Summer 2012

Summer 2012 AWI Quarterly Cover - Photo by Mike Suarez
Volume
61
Number
3
About the Cover

Surrounded (and sometimes overtopped) by green grass, a pair of diminutive piglets peer out from the pasture at High Meadows Farm in Delhi, New York. Like all animals on farms certified by AWI's Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) program, these piglets live outdoors, on pasture. The ample space, fresh air, and social bonds they experience stand in stark contrast to conditions for animals raised in isolation, confinement and barren uniformity within industrial systems. Just as no two pigs—even littermates—are exactly alike, no two AWA farms are alike, either. On page 6 of this issue, we profile two AWA pastured pig operations—High Meadows Farm and Parker Family Farms in Hurdle Mills, North Carolina. Though the families who run these respective farms raise different breeds in different landscapes for different markets, they share a similar commitment to high standards for animal welfare.

Photo by Mike Suarez

Table of Contents

Wildlife

Lonesome George, the last known Pinta giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni) in existence, has died. Galapagos National Park Service officials announced in June that George— believed to be around 100 years old—was found dead in...
Six people and 14 rare okapi at a conservation center in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were brutally murdered June 24 by mai mai rebels. The killings occurred in retaliation against staff at the...
Forty-eight tigers were reportedly killed in India from January through the beginning of June this year, double the 2011 rate. Most of the deaths occurred in Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand and in the Tadoba...
Congress is currently considering legislation that would, if enacted, launch a broad assault on America's wildlife and public lands. The Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089), which passed the US House of Representatives and...
Rapid assessment of wild animal population abundance is problematic, particularly for rare, cryptic felid species. However, estimates of population abundance are critical for effectively targeting conservation and management actions. Traditional mark-release-recapture (MRR) methods require recapturing...
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the country’s strongest environmental laws. It has reportedly safeguarded 99 percent of the 1,482 species placed under its protection from extinction—in contrast to the high extinction rate...

Animals in Laboratories

Meanwhile, veterinarian and ethologist, Viktor Reinhardt—at that time an attending veterinarian at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center—was busy laying the foundation for a new paradigm in primate housing. Viktor recognized that the housing and...
For animals in the wild, days and nights are not delineated via a flick of the switch on the wall. Rather, dawn brings on a gradual waxing of the light, and night falls in an...

Government Affairs

Every year, more than 10,000 animals are shot, stabbed, mutilated, and killed in military training exercises that purportedly prepare soldiers for treating trauma on the battlefield. Although more advanced military training facilities have replaced animal...
Americans tuning in to ABC Nightly News one evening last fall were likely shocked by video footage of the inhumane treatment of laying hens at several facilities owned by egg giant, Sparboe Farms. The footage...
Wildlife Services is a little-known program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that uses brutal methods and taxpayer dollars to kill approximately 5 million animals each year under the guise of “managing problems caused...

Marine Life

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing to end an exemption that has allowed some shrimp boats to avoid the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs)—apparently to...
SeaWorld was dealt a blow in late May when Judge Ken S. Welsch of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission upheld an OSHA ruling that stemmed from the death of orca trainer Dawn Brancheau...
“Concerning oceans, there is reason to suggest that the outcomes could be characterized as Rio+20 minus 40.” That was the assessment of National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle as she reported on the decided lack of...

Companion Animals

Yet another trailer crammed with horses on their way to slaughter has crashed, and this time the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has stepped in to see that the company responsible loses its wheels—at least...
Under the Horse Protection Act (HPA), representatives (known as “Designated Qualified Persons,” or DQPs) of certified horse industry organizations (HIOs) are authorized to inspect horses at shows and sales and to cite individuals for horse...

Farm Animals

Raising pigs according to the industrial farming model is a study in homogeny. In industry parlance, “quality control” means having all the same pigs fed all the same food while housed in uniformly dark, cramped...
Rhode Island is the latest state to ban the use of intensive confinement crates to house calves raised for veal and breeding (or “gestating”) sows, bringing the total number of states banning farm animal confinement...
When the U.s. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the country’s first national standards for organic production and established the National Organic Program (NOP) in 2000, provisions dealing with the treatment of the animals being raised...

In Remembrance

There she was, in her 70s and arthritic, in the remote Baja, Mexico desert, camping out in the wilderness. It was by sheer willpower that Mrs. Thompson got into the small boat to finally see...

Reviews

Feathers is an apt title for this book about exactly that—from the evolution of the first feathers and birds, to man’s desire to use feathers as adornment, for warmth, or as prototypes for human flight.
The reader can’t get past the cover of Maria Goodavage’s book Soldier Dogs—featuring a black Lab in goggles with her head on a camouflaged lap—without uttering an audible “awwww!” From that point on you are...
The Last Great Ape: A Journey Through Africa and a Fight for the Heart of the Continent, by Ofir Drori and David McDannald, chronicles the path of Ofir, an adventure seeker who leaves his Israeli...

Share This!