21 of them female— in Sydney Passport Office, during a normal working day, had to compare photograph (presented for up to ten seconds) to the person present. 34 students, 17 of each gender, were recruited as ‘applicants’ for the identification task. The person-to-photo test could not be given to a control group because it was not possible to bring back the ‘applicants’ to repeat the test.

ID cards were generated, genuine and ‘fraudulent’, for each ‘applicant’. Photographs of the ‘applicants’ were just a few days old. Each applicant’s ‘fraudulent’ photo was subjectively chosen for greatest similarity to their genuine photo.

The ‘applicant’ did not know whether the ID they presented was genuine or ‘fraudulent’, to avoid giving any cues to the passport officers. The passport offers rejected 6% of the genuine photos and accepted 14% of the ‘fraudulent’ ones, for 10% wrong decisions overall.

As coauthor Rob Jenkins, a psychologist at the University of York, said: “This level of human error in Australian passport office staff really is quite striking, and it would be reasonable to expect a similar level of performance at UK passport control. […] At Heathrow Airport alone, millions of people attempt to enter the UK every year. At this scale, an error rate of 15 per cent would correspond to the admittance of several thousand travellers bearing fake passports”.

One week later, 30 officers in Sydney Passport Office took the short version of Glasgow Face Matching Test (GFMT); 28 were participants from the person-to-photo test, and two were replacements for officers from the earlier test who were absent from work the day of the second test. GFMT performance predicted performance on the person-to-photo test for mismatches, but not for matches. The researchers suggested this could be explained by an upper limit on how accurate person-to-photo match trials can be.

The face matching accuracy was found to be independent of experience and training. As Dr David White says, “passport officers did not perform better, despite their experience and training. They made a large number of errors, just like the untrained university students we tested”.

Two years later, the photo-to-photo test was conducted, with images supplied by 21 ‘applicants’ from the person-to-photo test. 27 passport officers —mean age 45.5, 10 of them participants from the person-to-photo test, 22 of them female— as well as 38 volunteers —mean age 18.9, 26 of them female— compared photos taken recently to photos either from two years earlier or from official identification documents. All variations on the trials taken together produced 84 trials, ordered randomly. The testing was again done at the Sydney Passport Office, without time restriction, to encourage accurate response.

A possible solution of the problem is recruitment of staff with high face-matching accuracy, as Dr David White notes: “But we observed very large individual differences. Some passport officers were 100 per cent accurate. This suggests security could be significantly improved by using aptitude tests to select staff for jobs involving photo-ID checks. Because of this study, the Australian Passport Office now sets face-matching tests when recruiting staff and when selecting facial comparison experts”.

Match accuracy tested lower with official identification photos than with two-year-old photos taken by researchers; average error was 29.1%, with volunteers especially inaccurate on the official identification matches. Mismatch average error was 10.6%. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has stated passport photo specifications comply fully with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

Another solution Dr David White mentioned is using multiple photographs: “One of the more recent papers we’ve released shows that if you have multiple images — not just a single snapshot — there are quite large gains in performance”.

As coauthor Professor Mike Burton of the University of Aberdeen says: “There is a great emphasis on a passport image to fit all purposes but people often comment on the fact that their passport photo looks nothing like them […] It seems strange that we expect a single passport shot to encompass a person and allow us to consistently recognise them. Could there in fact be an argument for our passports to contain a multitude of images, taken at different angles, in different lighting and formats?”

The research is supported by the Australian Passport Office within Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and also funded by the Australian Research Council.

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Politically concerned movie Zootopia wins Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Sunday, Disney’s Zootopia won the Oscars award for the Best Animated Feature Film at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony held at Los Angeles. Pixar’s animated short Piper won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and Disney’s The Jungle Book won for Visual Effects.

Others competing with Zootopia in the category were Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and Disney’s Moana. This was the first Oscar for directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore who were previously nominated for, respectively, Bolt and Wreck-It Ralph.

In the acceptance speech, director Byron Howard said, “About five years ago, almost six now, […] we got this crazy idea of talking about humanity with talking animals in the hopes that, when the film came out, it would make the world just a slightly better place.” The Disney movie addresses several social problems such as racism, sexism, prejudice, stereotyping, and fear. The New York Times said the parental guidance (PG) rated movie was “Funny, smart, thought-provoking — and musical, too.”

Before announcing the award, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal said, “As a Mexican, as a Latin-American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.” The movie was released in March, during the 2016 US presidential race.

In an interview with Variety, the directors of Zootopia said movies about bias and discrimination haven’t been Disney’s main focus, but during its production, “Things were not great in the world. […] It was more like we had our finger on something important right now and we really need to do our best to portray this as honestly as we can. Then with the election and the campaign, the real move towards governing by fear […] I don’t think we could have predicted it any closer with this film.”

With this win, the Walt Disney Company has won nine out of ten Best Animated Feature Film Oscars in the last decade, with Pixar Animation Studio winning six out of them. Zootopia also won Best Animated Film at the Annie Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

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