AWI Quarterly » 2006 Summer

Summer 2006 Volume 55 Number 3
Growing public concern about the way animals are treated in agriculture, laboratories, the pet trade, the entertainment industry and the wild has led to a rise in proposed animal welfare legislation.
Since the 1968 publication of Stanford University biologist Dr. Paul Ehrlich's classic book The Population Bomb, the potential consequences of the human population explosion have been a heated matter of debate. Today, the effects of overpopulation are merely becoming more and more apparent. Beyond the phenomenon's obvious impacts on human societies-poverty, hunger, disease and the breakdown of social structures-its effect on our environment and the world's animals is worsening.
Organic food production is based on a system of farming that mimics natural ecosystems and maintains and replenishes the fertility of the soil. Many consumers believe this approach to food production ensures farm animal well-being. Indeed, access to pasture-often associated with organic farming-protects foot and leg strength, wards off lameness and hoof lesions, promotes udder health, enhances the immune system and allows the animals to satisfy their natural behavior patterns and alleviate stress. In addition, maintaining pastures benefits the soil and improves the quality of milk.
Name Calling: Bottlenose Dolphins
For residents of New York City, Central Park is an oasis within the city's concrete jungle, where the hustle and bustle of city life can be forgotten amidst the greenery. But for a coyote named Hal, the park became a death trap as he was doggedly pursued by ground and air until chased, cornered, sedated and finally captured over the course of two days in April 2006. After recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, Hal's story should have had a happy ending with his release back into the wild.
Last summer, a Davenport, Iowa reporter broke the story that plans were underway for building a pig slaughterhouse in nearby East Moline, Ill. The town mayor denied any knowledge about the development. A few months later, residents learned there were plans to annex several hundred acres of land, and over 100 people packed the city hall wanting to know the purpose. By November, East Moline city officials were clearly working on a deal with the pork company Triumph Foods.
Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good By Jonathan Balcombe Macmillan, 2006 ISBN: 1403986010 256 pages; $24.95
Oregon Primate Rescue founder Polly Schultz works with a cynomolgus monkey who demonstrates self awareness by recognizing her own mirror image.
Researchers Evan MacLean and Sheila Roberts Prior of Duke University reveal what's wrong with the traditional double-tier primate caging system.
Swedish farmers Gun and Martin Rangnarsson employ the deep-bedded system, allowing piglets to benefit from a natural environment. This improved housing method is catching on in the United States.
Anticipation PRIMATES AND BIRDS Do apes share our ability to plan ahead? A new study showing bonobos and orangutans can select, transport and save a suitable tool for future use is making scientists rethink cognitive evolution.