AWI Quarterly » 2013 Summer

Summer 2013 Quarterly Cover - Photo by Wild Wonders of Europe, Zankl/Minden
Summer 2013 Volume 62 Number 3
In a stunning move, Harvard University announced in April that it was closing the New England National Primate Research Center (NENPRC). The closure—to be finalized by 2015, with the Center’s almost 2,000 monkeys placed at other labs—follows repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which had forced Harvard to convene a committee to review and improve operations at the off-campus facility.
On June 26, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) embraced nearly all of the recommendations regarding chimpanzees in research contained in the report of the Working Group of the Council of Councils (see Winter 2013 AWI Quarterly).
This past March, I traveled from Bangkok—where I had been attending the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)—to Manila to participate in an undercover investigation on the dog meat trade in the Philippines.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a USDA agency, is amending its Animal Handling and Welfare (AHW) requirements for companies that supply meat from cattle, pigs, and sheep to the national school lunch program.
The USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released an audit of inspection and enforcement activities at pig slaughter plants. The May 2013 audit found that inspectors for the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) do not always enforce humane handling regulations properly.
Shuanghui International, a Chinese meat processing company, has agreed to purchase U.S.-based Smithfield Foods, a development that raises numerous concerns. Sale of the world’s largest pork producer to a company that is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government is expected to result in less competition and further consolidation in the pork industry worldwide.
With a horse’s head, the snout of an aardvark, a chameleon’s color changing abilities and independently operating eyes, a monkey-like prehensile tail, and—in males, not females—a marsupial’s pouch for the gestation of young, the mythical seahorse is one of nature’s most unique animals.
AWI is following up on the successful efforts to obtain international trade protections for the imperiled West African manatee under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), achieved at the CITES Conference of the Parties in March in Bangkok.
AWI was joined by local whale advocates in Portland, Maine, on May 31, 2013, to protest Iceland’s expanding commercial whaling program and plan to resume fin whaling.
SeaWorld Orlando has again been fined and labeled a repeat offender by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for continuing to operate a workplace that can “cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) isn’t meeting this year, but the whales themselves are getting no break from whalers. Despite a ban on the international trade in whale meat, Norway received 14 tons of whale products from Iceland in February.
Whales have been getting entangled in man-made ropes and nets, probably, since the first fishermen began to use these materials to catch fish thousands of years ago. However, before the advent of synthetic materials large whales likely ripped through this gear; any that was carried away with them may have deteriorated before it could become life-threatening.
Tom Knudson of the Sacramento Bee received the Schweitzer Medal on June 27 at a private celebration in California. For nearly 60 years, the medal—named in honor of Dr. Albert Schweitzer—has been a symbol of outstanding achievement in the advancement of animal welfare.
Lyme disease is endemic to the northeastern and northcentral United States. In 2011, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control, there were a total of 24,346 confirmed cases of Lyme disease.