Fall 2017

Photograph by Doug Perrine/Minden Pictures
Volume
66
Number
3
About the Cover

A Bryde’s whale surrounded by sardines off Baja California. Bryde’s whales were increasingly targeted by commercial whalers during the 20th century, after other species were hunted nearly to extinction. Today, there is growing recognition that whales provide far greater ecological—and economic—bounty when left in the ocean. Whales sequester carbon and boost marine productivity via a surprising source: fecal plumes. Whale feces, it turns out, jumpstart marine food chains by stimulating the production of phytoplankton. See the article on page 6 for more on the vital role of whales in ecosystem functioning.

Photograph by Doug Perrine/Minden Pictures.

Table of Contents

Wildlife

AWI and a number of conservation and wildlife organizations formally petitioned the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services program and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture in June for an immediate ban on the use of M-44 cyanide devices...
On June 21, AWI and allies sued the Wildlife Services program of the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) over the program’s “Wildlife Damage Management” efforts in northern California. The...
In June, a federal judge in Arizona struck down the Department of Justice’s longstanding “McKittrick Policy.” This policy advised the DOJ’s attorneys to prosecute individuals who killed threatened and endangered species in violation of the...
The Namibian government has granted an export permit allowing a game farm in the country to take five young elephants away from their families and sell them to a safari park in Dubai. The elephants—reportedly...
With very few exceptions, Africa’s Sahel—a strip of Africa that lies just south of the Sahara Desert—is a barren, devastated place populated largely by semi-nomadic Fulani herdsmen who keep watch over far too many sickly,...
In September of last year, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed significantly reducing the range of the existing wild population of red wolves by removing individual wolves from the wild in order to increase...
Ocelots may have a better chance at survival in the United States, thanks to a June 26 settlement AWI and the Center for Biological Diversity reached with the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant...

Animals in Laboratories

AWI’s latest analysis of the enormous number of vital animal welfare records still missing from the US Department of Agriculture’s website reveals that, following the Contender Farms v. USDA lawsuit involving plaintiffs associated with the...
AWI is dedicated to improving the care, housing, 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...

Government Affairs

In 2013, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman established an Animal Cruelty Initiative to focus on prosecuting animal cruelty crimes and protecting consumers from unscrupulous companion animal dealers. Earlier this year, his office struck a...
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to maintain the long-standing ban on horse slaughterhouse inspections by the US Department of Agriculture. Prohibiting these inspections effectively prevents such plants from operating in this country. However, the House...
There is more good news regarding a multijurisdiction cockfighting case first reported in the fall 2015 AWI Quarterly . The case focused on the Big Blue Sportsman’s Club in eastern Kentucky, where cockfights had been...
There is another addition to the growing body of case law acknowledging that companion animals are not mere property. As reported by the Toledo Blade late last year, Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals “has...
The 115th Congress has declared war on the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Even though the ESA has a 99 percent success rate in preventing the extinction of listed species and 90 percent of the American...

Marine Life

What if an animal could entertain and educate millions of people annually, enhance productivity (thereby increasing the number of fish in the sea), mitigate climate change, feed billions of marine animals, generate billions of dollars...
AWI seeks to persuade not just the general public and policymakers, but zoos and aquariums themselves, that cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) do not belong in captivity. Accordingly, AWI’s Dr. Naomi Rose agreed to participate...
Eight North Atlantic right whales have died since early June, a devastating blow to a population that numbers roughly 500. This disaster has been compounded by the tragic death of Joe Howlett, a founding member...
Japan has adopted a new law that (1) guarantees huge state subsidies for its otherwise nonviable whaling industry, (2) seeks to raise demand for whale meat, and (3) establishes penalties against foreign protesters. With uncharacteristic...
On July 6, AWI cosponsored a “Save the Vaquita” rally at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC. The well-attended gathering (despite pouring rain) received wide coverage in Mexican media and followed a flurry of actions...
For years, the animal protection community, including AWI, has maintained that the tank for Lolita, the lone orca who has languished for over 45 years at the Miami Seaquarium, does not meet the minimum space...
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee held its annual meeting in mid-May, once again choosing Bled, Slovenia, as its venue. AWI’s Dr. Naomi Rose attended, focusing (as she has in previous years) on work...

Farm Animals

Tyson Foods recently announced a new welfare initiative for its chicken production. Slaughtering 1.8 billion chickens per year, Tyson is the largest poultry producer in the United States. Likely as a result of consumer interest...
According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), between its peak in 2002 and the most recent survey in 2014, the use of the hormone recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) by the dairy...
Since October 2016, Vermont Packinghouse—a small slaughter facility in Springfield, Vermont—has received four suspensions and over a dozen noncompliance records documenting humane slaughter violations. The plant was issued the suspensions after committing several egregious violations,...

Humane Education

Each year, AWI, in partnership with the Humane Education Network, holds the “A Voice for Animals” competition. High school students from all over the world are invited to submit essays, photo essays, or videos that...
In 2009, when Carter and Olivia Ries of Fayetteville, Georgia, were just 8 and 7 years old, they founded One More Generation (OMG) to educate children and adults about the plight of endangered species. They...

In Remembrance

August 1, 1929 – June 18, 2017 North American wildlife lost one of their staunchest advocates with the death in June of esteemed author and naturalist Hope Ryden. AWI is honored to have worked with...

Reviews

Deborah Bird Rose, Thom van Dooren, and Matthew Chrulew / Columbia University Press / 256 pages A recent report published by the National Academy of Sciences warns of impending massive extinctions if corrective response is...
2017 / Camilla H. Fox / 60 minutes Killing Games: Wildlife in the Crosshairs , a new film produced and distributed by Project Coyote (with some support from AWI), serves as an overview of wildlife...
Viktor and Annie Reinhardt / AWI / 81 pages Placing rats in an open field increases their level of the stress hormone prolactin. There is something, however, that can temper this stress response: the ability...