AWI Quarterly » 2004 Summer

Zebra, photographer Frans Lanting (courtesy of Minden Pictures)
Summer 2004 Volume 53 Number 3
After decades of decimation by whaling, the Western Gray Whale is being pushed to the very edge of extinction by the extensive development of oil and gas resources in the Okhotsk Sea off northeastern Sakhalin Island, Russia. Recent studies suggest there are about 100 of these critically endangered whales left, with only 23 of these being reproductive females.
This is but one of the many insightful exchanges in a new play about the bushmeat trade, Carcasses. The play was the vision and a project of Born Free Foundation's Global Friends Programme, an initiative to unite schools and communities around the globe to help wildlife, and was written, produced, and performed in association with Kenya's Kenyatta University Travelling Theatre.
The greatest challenge for a reader of Richard Manning's Against the Grain may be to endure the introduction. But, from the point in the first chapter when his prose coagulates and he begins to make his case, Manning coveys his reader on an extraordinary intellectual excursion.
The Pan-Pacific region of the globe holds more than half of the world's domestic swine population. At the request of the trade association Australian Pork Limited, AWI's Farm Animal Advisor, Diane Halverson, delivered the keynote speech at the Pan-Pacific Pork Expo in Brisbane, Australia in March, entitled "Responding to the Public Demand for the Humane Treatment of Pigs: On the Farm, in the Marketplace and in the Law."
At 1 a.m. on April 1, 2004, Malaysian Airways Flight 201 departed from Kuala Lumpur Airport, Malaysia. Among the many passengers in the cabin were three Malaysian nationals associated with Taiping Zoo. Four young gorillas traveled in the cargo hold.
The failure of U.S. regulatory agencies in stopping the emission of ear-splitting noise into the oceans is written in dead whales and dolphins driven to the shores of the Bahamas, Azores, Canary Islands, Greece and Mexico.
Packaged food from agricultural animals is increasingly identified by appealing claims such as "natural" and "happy" as if to suggest that the animals from which the products come were treated humanely. With no regulation on such terms, producers can easily deceive customers.
Acting on a tip, authorities discovered and seized sixty Maine Coon cats kept under appalling conditions in a house in Harrison, New York.
A complaint alleging hundreds of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act by licensed Class B dealer C.C. Baird and his wife, operators of Martin Creek Kennels, provides a horrifying look inside a random source dealer's operation. Following are a summary of and quotations (emphasis theirs) from the 108-page document filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on March 11, 2004.
With the June 30 release of Spider-Man 2, the Animal Welfare Institute proudly recognizes actor Rosemary Harris-Peter Parker's "Aunt May" - for her deep commitment to relieving the suffering of animals confined on factory farms.
Japan and more than 50 other nations continue to ban American beef due to the unwillingness of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to test each animal slaughtered for mad cow disease. As one might expect, a growing number of proactive, independent, niche market cattle ranchers desperately want to maintain their Japanese customers and seek to test all of their animals.
On May 4, Secretary of Agriculture Veneman announced availability of $22.8 million in grant funds to farmers and rural businesses for renewable energy projects, including biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar. Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $21 million to 113 farm energy projects.
In the United States, rodents used in research are commonly kept in minimum sized, barren cages. In Canada, trends toward environmental enrichment have been implemented in many research facilities. However, biomedical researchers do occasionally require animals to be housed in small, wire bottom cages for the purpose of urine and fecal collection.
Ngamba Island is a sanctuary for orphaned chimpanzees on Lake Victoria in Uganda. Many of its residents had been forcibly taken as infants from their forest home and their families to be sold into the exotic pet and bushmeat trades. The rescued chimpanzees thankfully now are protected in the sanctuary, enjoying a 100-acre rainforest, living together in large, closely-bonded social groups. They are free to roam around the large island.