Summer 2021

Volume
70
Number
2
Summer 2021 Quarterly Cover
About the Cover

A pair of Atlantic spotted dolphins hone their synchronized swimming skills in the Bahamas. AWI actively participates in the workings of the SPAW Protocol—a UN agreement to protect wildlife and habitat in the Caribbean. This spring, AWI staff members attended the ninth meeting of the SPAW Protocol Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. Unfortunately, the meeting—held virtually and hampered by technical difficulties that severely delayed progress on key initiatives—produced underwhelming results. Nonetheless, a few positive outcomes emerged. To learn more, see page 20.

Photograph by Chase Dekker/Minden Pictures

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

Mounting scientific evidence indicates that environmental enrichment improves the welfare of laboratory mice, but most facilities worldwide still use standard housing (i.e., mostly barren “shoebox” cages). The provision of regular access to enriched environments such...

Farm Animals

In April, a federal court ruled against an element of a 2019 US Department of Agriculture rule that removed limits on line speeds at pig slaughter facilities. Judge Joan Ericksen of the US District Court...
Recently, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association teamed up with the National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials—an organization that represents emergency response and planning officials across all levels of government—to produce and disseminate...
For years, the animal agriculture industry has pressured the federal government to facilitate production of genetically engineered (GE) farm animals as a way to increase production and profits. Just prior to leaving office, the Trump...
Since the Biden administration took the reins in January, animal welfare and organic farming advocates have resumed their push to reinstate the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule under the US Department of Agriculture’s...
At least 20 ships carrying hundreds of thousands of animals were stalled in and around the Suez Canal for several days this March when the Ever Given (one of the world’s largest cargo ships) ran...
Due to AWI’s efforts, thousands of records about the treatment of animals at slaughter are now publicly available on the US Department of Agriculture’s website. The documents include records related to enforcement of the Humane...

Marine Life

In February, in what is being described as one of the worst ecological disasters in Israel’s history, a massive oil spill in the Mediterranean Sea caused hundreds of tons of tar to wash ashore along...
AWI has been collaborating with Norway’s largest animal welfare group, NOAH, and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) to oppose a dangerous experiment on wild minke whales that was to begin in late spring, last several...
In May, two dead fin whales, believed to be a mother and calf, were discovered after they dislodged from the hull of a Royal Australian Navy vessel. The destroyer, HMAS Sydney, had been conducting exercises...
In March and April, AWI marine animal program director Susan Millward and consultant Courtney Vail participated in the ninth meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Protocol Concerning...

Wildlife

Wildlife killing contests are organized events in which participants kill animals for money, prizes, entertainment, and other inducements, with “winners” recognized in categories such as the number, weight, and size of animals killed. The contests...
Due to many anthropogenic threats, the gopher tortoise is declining throughout its range in the southeastern United States. Translocation—the movement of animals from one location to another—has become an increasingly important tool for mitigating impacts...
The Bureau of Land Management recently indicated that it will withdraw a proposal to conduct sterilization surgeries on wild horses in Utah’s Confusion Herd Management Area.
Based on genetic research and the latest status assessment of African elephants, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has formally split the species into forest and savanna elephants and designated them as critically...
In late April and early May, four adult captive red wolves were released into the Red Wolf Recovery Area in eastern North Carolina, and four red wolf pups born in captivity were fostered to a...
In a major victory, New Mexico has enacted the Wildlife Conservation and Public Safety Act—also known as “Roxy’s Law”—which bans the use of traps, snares, and poisons on New Mexico’s public lands.
Following a recent review of the conservation status of grizzly bears in the continental United States, the US Fish and Wildlife Service recommended in March that the bears continue to be listed as “threatened” under...
The US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program trapped, shot, and poisoned more than 430,000 native animals last year, including hundreds of wolves, bears, and mountain lions, thousands of foxes, more than 25,000 beavers, and...
According to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), at least 647,400 raccoons were killed during the 2018–19 trapping season throughout the United States. (The data do not include statistics from 12 states, however...

Government Affairs

A coalition of 114 representatives and 48 senators recently urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to finalize a Horse Protection Act (HPA) rule that would significantly curb the pernicious practice of “soring,” which involves the deliberate...
You can sign up for our action alerts at awionline.org/compassion-index. Through these alerts you will learn when help is needed on federal or state legislation or administrative actions.
The Animal Welfare Enforcement Improvement Act (AWEIA; HR 3277), introduced May 17 by Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), would end US Department of Agriculture licensing practices that allow chronic violators of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)...
The cruel and dangerous trade in primates as pets brings misery to thousands of animals in the United States. To combat this problem, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)...
The Pet Safety and Protection Act (HR 3187), introduced May 13 by Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), would prevent companion dogs and cats from being acquired from random sources and sold for...
The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (HR 2811), a bill that would prohibit the sale of shark fins, was reintroduced in the House of Representatives this past Earth Day with 104 members signing on as...

AWI News

This year, AWI welcomes four esteemed individuals to its Scientific Committee: Drs. Frank Cipriano, Cristina Eisenberg, David Fraser, and Richard Reading. They will join three long-standing members on the committee: Drs. Roger Fouts, Viktor Reinhardt...

Reviews

From Lewis and Clark shooting the first ones they encountered, to sport hunters today killing hundreds in Alaska each year, humans have long persecuted North America’s brown (a.k.a. grizzly) bears. The bears, often acting in...
Animals’ Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild, by Barbara King, uses the power of storytelling to allow readers to peer into the lives of countless animals humans...
Alabama is known for many things, including beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, steel, peanuts, the music of Muscle Shoals, and college football. It is also home to one...

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