AWI Quarterly » 2004 Spring

Brown bear photographed by AWI’s president, Cathy Liss
Spring 2004 Volume 53 Number 2
The golden eagle struggled to escape the leghold trap, but his foot was held fast by the trap's steel jaws, and the trap was staked firmly to the ground by a long chain. The large, majestic raptor tried to fly away repeatedly, carrying the heavy trap and chain, but when he reached the end of the length of chain he was violently jerked back to the ground. The trap that caught the eagle had been set to catch coyotes and a dead fox had been placed alongside the trap as bait.
New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra once famously opined, "It's like déjà vu all over again." And so it is with bear poaching in America. Three years after a successful operation in the Shenandoah National Park area of Virginia to uncover bear poaching and the illicit trade in bear parts, notably bear gallbladders, another effective sting operation has been revealed in the region.
The document I had been looking for came rolling off the fax in the morning of February 25, removing any doubt that the first intense chapter of a new campaign had indeed been closed, and sea life had won an amazing victory. The document was from the Mexican environmental authority Semarnat. In no uncertain terms it cancelled the authorization given to the research vessel RV Maurice Ewing to perform extensive seismic exploration off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.
Late in her book Beluga Days: Tracking a White Whale's Truths, Nancy Lord describes her reaction to seeing 35 beluga whales beached and slaughtered during a native subsistence hunt. She writes, "Later, I would wonder at my lack of emotional response."
The following discussion took place on AWI's Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum [LAREF] in December 2003. Four animal technicians (AT-1,-2,-3,-4) of different research institutions in North America, one attending veterinarian of a North American research laboratory (V), and two scientists from different research facilities in Europe (S-1,2) posted opinions, which have been edited by Dr. Viktor Reinhardt, moderator of LAREF.
This year a virulent bird flu spread across much of Asia killing 22 people. Over 100 million birds, including chickens, ducks, and lovebirds, died or were hurriedly slaughtered and then buried or burned to prevent the disease's spread. Many of these living creatures were burned alive. In February 2003, an avian flu outbreak resulted in slaughter of 11 million chickens in the Netherlands. Fifty Dutch workers became ill and a veterinarian died.
Grizzly bears have been reduced to less than 2% of their former range in the continental United States, and remaining populations in the lower 48 states and Canada are under increasing threat as hunting, other forms of human-induced mortality and extensive habitat destruction take their toll.
In May 2003, West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), University of Minnesota, completed a new housing system for sows and piglets. Formerly a dark, smelly structure for housing pigs over a liquid manure pit, the newly remodeled building underwent a remarkable transformation. Modeled on a Swedish system, it houses pigs in amply lit rooms, amidst an abundance of straw, with plenty of room to roam, socialize, root, and give birth to their young. AWI's Farm Animal Economic Advisor Marlene Halverson contributed to the design.
The Animal Welfare Institute and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) requested grant proposals for Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards for studies intended to improve housing, handling and/or experimental conditions for animals kept in research laboratories (see Fall 2003 AWI Quarterly).
Film and television star, Bo Derek was recently on Capitol Hill in support of legislation to stop the slaughter of horses.
A cow being stunned with a mechanical captive bolt. FSIS, USDA Ineffective stunning of animals is the most frequent violation of the Humane Slaughter Act (HSA) according to a General Accounting Office (GAO) Report released earlier this year.