Winter 2011

Winter 2011 AWI Quarterly Cover - Photo by Polly Schultz
About the Cover

One-year-old Bob is a rabbit roommate to Keiki, a Java macaque at OPR Coastal Primate Sanctuary in Longview, Washington. OPR takes in monkeys formerly used in research laboratories, as well as unwanted or abused monkeys from private owners. OPR generally pair-houses monkeys with their own kind. Some, however, act aggressively toward other monkeys but will accept and nurture rabbit companions. Keiki arrived at the sanctuary in 2002 after his former owner pleaded no contest to animal abuse and surrendered custody. The monkey was in shock, with an untreated heart condition, a concussion, and a damaged finger (which had to be amputated) after his owner hit him with a stick for stealing one of her cigarettes. Keiki is thriving at OPR, and he and Bob have become inseparable friends. See page 14 to meet more OPR residents and learn about the sanctuary.

Photo by Polly Schultz

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

Whether animals have a sense of humor was the focus of a recent Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum (LAREF) discussion.
Miss Riley, a large stump-tailed macaque, selects a carrot and hands it to her roommate, Bugs.
For macaques and other primates in research laboratories, blood draws can be extremely stressful events. The anxiety and fear, however, may result not so much from any "phobia" involving the needle, but from the restraint...

Farmed Animals

When California voters passed Proposition 2 two years ago, they thought they were banning the confinement of egg-laying hens in tiny "battery cages."
Disasters like floods, roof collapses and fires are not uncommon occurrences on factory farms. And given the large numbers of animals confined on these operations, such emergencies can kill tens - even hundreds - of...
As director of AWI’s Animal Welfare Approved program, I recently had the opportunity to visit the Arapaho Ranch, in north-central Wyoming. At 580,000 acres, it is the largest USDA certified organic ranch in the U.S...
Poultry company OK Foods announced it intends to begin killing chickens by decompression, using a technique referred to as "vacuum stunning" or "low-atmospheric pressure killing."

Marine Life

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has created a manatee refuge for all of Kings Bay, the site of the animal’s largest winter habitat in Florida.
New research by scientists in South Florida indicates that a high percentage of stranded dolphins were almost deaf at the time of stranding. The cause of the near-deafness is unknown.

Terrestrial Wildlife

As the 111th Congress drew to a close, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) sought unanimous consent on a bill that would have delisted the gray wolf as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species...
Though several morphological differences exist between African savannah elephants and forest elephants, it has been a challenge to conclusively determine the genetic relationship between them. Up until now they have been classified as subspecies (...
In a large enclosed yard in a small town in southern Nepal, a man stands over a young water buffalo, a heavy sword held high in both hands.
After being caught attempting to pass a cache of snakes and a turtle through Kuala Lumpur International Airport into Indonesia, notorious wildlife smuggler Anson Wong of Malaysia initially received a lenient six-month jail sentence (as...
The industrial demand for inexpensive, versatile palm oil has significantly increased within the past five years. The oil - which originates from the fruit of the tropical oil palm tree ( Elaeis guineensis ) -...
Anticoagulant rat poisons - the number one method of rodent control used worldwide - may take a week or more to kill rodents. During this interim, the rodents continue to move around, leaving predatory wildlife...
People have long admired cranes for their tall and stately posture, their monogamous pair bonds involving ritual courtship dances and territorial unison calls, and their majestic flight. In some cultures, cranes symbolize peace and freedom.
Leaders from the 13 tiger range countries convened in St. Petersburg, Russia at the International Tiger Forum in November to discuss strategies to save the world’s remaining tigers.
Bat conservationists throughout North America are holding their breath this winter, waiting nervously for the grim news of spring: how much farther has white-nose syndrome (WNS) spread and how many more bat hibernation caves will...

Government Affairs

President Obama signed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act on December 9.
The council of the District of Columbia, on November 9, 2010, unanimously passed the Wildlife Protection Act (B18- 498), which imposes humane treatment standards upon nuisance animal control operators who work to remove wildlife from...
There is good news to report from the last days of the 111th Congress: Legislation to close loopholes in the 11-year-old ban on shark finning finally passed and was signed by the president. With one...

In Remembrance

I was in high school when John Gleiber met AWI’s founding president, Christine Stevens, at a dinner party. Christine invited John to her home the next day. It was 1975 and John was offered a...
On November 7, 2010, two weeks after his 91st birthday, long-time AWI colleague and whale advocate Robbins Wolcott Barstow, Jr. died at his home in Wethersfield, Connecticut.


The realization that mammals and birds are capable of experiencing pain and distress has had a profound influence on our relationship with them.