Fall 2019

Fall 2019 Cover Photograph by Chien Lee, Minden Pictures
Volume
68
Number
3
About the Cover

A juvenile Tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). Though the animals are not currently considered endangered, extensive removals from the wild for the pet trade and use in traditional medicines have raised concern. At the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP18), the species was added to CITES Appendix II to enable greater monitoring and control of the trade in these geckos. See page 12 for AWI’s review of the successes and setbacks of CITES CoP18.

Photograph by Chien Lee, Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

Neurobiologists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle may have uncovered one of the reasons why 90 percent of drugs that succeed in mice fail in humans. In a study published in the...
New research out of Purdue University shows that the beliefs of laboratory animal personnel are highly associated with their implementation of welfare-enhancing enrichment techniques. This study focused on the promising welfare-enhancing technique of rat tickling,...
Despite AAALAC’s mission statement that voluntary accreditation “enhances the quality of research, testing and education by promoting humane and responsible research animal care and use,” the USDA record shows that animal suffering and death has...
The idea that animal play is important and worthwhile is gaining traction within the biomedical research community. Indeed, the PRIM&R’s 2019 IACUC Conference (the acronyms stand for “Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research” and “Institutional...
A new study published in the journal Science (Reinhold et al., 2019) reported that laboratory rats learned to play hide-and-seek with researchers at Humboldt University of Berlin, in a novel approach to studying the neural...
On July 1, 2019, the National Institutes of Health awarded Johns Hopkins University’s Veit Stuphorn another major grant to study the neural mechanisms involved in risk-taking in monkeys. In year one of this new five-year...
In September, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a plan to reduce and eventually eliminate its reliance on animal testing to assess the danger of chemicals. Currently, the EPA performs, or requires chemical companies to perform,...

Companion Animals

In September, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report documenting the unconscionable mistreatment of dogs sent overseas under the Explosive Detection Canine Program (EDCP).

Farm Animals

As interest in farm animal welfare and environmental sustainability increases, more and more producers of meat, poultry, dairy, and egg products seek to assure potential customers—via claims on food packaging—that their animals are raised using...
Oregon and Washington recently joined California in passing laws to ban the use of cruel battery cages to confine egg-laying hens. Twenty million hens in these three states, as a consequence, will be free from...
An inspection report from August 6 for the US Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) documents extreme neglect of animals, including “repeated failures” to follow veterinarian instructions.
Recent undercover investigations conducted by animal welfare organizations at Indiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Texas dairies have revealed horrendous conditions for cows on these farms.

Marine Life

AWI has followed the saga of the Russian “whale jail” for over a year now. It began in summer 2018, when 90 beluga whales and 11 orcas were captured in the Russian Far East and...
The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) is the only legally binding environmental treaty in the region focused on the protection of biodiversity.
A new documentary, Long Gone Wild, marketed as the follow-up to the 2013 blockbuster Blackfish, is making the film festival rounds and is available on several streaming services.
As for Blackfish itself, its impact continues to be felt in society. It has been six years since the film premiered and in that time several erstwhile corporate partners have severed ties with SeaWorld and...
Having failed to persuade the International Whaling Commission (IWC) at its September 2018 meeting to overturn its longstanding ban on commercial whaling, Japan left the IWC on June 30, 2019, after nearly seven decades of...
In early July, in response to a 2015 petition from AWI and the Center for Biological Diversity, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) approved an “in danger” designation for Mexico’s Islands and Protected Areas of...

Wildlife

The 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in August. It began on...
Since 1997, at each CITES CoP, AWI has honored individuals, organizations, and government agencies that have demonstrated excellence in the fight against wildlife crime with the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award. The award,...
In August, delegates at the 18th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) delivered a historic victory for African elephants by voting to...
While most news for imperiled species is quite dire this year, North America’s largest flying bird is bucking the trend. California condors came frighteningly close to extinction: in 1982, just 22 birds survived in the...
After significant public outrage regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reauthorize M-44 “cyanide bombs” to kill predators, the agency reversed course. One week after the initial announcement, the agency said it was withdrawing the...
Stepping in where the US Department of Agriculture failed to act, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s Animal Law Unit moved to enforce state cruelty laws and end the abuse of animals by an exhibitor in...

Government Affairs

At long last, legislation to end equine abuse at horse shows received a vote in Congress. The Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (HR 693) passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote of...
In August, the Trump administration released final regulations that severely weaken critical Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections at a time when increased threats from habitat destruction and climate change necessitate full enforcement of the ESA.
Illinois has joined California, Nevada, and more than 30 countries worldwide in banning the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. SB 241, sponsored by Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on August 9,...
AWI President Cathy Liss joined Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and other animal welfare advocates in August at DuPage County Animal Services in Wheaton, Illinois, as Krishnamoorthi announced the introduction of legislation designed to protect animals...
Several states have added new protections for domestic violence survivors and their pets, bringing to 37 the number of states that allow for the inclusion of pets in domestic violence protection orders or include animal...

Reviews

William McKeever’s Emperors of the Deep: The Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians highlights the significance of sharks to the oceans’ delicate ecosystems and reveals the horrendous threats jeopardizing their continued existence.
Joel Sartore is a gifted wildlife photographer. Fifteen years ago, events in his personal life meant he could no longer travel internationally to photograph wildlife in their natural habitat. So he turned his lens to...
Performing noninvasive studies of wild animals can be tricky. The task becomes even more challenging when the subject of the study mainly lives in the canopy of the rainforest—nearly 100 feet above ground. The Woolly...

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