AWI Quarterly » 2014 Fall

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Fall 2014 Quarterly - Cover Photo by Scott Portelli
Fall 2014 Volume 63 Number 4
On November 4, 2014, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Kevin Shea filed a 10-page complaint alleging a plethora of willful violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT), one of the world’s largest suppliers of research antibodies.
The use of random source (Class B) dogs for National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored research is finally coming to an end. As of October 1, 2014, NIH will not allow any new grants to purchase or use NIH funds to support the use of random source dogs. NIH ended funding for research using random source cats in 2012.
In a highly controversial decision, the animal care and use committee at the University of Wisconsin has approved an NIH-funded maternal deprivation study on newborn monkeys. This study echoes back to the notorious deprivation studies, done nearly 50 years ago by Harry Harlow, at the same institution.
How many times have you looked at your dog after he or she did something they shouldn’t and seen those soulful, apologetic eyes looking back at you? The look of guilt is obvious, but does that mean it is guilt as we understand it? How many times has your cat lain down on your laptop to say “stop ignoring me,” or acted aloof after you came back from a vacation?
Persistence pays off! In June, after years of effort by AWI staff members, the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board (APB) unanimously approved the addition of animal cruelty crimes as a separate entry in the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The FBI director approved the APB’s recommendation on September 11.
One of the important goals of AWI’s Animals and Interpersonal Violence program is to reach judges—especially judges who interact with juveniles and families. AWI has enjoyed a good working relationship with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), which has facilitated AWI’s efforts to help judges become more cognizant of the importance of animal cruelty in the home and community—how to recognize it, how to ask questions about it, and what resources are available once it is identified.
In the Winter 2014 AWI Quarterly, AWI reported that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had proposed changing the poultry slaughter regulations to allow poultry companies to accelerate their slaughter process by 25 percent, increasing the likelihood of inhumane handling of birds.
After an undercover investigation in 2008 showed heinous acts of animal cruelty toward nonambulatory or “downed” animals at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., California strengthened an existing law governing the treatment of downed animals.
Nestlé recently announced a commitment to farm animal welfare in an effort to “remove the worst [practices], promote the best and improve the rest.” Nestlé stated that it will “support and implement actions to promote animal health and welfare.”
In 2009, police in Umatilla, Oregon, arrested a man for starving and neglecting dozens of animals. A jury convicted the man of 20 counts of second-degree animal abuse, but at his sentencing hearing the court merged the 20 counts into a single conviction.
A US District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster and joined by attorneys general from five other states that challenged a California law addressing the housing of egg-laying hens.
It should be a given that farm animals are protected from cruelty and needless suffering; from being warehoused in cramped, dark living spaces devoid of stimulation or even the ability to move; and from having beaks or tails cut off without anesthesia. Unfortunately, under the current legal framework, these basic assumptions do not hold.
A one-time smuggler of marine animals has been collared by authorities in the Philippines, after more than three years on the lam. Olivia Lim Li was arrested in October in Zamboanga City in a coordinated effort by several Filipino law enforcement agencies.
In May 2014, the European Union’s (EU) 2009 ban on imports of commercial seal products was upheld by an appellate body of the World Trade Organization after a challenge from Canada and Norway (see Summer 2014 AWI Quarterly).