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Petco ends sale of pet shock collars

Petco announced Tuesday that it will no longer sell electronic pet collars, also known as shock collars, as it doubles down on animal health and wellness.

The decision, effectively immediately, is more than just a symbolic gesture; it simultaneously puts to bed a $10 million-per-year business for the firm. However, the privately held company hopes that overall sales will see a lift as new and existing customers seek out alternative options such as online training classes and subscription veterinary care.

"Just about every pet parent wants to do the best thing for their pet, but if you ask them, 50% don't know what that right thing to do is," CEO Ron Coughlin said, couching the company's no-shock-collar stance as a coaching moment for individuals, as opposed to an indictment on military or police use. "People don't know how easy it is to get training help."

Shock collars, sometimes called dog training collars, use an electric current of varying intensity as a means to curb unwanted behaviors.

Petco's move builds on a decision made nearly two years ago to stop carrying cat and food with artificial ingredients, a philosophy that has since been applied to its reptile, ferret and fish food. The overall strategy is emblematic of a broader view that what's good for pets, is ultimately good for Petco's bottom line.

 

"Vote Whiskey" bourbon marks end of prohibition

To mark the anniversary of its 2012 election campaign to legalize the distilling of whiskey in Chattanooga after being outlawed for a century, Chattanooga Whiskey has released a "Vote Whiskey" Single Barrel Bourbon.

"We are excited to release four of the original Vote Whiskey barrels that have now reached 12 years aged," said Tim

Piersant, CEO and founder of Chattanooga Whiskey. "These barrels are an important piece of our history worth celebrating. The approval of the Whiskey Bill was supported by the people of Chattanooga and it allowed us to fulfill our mission of bringing Whiskey to the People."

During the original Vote Whiskey Campaign, Chattanooga Whiskey selected a recipe and bought 1,200 barrels of whiskey from Lawrenceburg Distillers of Indiana (LDI) to raise awareness of their law-changing mission. This whiskey became their award-winning 1816 series, and this "Vote Whiskey" Single Barrel Bourbon represents the last of these barrels, Piersant said.

Chattanooga Whiskey will release one barrel of the "Vote Whiskey" Single Barrels weekly for four consecutive weeks leading up to Election Day on Nov. 3, 2020.

 

GAO criticizes oil tax breaks

A U.S. government watchdog agency faulted the Trump administration Tuesday for its handling of a COVID-19 relief effort that awarded companies breaks on payments for oil and gas extracted from public lands in Western states in more than 500 cases.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan arm of Congress, said haphazard rules for the program left the administration unable to say how much relief was given or if it would ultimately benefit taxpayers, as was intended.

The Bureau of Land Management gave breaks on royalty payments from companies in at least five states due to workforce problems or other issues after the pandemic shut down much of the economy and helped drive a collapse in oil prices.

The Trump administration also gave breaks to companies that extract oil in the Gulf of Mexico but has released scant details of that effort.

Offering royalty relief to companies had been done before the pandemic and is intended to boost the profitability of oil and gas wells so they can still be profitable. The idea is to protect against companies being forced to shut down wells permanently, rendering them unable to generate future government revenue.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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