Winter 2023

Volume
72
Number
4
Photograph by Rolf Nussbaumer/NPL/Minden Pictures
About the Cover

Habitat loss and hunting nearly eradicated the US population of ocelots. Today, ocelots—like this one on a private refuge in Texas—are protected under the Endangered Species Act. In 2017, after USDA Wildlife Services activities in Texas and Arizona threatened ocelots, a lawsuit brought by AWI and allies ensured implementation of ESA-mandated measures to mitigate harm. On the ESA’s 50th anniversary, this issue of the AWI Quarterly includes a number of examples of the ESA in action. Learn more about how this landmark law operates to keep vulnerable species from disappearing.

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

Currently, there is no federal oversight of the use of invertebrates in research in the United States. In a welcome move, the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) has recently proposed...
Hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs are used for endotoxin testing in the United States each year, bled for their blood’s ability to clot in the presence of toxins. An estimated 10 to 30 percent...
Elon Musk and his biotech company Neuralink made headlines recently as multiple news organizations reported on requests for the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Musk’s claim that monkeys who perished in brain implant trials...
Institutions that receive Public Health Service (PHS) funding and conduct research using live vertebrate animals are required by law to have an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) that oversees the treatment of those...

Companion Animals

Dr. Mary Lou Randour, who served as senior policy advisor for AWI’s Animals and Interpersonal Violence program until her recent retirement, rarely shies away from a challenge—even if it involves convincing an institution as formidable...

Farmed Animals

Eggs are a staple of the Western diet. In the United States, 94 percent of Americans report consuming them, and annual egg consumption averages around 280 per person. In 2022, around 109.5 billion eggs were...
A recent, first-of-its-kind survey of more than 1,000 US egg consumers showed a high level of interest in a new technology called “in-ovo sexing” that can determine the sex of chicken embryos before they have...
A recent study published in Cambridge University’s Animal Welfare journal (Mood et al., 2023) estimates the number of farmed fishes slaughtered for food in global aquaculture from 1990 to 2019. The study authors first noted...
In October, the US Supreme Court denied a petition to review the Fourth Circuit ruling that struck down portions of the Property Protection Act—North Carolina’s latest ag-gag law—on the grounds that recording audio or video...
In November, the US Department of Agriculture published a final rule establishing animal welfare standards for the millions of animals raised on organic farms. The Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) rule is the result...
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced in September that it had launched a new exploratory sampling program to assess the accuracy of “no antibiotic” marketing claims for beef products. The common practice of...

Humane Education

AWI launched its scholarship program in December 2019. To date, we have provided 50 scholarships totaling $114,000. Available to graduating high school seniors entering college, the scholarship is intended to help develop future generations of...

Marine Life

For 53 years, the captive orca Tokitae (a.k.a. Toki, Lolita, and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut) lived in a tiny tank at Miami Seaquarium. She was a Southern Resident orca, a Pacific Northwest population listed as endangered in 2005...
The Rice’s whale was initially listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 2019 as a subspecies—the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale—but was reclassified as a unique species in 2021. Its primary threats include...
A critically endangered population of orcas, numbering only 40 individuals, inhabits the outer coastal waters of the Iberian Peninsula. Since spring 2020, these whales have been dramatically interacting with boats—mostly sailing yachts. These interactions started...
The global trade in ornamental fish is a multibillion-dollar business involving the annual global export of around 2 billion fish from 2,500 freshwater and marine species. Many are captured from the wild, often via inhumane...
The 2023 commercial whaling seasons ended with over 800 whales killed, yet fewer than anticipated. Norwegian whalers killed 507 minke whales, falling short of the 1,000 quota. In a shrinking Norwegian fleet, two large vessels...

Terrestrial Wildlife

Over 700 delegates met in Geneva for five days beginning in late November to deliberate over a full slate of issues at the 77 th meeting of the Standing Committee to the Convention on International...
In June, the Biden administration proposed regulations aimed at restoring Endangered Species Act implementing regulations that were weakened in 2019 under the prior administration. Those rollbacks curtailed protections afforded to threatened species, allowed consideration of...
For more than a decade, the legal advocacy of AWI and allies has helped ensure the continued existence of red wolves in the wild. This year, that work culminated in a historic settlement with the...
High in the clear blue skies over the Grand Canyon, California condors wheel slowly, searching for their next meal. In the shortgrass prairie of Wyoming, the dark eyes of black-footed ferrets peek out from the...

Government Affairs

The House appropriations committee and the full Senate have approved spending bills for the US Department of Agriculture, and both include important provisions for animal welfare. The House bill expresses Congress’s concern about the mounting...
The Endangered Species Act was signed into law in December 1973 to prevent the extinction of wildlife both at home and abroad. Fifty years later, it remains one of the strongest and most effective conservation...
In October, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) reintroduced the Ejiao Act (HR 6021) to protect donkeys from a burgeoning global trade that has claimed millions of these animals’ lives and resulted in terrible suffering. Ejiao (pronounced...
Scientists recently shared a small bit of positive news that the remaining number of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales (NARW) may be slightly higher than previously believed. The 2021 estimate of 340 individuals was...
The Endangered Species Act continues to face attacks in Congress. There are bills to prohibit the listing of species not native to the United States, to allow the government to delist species regardless of recovery...

In Remembrance

Longtime AWI board member Cynthia Wilson died in August at the age of 83. Cynthia served on AWI’s board for over 50 years, chairing the board for the final 20 of those years following the...
Dr. Michael Tillman, a long-time advocate for whales and conservation, died in July at the age of 80. Dr. Tillman was born in Seattle, but his roots extended northward: Through his maternal family, he was...

Reviews

Keggie Carew’s background is not in science (her career started in contemporary art), and it shows. Her book, Beastly: The 40,000-Year Story of Animals and Us, is not the first book to consider the combined...
“To us, roads signify connection and escape; to other life-forms, they spell death and division.” Ben Goldfarb’s Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet is an engaging study of “road ecology,”...
Sy Montgomery brings her passion for animals and talent for storytelling to focus on turtles in her 34th book, Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell. Turtles, she points out, are...