Winter 2018

Photograph by Jim Schemel
Volume
67
Number
4
About the Cover

Few farm animals in this country live out in the open—instead living in vast barns in close confinement. When such facilities catch on fire, the animals are often trapped. From 2013 to 2017, more than 2.7 million farm animals died in the United States as a result of 326 barn fires. The most common culprit is a faulty heating device. A new AWI report—Barn Fires: A Deadly Threat to Farm Animals—takes a close look at the circumstances behind these tragic events and outlines steps all farms can take to prevent them. Turn to page 14 to learn more.

Photograph by Jim Schemel.

Table of Contents

Wildlife

Last May, AWI was honored to partner with HarperCollins Children’s Books on educational materials coinciding with the launch of a new series aimed at 3rd to 6th graders from Newbery Medal–winning author Katherine Applegate. Endling...
In August, AWI filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of a New York law restricting trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn. The 2014 law prohibits the sale, purchase, trade, or...
By Michael Callahan, president of the Beaver Institute The North American beaver, an often misunderstood and maligned aquatic rodent, builds dams with mud and sticks, which turns streams into valuable wetland ecosystems. Beaver ponds are...
On October 29, the State Council of China issued a policy directive indicating that the use of horn and bones from farmed rhinos and tigers for “medical research or in healing” would be allowed—reversing a...
On November 5, AWI and co-plaintiffs won a significant victory in our ongoing litigation to protect red wolves, when a federal court agreed that the US Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act,...
In an appropriations bill passed in March, Congress directed the USFWS to obtain an independent assessment on the taxonomic status of the red wolf and the Mexican gray wolf—both of which are listed as endangered...
In the last Quarterly, we discussed the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to conduct mass surgical sterilization experiments on wild horses from the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Oregon. Colorado State University was slated...

Animals in Laboratories

Angelika Rehrig, Louis DiVincenti, Deborah Napolitano, and David McAdam The psychological well-being of laboratory primates is enhanced when they are allowed to voluntarily participate in their own care through a process called positive reinforcement training...
AWI’s Laboratory Animal Advisor, Dr. Joanna Makowska, has updated AWI’s database on the refinement of housing, husbandry, care, and use of animals in research. More than 600 new entries were recently added, bringing the total...
AWI recently attended the annual meeting of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) in Baltimore—the largest meeting on laboratory animals in the United States. At this year’s meeting, several presentations focused on solving...
This study involved two monkeys that learned to play a computer game that gave them drops of juice when they won. The monkeys played voluntarily because they liked to gamble... This line, from a September...
Three years ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would no longer support experimentation on chimpanzees. The NIH stated that all of the chimps that it “owns” or supports would be eligible...

Government Affairs

When Massachusetts strengthened its animal cruelty statute in 2014, it also set up a task force to make additional recommendations. A new law resulted—signed in August—that raises certain penalties and makes three other significant changes:...
The New Jersey legislature passed Nosey’s Law (S1093) to ban the use of wild and exotic animals for entertainment in traveling animal acts. If, as expected, the bill is signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, New...
Time and again over the past two years, leadership in the House of Representatives advanced legislation aimed at dismantling long-standing animal protection laws. A new Congress ascends Capitol Hill in January, and AWI hopes that...

Marine Life

The cruel shark fin trade continues to decimate shark populations worldwide, and demand from the United States contributes to that toll. Although 15 states and territories ban the sale of shark fin products, it remains...
In September, AWI took part in the 67th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Florianópolis, Brazil. The meeting delivered a series of surprises—not least of which was that Japan failed to secure support...
In an unprecedented reprimand, the Standing Committee to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has determined that Japan’s use of thousands of tons of meat from endangered...
By Dr. Elizabeth Burgess and Dr. Rosalind Rolland, Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, New England Aquarium In 2010, 280 Florida manatees died during prolonged cold weather due to chronic metabolic stress, known as “cold-stress...
With a current population of only 74 whales—a 30-year population low—southern resident orcas (a.k.a. killer whales) are in crisis. Their primary prey, Chinook salmon, are endangered, and the whales are starving. In March, Washington Governor...
After a two-year break, Russia has once again issued permits to capture free-ranging orcas and belugas in the Sea of Okhotsk for display in entertainment parks. This summer, rather than taking a more typical 20–30...
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was passed in 1972. Over the years it was amended, but its fundamentally protective nature has remained unchanged. The statute outlawed the killing of any marine mammal, with limited...
Members of the United Nations have begun negotiations on the first treaty to manage and protect biodiversity in international waters. These vast areas of open ocean are far from coastlines and vulnerable to overexploitation and...

Companion Animals

Ann Hastings, director of violence prevention at 360 Communities, a community service organization in Minnesota, knew that something was missing from her department—a therapy dog. Finally, upon identifying the right handler, Hastings went online and...

Farm Animals

In 2017, a barn fire struck Hi-Grade Egg Producers in North Manchester, Indiana. At least four poultry barns burned down, killing more than 1 million chickens in a matter of hours. The chickens, trapped in...
On August 23, AWI and Farm Sanctuary sued the US Department of Agriculture for failing to adequately respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for proactive disclosure of slaughter records. The lawsuit...
Every year, millions of farm animals die as a result of natural disasters. Floods, extreme heat or cold, wildfires, and other weather events present grave risks to animals, especially those in confinement. This year alone,...
A Missouri law defining meat as “derived from harvested production livestock or poultry” went into effect this fall. The law also creates fines and even jail time for producers who violate the act. Supporters of...
The US Department of Agriculture recently finalized a new waiver system whereby bird slaughter plants can apply to increase their line speed to 175 birds per minute. Before finalizing the waiver system, the USDA took...

Reviews

Ben Goldfarb / Chelsea Green Publishing / 304 pages The past 400 years were not kind to most populations of wildlife in North America. Overexploitation was rampant, forests were razed, prairies were plowed, and rivers...
Richard Harris / Basic Books / 288 pages In Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions , award-winning science journalist Richard Harris takes a harsh look at biomedical research...
William D. Moreto and Stephen F. Pires / Carolina Academic Press / 262 pages Wildlife Crime: An Environmental Criminology and Crime Science Perspective is a timely and most welcomed book, but fair warning: It is...