Winter 2009

Volume
58
Number
1
Winter 2009 AWI Quarterly Cover - Photo by Duncan Usher/ Foto Natura/ Minden Pictures
About the Cover

Being nocturnal, this wild hamster is foraging at night for a delicious morsel. Seeds, wild grasses and flowers constitute much of the hamster’s diet, which he will stuff in his cheek pouches for maximum carrying capacity before hoarding it away for the long-term. Hamsters tend to be territorial, both in the wild and in the laboratory setting, so these cheek pouches (also known as evaginations) come in handy when trying to keep food from others living close by. However, it is important for researchers to monitor hoarding instincts in the laboratory, as overeating could lead to health problems.
Read more on page 12.

Photo by Duncan Usher/ Foto Natura/ Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

Although no action was taken on the Pet Safety and Protection Act in the last Congress, the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill and the FARM bill were adopted; both include language regarding random...
Veterinary technician Evelyn Skoumbourdis and environmental enrichment coordinator Casey Coke Murphy discuss proper feeding of small laboratory mammals Due to their smaller size and handleability, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and rabbits are widely used in...

Companion Animals

When a pit bull, a mother and a young child are featured in the same news story, the ending is often predictable, but in November, the NBC headline was quite different. A Floridian woman was...
November 15, 2008 is a day that Rich Poska will never forget. While walking his 11-year-old therapy dog—a 55-pound Chinook named Rupert—around the White Deer Golf Course in Vernon Hills, Ill., one sunny afternoon, Poska...
This past election season resulted in a decisive victory for Massachusetts’s greyhounds, and set a promising precedent for their brethren across the country. Despite the state’s significant racetrack presence, Massachusetts residents voted 56 to 44...
To those who think parrots are only capable of mindless mimicry, Willie is certainly no bird brain. According to CBS4 in Denver, the parrot’s owner, Meagan, was babysitting two-year-old Hannah Kuusk when she left the...
“If it wasn’t for his hard head, he wouldn’t be here,” the vet told Roberta Trawick, owner of the lifesaving pit bull, D-Boy. Trawick was sitting on the couch of her Oklahoma City home in...
by Marlene Halverson While attending the OIE Global Animal Welfare Conference in Cairo, I was fortunate to meet Amina Tharwat Abaza, founder of SPARE, the Society for Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt. Colleague Jacqueline...

Farmed Animals

According to a recent report published by the University of British Columbia in Canada, 90 percent of the global small fish catch—which includes anchovies, sardines and mackerel—is processed into fish meal and fish oil and...
The California referendum to prohibit housing sows in gestation crates, hens in battery cages, and veal calves in crates by 2015 passed in November by a nearly two-to-one margin. AWI supported the measure because of...
In late November, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked its ban on extra-label antibiotics used in rearing farm animals, particularly in intensive systems. The ban was proposed last summer as an effort to curtail...
The second global conference on Animal Welfare was convened by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) last year in Cairo, Egypt, from October 20 to 22. The conference had a dual purpose: assess progress...
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempted all agribusiness in December—no matter how industrialized, no matter the animal product produced—from having to declare noxious emissions produced by animal waste. The EPA says that reporting these emissions...
In response to the Hallmark-Westland slaughter plant exposé, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assessed what had transpired at Hallmark, if it could have been prevented, and...

Marine Life

Up until recently, it was thought that only two species of bottlenose dolphins existed—the Indo-Pacific and the common bottlenose. But recent DNA tests performed by researchers at Australia’s Macquarie and Monash Universities have revealed a...
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) recently held two meetings of the “Small Working Group on the Future of the IWC,” which was formed at the last annual meeting in Santiago, Chile. Despite civil society being...
While the US took a leap toward beluga conservation in October by adding Cook Inlet belugas to the Endangered Species List, the animals remain grossly overhunted in Greenland. The country’s Environmental Infrastructure Ministry declared the...
Out of 337 manatee carcasses recovered in Florida last year, 101 were very young calves, compared to the 59 dead calves found in 2007. Though reasons for this increase are unknown, more manatees are also...
by Mark J. Palmer The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Earth Island Institute (EII) and a coalition of supportive groups have been crying foul since the government of Mexico demanded late in October that the World...

Terrestrial Wildlife

The European Commission proposed a ban on laboratory use of wild-caught apes and monkeys this past November—just short of asking that primate experiments be phased out altogether. “It is absolutely important to steer away from...
The long-awaited amendment to Mexico’s wildlife law to protect its wild bird populations from exploitation was approved by Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa on October 13. The ban prohibits the commercial or subsistence capture, export...
Though they’re usually intervening in illegal immigrant and drug trafficking schemes, Chilean officials put the kibosh on a massive illicit shipment of 427 exotic animals en route from Peru to Chile early this year. According...
Fight or flight. They’re basic animal responses once considered purely instinctual—or perhaps strictly a natural learning process—but they may actually be a combination of the two. According to www.livescience.com , an experiment conducted at Missouri...
With the fate of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros at risk, there was palpable optimism when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced that it would be issuing a report on the Bureau of...
Scientists and wildlife conservationists are baffled by the sudden malaise plaguing hundreds of pelicans along the California coast this winter. Californians have been calling rescue centers constantly, having found disoriented, exhausted, ill and dead birds...
Serbia, at the heart of former Yugoslavia and the Balkans, is one of the few places left in Europe where brown bears continue to be cruelly abused for profit and human amusement.
While many people are familiar with the inhumane nature of puppy mills - dog breeding operations where animals are overbred, overcrowded and often poorly cared for - most are unaware of mass-breeding bird facilities.
Believed to be extinct, one of the world’s smallest and rarest primates had not been seen alive since 1921. But an Indonesian scientist expedition in 2000 proved decades of assumptions wrong. As reported by Reuters...
Coyotes and humans have shared the same environment since long before European settlers arrived in North America.

Government Affairs

On Opening day of the 111th Congress, Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) reintroduced the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 81). A similar measure to strengthen the pre-existing Shark Finning Prohibition Act was passed by the...

Legal

Mayor Cheye Calvo of Berwyn Heights, Md., was changing for a meeting last July after having returned home from walking his dogs, when SWAT team members of the Prince George’s County Police Department burst into...

Reviews

Painstakingly, Montgomery, a geomorphologist and professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington, leads us on a verbal journey spanning millennia and the globe to give us a convincing lesson on the...
For 10 years, the Animals Asia Foundation has made it its mission to rescue and rehabilitate majestic moon bears from cruel bear bile farms in China and Vietnam. In celebration of the many success stories...
See It Through My Eyes is a revealing documentary produced by three Girl Scouts on the horrific practice of “soring.” Soring achieves an exaggerated gait in Tennessee Walking horses and other gaited breeds through the...