Fall 2014

Fall 2014 AWI Quarterly - Cover Photo by Scott Portelli
Volume
63
Number
4
About the Cover

Off the coast of Tonga in August, a baby humpback whale surfaces as mom glides below. Come October, mother and calf will head south to Antarctic feeding grounds.

The 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC65) took place this past September in Portorož, Slovenia, with AWI in attendance to advocate for greater protection of whales. Among the agenda items: Japan’s scientific whaling program in the Antarctic (ruled illegal in March by the International Court of Justice); and a proposal from Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Uruguay, and Gabon for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

Other key items under discussion included Greenland’s renewed bid for a subsistence quota—despite the fact that much of the meat and blubber is sold commercially, and the increasing international trade of whale products among Iceland, Norway and Japan.

A full report on outcomes both positive and negative from IWC65 begins on page 6 of this issue.

Photo by Scott Portelli

Table of Contents

Wildlife

AWI and Wildearth guardians plan to sue the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services program over the program’s failure to take steps to ensure that its activities do not harm endangered ocelots. On September...
Deer management is a significant issue across the country, and traditionally has resulted in lethal population control via sharpshooting, hunting with firearms, and bow hunting—despite the latter method’s documented inefficiency and potential for animals to...
Try as they might, hard-working wildlife officials cannot be everywhere at once. In remote areas, it is a depressingly familiar scenario for such officials to come upon grisly crime scenes strewn with the bodies of...
On September 11, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) revised its critical habitat designation for threatened Canada lynx, as well as its definition of the animal’s distinct population segment (DPS) protected by the Endangered...
This summer, New Jersey and New York, two states that represent key ports of entry into the United States for consumer goods (and wildlife trafficking), passed laws to help stem the illegal trade in ivory...
One country may already be turning the table on traffickers. On June 20, Mozambique passed a law that mandates a prison term of 8 to 12 years for poaching of endangered species. In the past,...
On February 1, 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced a proposal to list the North American wolverine as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Two distinct, loud “thumps”—that is how, in a September 27, 2014, Facebook post, the president of Lobo Watch, an anti-wolf organization, described the sound when his minivan struck two wolves chasing an elk calf traversing...
South Africa's Kruger National Park is taking bids from private landowners for 500 of its white rhinos. Newspaper ads advise parties to "make a written offer to purchase white rhinos in batches of 20 or...
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has postponed its decision on listing the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) until April 2015. The decision was originally due this past...
A federal judge has ruled that an Arizona animal cruelty case, involving a former employee of USDA’s Wildlife Services who trapped and severely injured his neighbor's dog, can go forward. The accused, Russell Files, had...

Animals in Laboratories

In a highly controversial decision, the animal care and use committee at the University of Wisconsin has approved an NIH-funded maternal deprivation study on newborn monkeys. This study echoes back to the notorious deprivation studies,...
The use of random source (Class B) dogs for National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored research is finally coming to an end. As of October 1, 2014, NIH will not allow any new grants to purchase...
On November 4, 2014, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Kevin Shea filed a 10-page complaint alleging a plethora of willful violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by...

Government Affairs

Recent events have moved domestic violence out of the shadows and into public consciousness where it can be addressed as the serious crime that it is. But still hidden from view is an all-too-real obstacle...
Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), introduced the Targeted Use of Sanctions for Killing Elephants in their Range (TUSKER) Act on September 11, a bill to impose trade sanctions...

Marine Life

The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is a professional society for conservation scientists and practitioners from academia, government, charities, and professional associations. In 2009 its Marine Section held the first International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC).
The 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) opened on September 15 in the picturesque Slovenian city of Portorož. Key issues on the IWC's agenda at this plenary meeting—the first since the Commission went...
AWI’s Dr. Naomi Rose attended the Marine Mammals of the Holarctic International Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, in late September, in an effort to learn about, and network among, Russian scientists and managers involved in...
In May 2014, the European Union’s (EU) 2009 ban on imports of commercial seal products was upheld by an appellate body of the World Trade Organization after a challenge from Canada and Norway ( see...
In September 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a new study on a dangerous phenomenon known as “ghost fishing.” Ghost fishing occurs when derelict fishing gear, including lost or abandoned nets and...
A one-time smuggler of marine animals has been collared by authorities in the Philippines, after more than three years on the lam. Olivia Lim Li was arrested in October in Zamboanga City in a coordinated...
Slayed in Iceland: The commercial hunting and international trade in endangered fin whales is the result of a joint investigation into Iceland’s fin whaling industry by AWI, the Environmental Investigation Agency, and WDC-Whale and Dolphin...
It is no secret that there is a worldwide extinction crisis plaguing the world’s sharks, and this crisis is fueled primarily by anthropogenic sources. In addition to overfishing, pollution, and climate change, shark finning remains...

Companion Animals

How many times have you looked at your dog after he or she did something they shouldn’t and seen those soulful, apologetic eyes looking back at you? The look of guilt is obvious, but does...
One of the important goals of AWI’s Animals and Interpersonal Violence program is to reach judges—especially judges who interact with juveniles and families. AWI has enjoyed a good working relationship with the National Council of...
Persistence pays off! In June, after years of effort by AWI staff members, the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board (APB) unanimously approved the addition of animal cruelty crimes as a separate entry in the Uniform Crime...

Farm Animals

It should be a given that farm animals are protected from cruelty and needless suffering; from being warehoused in cramped, dark living spaces devoid of stimulation or even the ability to move; and from having...
After an undercover investigation in 2008 showed heinous acts of animal cruelty toward nonambulatory or “downed” animals at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., California strengthened an existing law governing the treatment of downed animals.
A US District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster and joined by attorneys general from five other states that challenged a California law addressing the housing of egg-laying...
Nestlé recently announced a commitment to farm animal welfare in an effort to “remove the worst [practices], promote the best and improve the rest.” Nestlé stated that it will “support and implement actions to promote...
In 2009, police in Umatilla, Oregon, arrested a man for starving and neglecting dozens of animals. A jury convicted the man of 20 counts of second-degree animal abuse, but at his sentencing hearing the court...
In the Winter 2014 AWI Quarterly , AWI reported that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had proposed changing the poultry slaughter regulations to allow poultry companies to accelerate their slaughter process by 25 percent,...

Reviews

The number of humans on Earth has risen dramatically over the past two centuries, and our population—now over 7 billion—continues to grow. Meanwhile, we are consuming more per capita than ever before.
EARTH A New Wild is an upcoming series that will air on PBS and document a five-year, global journey, capturing encounters between wild animals and the people who live and work among them. The five...

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