Summer 2013

Volume
62
Number
3
Summer 2013 AWI Quarterly Cover - Photo by Wild Wonders of Europe, Zankl/Minden
About the Cover

A short-snouted seahorse off the coast of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. Exotic in both appearance and behavior, seahorses—fish of the genus Hippocampus—are among the most charismatic occupants of the ocean, seemingly sprung from a mythic world set apart from our own. (Indeed, ancient Greek fishermen thought they were the miniature descendants of the mighty horses that pulled Poseidon’s chariot.)

But the otherworldly nature of the seahorse has not afforded it protection from humans. Seahorses are traded both live (for aquariums) and dead (as tourist trinkets), but are coveted most of all for their supposedly curative powers. Traditional Chinese medicine holds that seahorse bodies can ease a variety of afflictions, from asthma to impotence. While this medicinal use goes way back, it is the modern ease with which these animals are pulled from the sea and shipped around the world that now threatens their continued existence. Coupled with heavy habitat loss, international trade has caused seahorse populations to plummet. As explained in the feature article on page 6, we must reverse this distressing trend if we hope to keep this “mythical” animal from becoming merely a creature of legend.

Photo by Wild Wonders of Europe, Zankl/Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

AWI is pleased to announce publication of Compassion Makes a Difference, the third volume of discussions from the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF), edited by longtime AWI laboratory animal advisor, Viktor Reinhardt.
In a stunning move, Harvard University announced in April that it was closing the New England National Primate Research Center (NENPRC). The closure—to be finalized by 2015, with the Center’s almost 2,000 monkeys placed at...
On June 26, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) embraced nearly all of the recommendations regarding chimpanzees in research contained in the report of the Working Group of the Council of Councils (see Winter 2013...

Companion Animals

This past March, I traveled from Bangkok—where I had been attending the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)—to Manila to participate in...

Farm Animals

The USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released an audit of inspection and enforcement activities at pig slaughter plants. The May 2013 audit found that inspectors for the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS)...
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a USDA agency, is amending its Animal Handling and Welfare (AHW) requirements for companies that supply meat from cattle, pigs, and sheep to the national school lunch program.
Shuanghui International, a Chinese meat processing company, has agreed to purchase U.S.-based Smithfield Foods, a development that raises numerous concerns. Sale of the world’s largest pork producer to a company that is heavily subsidized by...

Marine Life

AWI was joined by local whale advocates in Portland, Maine, on May 31, 2013, to protest Iceland’s expanding commercial whaling program and plan to resume fin whaling.
With a horse’s head, the snout of an aardvark, a chameleon’s color changing abilities and independently operating eyes, a monkey-like prehensile tail, and—in males, not females—a marsupial’s pouch for the gestation of young, the mythical...
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) isn’t meeting this year, but the whales themselves are getting no break from whalers. Despite a ban on the international trade in whale meat, Norway received 14 tons of whale...
SeaWorld Orlando has again been fined and labeled a repeat offender by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for continuing to operate a workplace that can “cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”
Whales have been getting entangled in man-made ropes and nets, probably, since the first fishermen began to use these materials to catch fish thousands of years ago. However, before the advent of synthetic materials large...

Wildlife

Tom Knudson of the Sacramento Bee received the Schweitzer Medal on June 27 at a private celebration in California. For nearly 60 years, the medal—named in honor of Dr. Albert Schweitzer—has been a symbol of...
Lyme disease is endemic to the northeastern and northcentral United States. In 2011, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control, there were a total of 24,346 confirmed cases of Lyme disease.
A scientific committee assembled by the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) National Research Council has completed a two-year study on the Wild Horse and Burro Program of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
AWI is following up on the successful efforts to obtain international trade protections for the imperiled West African manatee under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), achieved...
The California condor is one of the world’s rarest bird species. Poaching, lead poisoning (from eating animals containing lead shot), and habitat destruction combined to bring about their extinction from the wild by 1987.
As we go to press, proposals have been published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that portend an enormous impact on the future of the affected species. The first...
Long before elephant ivory carvings became fashionable, and before crocodile skin handbags and colorful tropical pet birds were stylish, people exploited wild animals as a source of food. Many ancient societies tried to limit the...

Government Affairs

Attending animal fights and bringing children to such spectacles would become federal offenses under the Animal Welfare Act as a result of provisions in the farm bills of both chambers of Congress.
There is now a Senate version of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541), thanks to Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Like its House companion (H.R. 1094), this legislation would...
Committed to closing the abuse-ridden pipeline that supplies dogs and cats to laboratories, Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) have reintroduced the Pet Safety and Protection Act (H.R. 2224).
The Shark Conservation Act (SCA) of 2010 combats the heinous practice of shark finning—cutting off a shark's fins and discarding the body, often still alive, into the sea—by requiring that sharks in U.S. waters be...
AWI joined 44 other organizations on a letter asking Congress to provide $7.5 million in funding to the many agencies responding to white-nose syndrome (WNS), the disease that is decimating North America’s bat populations, including...
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has reintroduced his nonbinding resolution, H.Res. 208, expressing opposition to the use of gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals and calling on states to ban the practice and allow euthanasia by...

Reviews

The various contributors to the seventeen chapters of Animal Cruelty: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding address all critical aspects of the subject: history, related legislation, special types of cruelty, its link to other types of...
Thursday, Oct 24th CNN aired “Blackfish,” a devastating exposé of the captive cetacean industry with a focus on the tragic killing of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by the 12,000 lb killer whale Tilikum. #Blackfish http://bit.ly/1bJzQu4...
Wild Things examines the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (WS) program and its devastating impacts on native carnivores. Each year, WS kills thousands of predators who are viewed as threats to livestock, employing inhumane...

Share This!