AWI Quarterly » 2015 Fall

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Fall 2015 AWI Quarterly - Cover, Photo by Jim Brandenburg/Minden Pictures
Fall 2015 Volume 64 Number 4
On October 16, 2015, Alice Ra’anan and Bill Yates of the American Physiological Society published a blog post for Speaking of Research entitled “Caveat Emptor,” with the subtitle “A current USDA case involving a major antibody producer underscores the need for the research community to demonstrate its commitment to high standards of animal welfare.”
On November 18, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it would retire all of its remaining chimpanzees used for research and relocate them to sanctuaries. In 2013, as a result of a report by the Institute of Medicine, the NIH had retired most of its chimpanzees (about 310), but maintained 50 for use in future research.
The Symposium on Social Housing of Laboratory Animals will be held on March 17–18, 2016, on the campus of the University of California, Davis. The meeting, co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing,
AWI is pleased to announce publication of the tenth edition of Comfortable Quarters for Laboratory Animals, our guide to the humane housing and handling of animals in research. AWI has produced editions of Comfortable Quarters for the past half century to serve as a key resource for animal care personnel in laboratories.
On September 8, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas announced that Ashley Nicole Richards pleaded guilty to five counts of producing and distributing crush videos that depicted the torturing and killing of dogs and cats.
After a years-long effort by animal advocates, dog fighting is now an offense under New Jersey’s racketeering statute. The new law (S 736) creates two new crimes: “dog fighting,” which has also been added to the list of offenses under the state’s anti-racketeering law, and “leader of a dog fighting network.”
After a successful trial run in Illinois, Amtrak is expanding its Pets Aboard service to certain Northeast Corridor routes. Passengers may bring their cat or small dog with them on most Northeast Regional trains between Boston, Massachusetts, and Norfolk, Virginia, and on Downeaster trains between Boston and Maine.
When it comes to animal cruelty cases, it is often hard to tell whether the glass is half empty or half full. Some individuals who have committed heinous acts of abuse are not even prosecuted, while others are held accountable. Although there are still far too many sad and disappointing examples of the former, instances of the latter are on the rise.
In Massachusetts, AWI has joined veterinarians, farmers and other animal protection groups to get some of the most extreme confinement practices on factory farms banned through a new ballot initiative.
In September 2015, the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an interim report on its investigation into the allegations of animal abuse at the US Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) by The New York Times (see AWI Quarterly, spring 2015).
McDonald’s announced that for its US and Canadian restaurants, over the next 10 years it will transition to eggs acquired solely from producers using cage-free operations.
This year, poultry producers in the United States have dealt with the worst outbreak of avian influenza in US history. Between January and June, nearly 50 million chickens and turkeys on 232 poultry operations were killed after being affected by the disease. The total economic cost of the outbreak is an estimated 4 to 5 billion dollars.
After a long and winding process, a federal court has turned aside Georgia Aquarium’s attempt to import wild beluga whales from Russia. In June 2012, Georgia Aquarium applied for a Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) permit to import 18 wild-caught beluga whales from the Sea of Okhotsk.
AWI has long been involved in the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme, and specifically its Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol), which prohibits the taking of listed flora and fauna species. Sea turtles and orcas are listed species and are therefore protected.