The AWI Quarterly is the magazine of the Animal Welfare Institute. This full-color periodical examines issues regarding animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commercial trade, at home, and in the wild. It is distributed to over 46,000 individuals and organizations, including public libraries, deans of medical and veterinary schools, laboratory technicians, scientists, farmers, teachers, law enforcement officers, shelters, animal protection organizations, members of Congress, and AWI members.
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Mink in the wild are high-energy animals, always on the move and on the alert. They can adapt to life in forests, grasslands—even semideserts, if enough water is present. As indicated on the cover, they are also perfectly happy to roam intertidal zones in search of crustaceans, fish, and other prey. In contrast, mink on fur farms lead lives of extreme confinement, under miserable (and largely unregulated) conditions. Mink farms, in addition to being cruel, are under increasing scrutiny as incubators of COVID-19. It is time to end mink farming in the United States.
The spotlight this issue is on two wolf species—the red wolf (shown on the cover) and the gray wolf. AWI is suing the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for grossly mismanaging its Red Wolf Recovery Program (page 14). Meanwhile, the USFWS has lifted protections under the Endangered Species Act for gray wolves, leaving them at the mercy of state managers (page 16).
On page 14, AWI examines the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic as the world’s nations attempt to shape and enforce international marine life and wildlife protection agreements without the benefit of in-person meetings. As for endangered tigers, more exist in captivity in the United States than in the wild around the globe.
A ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii). Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal, hunted for their meat and scales, which—though made of simple keratin—are coveted for inclusion in traditional medicines. Wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, is not just harmful to animals. It’s harmful to us. This year, we are finding out just how dangerous it can be, as the COVID-19 virus—which jumped to us from captured wildlife—spreads around the globe and wreaks havoc on human society.