Fall 2020

Volume
69
Number
3
Photograph by Andy Rouse/Minden Pictures
About the Cover

On page 14, AWI examines the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic as the world’s nations attempt to shape and enforce international marine life and wildlife protection agreements without the benefit of in-person meetings. As for endangered tigers, more exist in captivity in the United States than in the wild around the globe. Captive big cats suffer from neglect and abuse in backyard cages or tourist traps such as the zoo featured in Tiger King (which finally shut down—see page 13). Such facilities breed cubs incessantly for petting and photo ops, but serve no conservation purpose—none of these animals ever end up in the wild. 

Photograph by Andy Rouse/Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

Do you have a creative idea for improving the welfare of research animals? AWI offers grants of up to $10,000 to conduct short research projects, based in the United States or Canada, aimed at improving...
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on many animals, and laboratory animals are no exception. The US Department of Agriculture’s routine unannounced inspections of research facilities (and suppliers of animals for experimentation) has...
The disturbing pictures included with this article, taken by a US Department of Agriculture inspector in 2017, are worth far more than a thousand words. And Moulton Chinchilla Ranch (MCR)—a licensed dealer supplying chinchillas for...
A committee of experts—convened at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review whether it is “necessary” for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue using dogs in biomedical research to...

Companion Animals

The crucial role of veterinarians in identifying and reporting suspected animal abuse is becoming clearer—to the public, to law enforcement, to veterinarians themselves, and to lawmakers. Most recently, thanks to a decade-long effort by both...
Chris was in an abusive relationship, and she knew she had to leave. But she hesitated. She didn’t have family nearby and having just moved to a new area, she hadn’t made any close friends...

Farm Animals

AWI recently launched a new “Extreme Weather” page on its website to bring awareness to the detrimental impacts adverse weather events can have on the welfare of farm animals. In 2019 alone, over 927,000 animals...
In July, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB20-1343 into law, making Colorado the ninth US state to pass egg-laying hen confinement restrictions. The new law requires egg farmers with more than 3,000 hens to provide...
International transport by sea vessel can threaten an animal’s welfare, particularly for long-distance journeys, such as from North America to Asia. The toll on farm animals during international transport is likely to be exacerbated by...
The US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently published an audit report relevant to AWI’s efforts to improve the accuracy of meat label claims. The report, Controls Over Meat, Poultry, and Egg...
Over the past five years, a few major US poultry companies have committed to working toward improving the lives of chickens raised for meat. These commitments address the breeding of chickens and their treatment on...
Across the globe, animal advocates and public health officials are working to prevent the next pandemic by making policy recommendations and implementing laws to identify and curb the transmission of zoonotic diseases. By addressing circumstances...

Humane Education

In North America, animal dissection remains commonplace in K-12 science education. At a time when numerous interactive and immersive alternatives are available, it’s time to end this outdated practice once and for all by adopting...
AWI now has free lesson plans available for two of our most sought-after books, A Dangerous Life and The Magic of Touch. The lesson plans were developed by AWI in cooperation with educator Nancy Kellum...
The 2020 “A Voice for Animals” contest received over 500 entries from all over the world, including submissions from Nepal, Mexico, Singapore, and India. Many of this year’s entries addressed timely topics such as the...

Marine Life

Two captive beluga whales who had been held at an entertainment facility in China have just been given a chance to stretch their flippers in a new sea pen sanctuary. The two 12-year-old females, dubbed...
Technology entrepreneurs have designed an animatronic dolphin so lifelike that volunteers who swam with it were unaware it was not alive until told the truth. Its battery lasts 10 hours, and it is resistant to...
In 2018, a female Southern Resident orca off the coast of Washington captured hearts and minds around the world with her apparently grief-stricken reaction to the death of her newborn calf, who lived less than...
The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in place to prevent its spread have had a profound impact on the environment, in positive and negative ways: Greenhouse gases have declined sharply amid reduced industrial output. Commercial...

Wildlife

Our country’s vital wildlife protections are facing ongoing attacks that have unraveled decades of progress. In August, two federal agencies proposed yet another change to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations, the effect of which...
The live capture of river otters is notoriously difficult, which explains the dearth of information about the ecology of the species. Traditional traps, including leghold and cage traps, can be used to capture otters for...
According to State Farm, over 1.9 million animal-vehicle collision insurance claims were filed between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. Of those, the vast majority that resulted in human injury involved deer struck at...
Historically, predators such as wolves, mountain lions, and bears were scorned and hunted with little remorse or restraint. They have been vilified as threats to livestock, companion animals, and us. State and federal wildlife management...
The value of human lives lost to the current COVID-19 pandemic is incalculable; meanwhile, the purely economic losses we can put a price tag on have been staggering. The International Monetary Fund estimates a global...
It has been estimated that the current global species extinction rate is 100 extinctions per million species per year—1,000 times higher than the normal background rate (De Vos et al. 2014). Dr. Mark Rounsevell of...
The Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness brought unprecedented public attention to the activities of roadside zoos such as Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (GW Zoo) in Oklahoma. This zoo, formerly owned by...
Over three years ago, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield and his dog, Kasey, stumbled upon an M-44 “cyanide bomb” while playing near the family’s backyard outside Pocatello, Idaho. The spring-activated device sprays sodium cyanide. It was placed...

Government Affairs

As of mid-August, the US Senate as a whole was getting very little done, but the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee reported out three bills: the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (S 877), the Driftnet...
In mid-July, the Trump administration finalized its overhaul of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), enacting new regulations that weaken this key environmental law. Unprecedented in significance and scope, these changes undermine informed agency decision-making...
On July 30, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced the Polar Bear Cub Survival Act (HR 7876). Polar bears are one of many species facing ongoing threats from the oil and gas industry. As the Trump...
AWI has been working closely with Representative Ted Lieu’s (D-CA) office on the Lead Endangers Animals Daily (LEAD) Act, which was introduced on July 9. Rep. Lieu is determined to prevent the needless poisoning of...

Reviews

In this period of canceled travel plans and rarely venturing past one’s own front porch—if it can be helped —living vicariously through the adventures of people such as Charles Bergman, the author of Every Penguin...
The second edition of Stress and Animal Welfare describes the current understanding of how stress in humans and animals is connected to their welfare. It provides information that is essential for understanding how to assess...
In this long-awaited sequel to Applegate’s Newbery Medal-winning 2012 book, The One and Only Ivan (recently adapted into a feature film streaming on Disney+), the Big Top Mall has closed and the animal residents have...

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