Spring 2017

Volume
66
Number
1
Spring 2017 AWI Quarterly Cover - Photo by Novartis AG
About the Cover

What are the best ways to provide rabbits in research with effective enrichment—items that fulfill their desire to engage in natural rabbit behaviors? This question was raised in a discussion that took place last year on the online Laboratory Animal Refinement and Enrichment Forum (LAREF). The forum was founded in 2002 by AWI Scientific Committee member Dr. Viktor Reinhardt to help animal care personnel share innovative ideas and proven techniques for improving the way animals are housed and handled in the laboratory. See page 14 for what LAREF members had to say about making life better for rabbits in research.

Photograph by Novartis AG

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

When Isaac, a rhesus macaque, first arrived we were so worried about him. He cowered in the corner as he fear grimaced, and refused to eat or drink for several days. If anyone approached his...
The USDA reached an astonishingly weak settlement on December 2, 2016, with SNBL USA, an animal dealer and registered research facility—despite allegations of egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) by the company dating...

Farm Animals

Near the end of 2016, the USDA Office of Inspector General released an audit intended “to evaluate the research practices and operations of MARC” (the USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska). It...
AWI has worked to improve animal welfare standards under the US Department of Agriculture’s Certified Organic label for over 15 years. In early 2017, our efforts helped lead the USDA to finalize a rule to...
In September, at a federally inspected slaughterhouse in Pennsylvania, a pig was shot three times in the head, but remained alive—vocalizing after each shot. The facility did not have a backup stunning device, so a...

Marine Life

Dr. Naomi Rose, AWI’s marine mammal scientist, traveled to China in December to visit and evaluate several captive marine mammal facilities. She also gave two public presentations in Chengdu, one of China’s largest cities.
In a sure sign of changing times, a resort development on Oahu has abandoned plans to include a captive dolphin attraction at its facility. Atlantis Ko Olina (a new addition to Kerzner International’s Atlantis Resorts...
Tilikum, the 12,000-pound male orca at SeaWorld Orlando who was featured in the documentary Blackfish in 2013, was probably born in 1980, give or take a year. Ever since he killed his trainer, Dawn Brancheau...
Two years ago, scientists estimated that only 100 vaquita porpoises remained in Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California. In April 2015, as vaquitas continued to die due to entanglement in fishing gear, the Mexican government proposed...

Wildlife

In January, AWI and allies submitted a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency to cancel the registration of Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), used in “livestock protection collars” by the USDA’s Wildlife Services program to kill...
Nearly 10,000 copies of a Chinese language edition of A Dangerous Life, a graphic novel for middle school–aged readers about the ivory trade, are being distributed this year to school children in China.
A butterfly’s life is fragile at the best of times. But these are hardly the best of times. Indeed, all the indicators and experts agree: The butterflies are now enduring very serious challenges. Extinction is...
Beginning March 31, 2017, China is embarking on a deliberate, nine-month sequential procedure to shut down its ivory industry. In so doing, it is dismantling the world’s most important marketplace for both legal and contraband...
Two lynx were found shot dead in northern Maine in November 2016, prompting an investigation by local and federal officials. A reward of $19,000 for information leading to convictions for the killings is being offered...
The following email discussion took place on the Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum in February 2016. Submissions by Carey Allen, Evelyn Skoumbourdis, Jacqueline Schwartz, Jennie Lofgren, Jennifer Defosses, Kristina Carter, Leslie Jenkins, Lorraine Bell...
In a surprise move, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced in January that it is closing down, effective May 2017, after 146 years in operation. In explaining the decision, Chief Operating Officer Juliette...
This past December, mute swans in New York finally gained protection under legislation introduced by Senator Tony Avella and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation released a draft management plan in...

Government Affairs

The continuing resolution that the 114th Congress passed in December to fund the government until April 28 kept in place AWI-supported language denying funds for horse slaughter plant inspections by the USDA—a move that effectively...
AWI welcomes Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) as the new co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus in the 115th Congress, replacing Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who retired at the end of the last term. Rep...
On February 3, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) abruptly removed from its website inspection reports and other key documents relating to enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA) and the Animal...

In Remembrance

The African elephants have lost a grand and valiant champion. Pierre Pfeffer, director of research at both the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and France’s National Center for Scientific Research, passed away on...
Dr. Alexey Yablokov, described as Russia’s “environmental knight” and as the “grandfather of Russian ecology,” passed away on January 10 at the age of 83.

Reviews

A Plea for the Animals is largely a compendium, providing summary descriptions of the horrible sufferings imposed upon animals resulting from factory farming, animal experimentation, trafficking in wildlife, and “animals in entertainment”—everything from shooting animals...
At its heart an ethnography, Eating the Ocean, by gender and culture professor Elspeth Probyn, is a challenging and unexpected contribution to the growing “food politics” genre. Although focused on questions concerning the sustainability of...

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