AWI Quarterly » 2007 Spring

Farmer John's is a huge, odiferous slaughterhouse in Vernon, Calif. that is owned by Hormel Foods and supplies much of the pork consumed in the Los Angeles basin. Incongruously, however, the brick wall surrounding the plant is caparisoned with one of the world's largest murals depicting idyllic farms and pigs roaming happily in green pastures.
Customs officials in Singapore were prepared when a freighter arrived at port in June 2002. In a container from the African country of Malawi, they found what they were looking for: 532 elephant tusks and 42,120 carved ivory seals. The haul represented an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 dead elephants, valued at approximately $8.4 million.
Ranging from Canada to Mexico, the bobcat is an elusive and secretive predator who relies on intelligence and stealth to survive in the wild. Though rarely seen by people, this species is trapped and hunted in large numbers throughout the United States and Canada. Among the wild cats of the world, no species is as persecuted or as heavily traded as the bobcat.
AWI Quarterly Book Reviews for Spring 2007
Cockfighting Bill Approved New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson signed a measure in March that will outlaw cockfighting in the state. The law takes effect on June 15, leaving Louisiana as the only state that continues to permit the cruel bloodsport. Animal protection advocates applauded Richardson's decision as a major step in completely outlawing the barbaric practice. However, those who support cockfighting—in which two roosters fitted with sharp blades or gaffs on their legs are placed into a pit to fight until their deaths—say they plan on a legal challenge.
The US Department of Agriculture Livestock Behavior Research Unit's Dr. Heng-Wei Cheng and graduate researchers Rachel L. Dennis and Alan G. Fahey study the impact of identification on poultry welfare.
The relationships between captive non-human primates and their caregivers are critical to animal welfare. Research shows friendly relationships can improve quality of life; adversely, agonistic relationships can decrease quality of life. Meanwhile, there is evidence of the negative effects of the presence of caregivers and their activities.
Shark fin soup has been popular in Asia for many years, with one bowl carrying a 3-digit price tag. While many countries have laws to protect vulnerable sharks from the brutal industry that robs them of their fins to produce this expensive "delicacy," the species is still at risk. An estimated 73 million sharks are "finned" yearly, many while still alive.
Turtles are a popular ingredient in many Chinese meals and Traditional Chinese Medicine products. Though a number of scientific studies document that it is impossible to kill a turtle humanely, over 20 million turtles are consumed in China each year. To meet this demand, the country is home to more than 1,000 turtle farms.
In South Africa, where wild lions are illegal to hunt, these victims of the lucrative trophy hunting industry were born and raised in captivity, where they became accustomed to and reliant on humans—only to become targets for wealthy hunters. At the end of this safari, four animals had died to become trophies in someone's house.
Pro-whalers purport that whales can sustain commercial hunting, but many populations have not recovered to sustain hunting. All whales still face overwhelming odds for survival because of other threats from by-catch, toxic pollutants, climate change, anthropogenic noise, habitat destruction, over-fishing of prey species and ship strikes.
The sheep industry is locked in a serious debate over the extreme docking of sheep tails for shows and livestock exhibitions. In the United States, shepherds typically cut lamb tails to a length of 1 or 2 inches to prevent wool maggots later in life.