Summer 2010

Summer 2010 AWI Quarterly Cover - Photo by Mike Suarez
About the Cover

The life of this chicken roaming free on an Animal Welfare Approved farm in Texas stands in stark contrast to the lives of industrially farmed chickens. As chronicled in this issue, most chickens raised for food live in crowded, dark, windowless sheds, never once feeling the grass under their feet or the sun on their feathers (see stories on pages 14 and 16). AWI’s Animal Welfare Approved certification program supports humane farming systems where the animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range, not intensively confined, or otherwise subjected to cruel and unnatural conditions. Animals on Animal Welfare Approved farms are treated with compassion and dignity, and afforded the opportunity and space to fully engage with their environment.

Photo by Mike Suarez

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

To keep their interest and encourage natural behaviors, animals in research facilities are often offered enrichment devices: objects to gnaw on, nesting materials that allow them to custom build their shelters, "food puzzles" to forage...

Companion Animals

On May 20, the Obama Administration pledged to fully enforce the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Not a minute too soon, it turns out.

Farmed Animals

Carole Morison was not born into farming. She married into it, joining her husband Frank on his third-generation farm in Pocomoke City, Maryland.
Earlier this year, Perdue, the country’s third largest chicken producer, introduced a line of "USDA Process Verified" chicken products bearing the claims "humanely raised" and "raised cage free" on the label. Unfortunately, this change in...
Carol Brown and her husband Don own a small Thoroughbred farm in Kentucky. Her horses may never earn a garland of roses at Churchill Downs, but she’d hoped, at least, to give them a rosy...

Marine Life

The Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in the evening hours of April 20.
Amid almost unprecedented hype and media attention, the 62nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) opened in Agadir, Morocco in June, with AWI’s Susan Millward in attendance and D.J. Schubert serving for the second...
Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to officially prohibit the possession, sale or distribution of shark fins. On May 28, Governor Linda Lingle signed the shark-finning ban into law after the bill passed the...
Some 20,000 gray whales roam the eastern Pacific from Alaska to Baja California. Less than 200 also ply the waters from the Sea of Okhotsk to southern Korea.

Terrestrial Wildlife

The urban coyotes of Denver were getting a bad reputation. An increasing number were moving into the city and human-inhabited areas of the surrounding county. Negative interactions between pets and coyotes were on the rise.
Africa's Congo Basin is home to one of the world’s largest remaining rainforests and a diverse assemblage of wildlife, including gorillas.
Since its (apocryphal) discovery in East Africa by a shepherd who watched his goats joyfully cavort across the pasture shortly after eating the red berries from an unassuming shrub, coffee traditionally has been grown in...
This summer, I traveled to Vietnam to help facilitate and document a snare removal workshop for rangers from Vietnam’s Forest Protection Department (FPD) as part of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders (EWCL) initiative.
Anticoagulent rodenticides (ARs) are used to control rodent populations in urban and suburban areas. These toxins kill target species by interfering with an animal’s blood-clotting system, causing the animal to bleed to death.
Incorporating animals into wedding ceremonies is a practice that spans many cultures and can involve a variety of species. Many couples, however, do not stop to consider how the animals got there, how they are...
In May, it was reported that Zimbabwe had captured and was planning to sell animals from Hwange National Park, including zebras, giraffes, hyenas, monkeys, birds, and two juvenile elephants to a North Korean zoo for...

Government Affairs

On April 20, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. Stevens, handed a victory to animal abusers when it overturned the federal statute (18 U.S.C. §48) prohibiting the creation, sale, and possession of "crush...
June 23 was a momentous day for coyotes and foxes in Florida, as the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted unanimously to enact a ban on coyote and fox "penning."

In Remembrance

On June 18, our good friend and colleague, Dr. F. Barbara Orlans, passed away. Barbara was a bright, compassionate woman and a steadfast defender of animals.
On June 28, the animal welfare community lost a stalwart friend when Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, America’s longest serving senator, died at the age of 92.


Award-winning journalist David Kirby's gripping new book, Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment , sets out to expose industrial agriculture as a cruel, polluting...
The mysterious lives of animals have been the subjects of countless films and nature shows. Though these productions might focus on similar themes, filmmakers are driven by a variety of motivations, and may use vastly...
Velma Bronn Johnston’s boss told her at the end of her lengthy secretarial career, "The world is made up of three kinds of people - those who make things happen; those who watch things happen...