AWI Quarterly » 2014 Summer

Summer 2014 Quarterly - Cover Photo by Mark Newman/FLPA/Minden Pictures
Summer 2014 Volume 63 Number 3
The Animal Welfare Institute is dedicated to improving the care and handling of animals in research facilities. From our earliest days, we have encouraged laboratory personnel to provide animals with comfortable housing and the opportunity to engage in species-typical behaviors, while sparing them needless suffering.
A May 2014 editorial in the journal Nature described “a project that aims to mutate every gene in the mouse genome to improve our knowledge of mouse biology,” that “should help avoid irreproducible results and costly failures in drug development.”
Is there something about the blood of a young organism that can improve the health of an older one?  Three recent publications from Harvard and Stanford suggest there is such a factor. The notion of helping people who suffer the debilitating diseases common to old age has generated enormous public exposure.
Determining the role of a drug or gene on our ability to learn is a truly difficult task. We all learn in slightly different ways. Add in disease states (such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s), or addictions (such as alcohol or drug), or different stages of life, and it becomes apparent that this is a very complicated issue, where “one size” does not fit all.
In late May 2014, Minnesota made history by enacting a law that offers greater hope of adoption for dogs and cats in research. The bill was sponsored by the Beagle Freedom Project and authored by State Senator Scott Dibble.
Governor Maggie Hassan is poised as we go to press to sign HB 1410, making New Hampshire the 27th state to allow courts to include pets in protection orders. What sets the New Hampshire bill apart from most other laws is that it covers livestock.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office has launched an innovative and provocative radio, television, and billboard campaign to encourage the public to call 911 to report animal abuse. The goal is to expose more instances not only of animal cruelty but also of domestic violence.
There is good news in the fight against a particularly egregious form of animal cruelty. On June 13, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned a lower court ruling that the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 is unconstitutional.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a proposed change to transportation regulations in order to reduce accidents and paperwork burdens.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indefinitely pulled its inspectors from Brooksville Meat Fabrication (“Brooksville”), a slaughterhouse in Bracken County, Kentucky, for inhumane handling and slaughtering of animals. Without USDA inspectors, Brooksville cannot legally process meat for sale in interstate commerce.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a lawsuit against USDA for its failure to protect the public from antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently took comments on their proposed new edition of Standards on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities.
AWI, along with several other animal advocacy groups, filed a rulemaking petition with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act to prevent the slaughter of non-ambulatory disabled (a.k.a. downer) pigs.
From its creation in 1946 until 2012, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) met annually. Having agreed to move to biennial meetings in 2012, it will meet for the 65th time (IWC65) this September in Slovenia.