Winter 2021

Volume
70
Number
4
Winter 2021 Quarterly Cover
About the Cover

Chinchillas, with their large ears and similar hearing to humans, are often used for research on ear diseases. Moulton Chinchilla Ranch in Minnesota has long been a primary supplier of chinchillas for this purpose. That appears poised to end. AWI has repeatedly called out the US Department of Agriculture for failing to enforce the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) against Moulton—who, since 2014, has amassed more direct citations than any other entity regulated under the law. In October, at long last, an administrative law judge revoked owner Daniel Moulton’s dealer license, citing a long and horrific pattern of AWA violations. For more on this case, see page 11.

Table of Contents

Animals in Laboratories

They are captured from the wild, piled inside plastic bins, and hauled into labs where they are strapped to a stand. A hypodermic needle is inserted into the membrane surrounding their heart, causing their blood...
On October 8, US Department of Agriculture administrative law judge Jill Clifton permanently revoked the dealer license of Daniel Moulton, who for decades had been a primary supplier of chinchillas for experimentation (see AWI Quarterly...

Companion Animals

On October 29, the US Department of Agriculture permanently revoked the license of Iowa dog breeder Daniel Gingerich and fined him $500,000, after the Department of Justice filed a complaint for injunctive relief a month...

Farm Animals

AWI is urging the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to revise its guidelines to no longer permit killing animals by inducing heat stroke, a method known as ventilation shutdown plus (VSD+). This method has been...
Following a series of devastating wildfires, the state of California is investing $3 million to better protect animals when disasters strike. The funding, which is provided through the state’s 2021 Budget Act, will go toward...
The viability of 89 family-owned organic dairy farms in the Northeast is now in jeopardy following an announcement by Horizon Organic, the world’s largest organic dairy brand, that it will be dropping these farms as...
In late August, AWI sent a letter to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack about an incident in which 207 cattle (over 9%) onboard a shipment from Delaware to Qatar died from largely preventable conditions. According to...
What will it take for the US Department of Agriculture and local law enforcement to take bird abandonment seriously? Apparently, five incidents resulting in the death of over 20,000 birds at one facility alone is...

Marine Life

AWI has previously reported on Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut importing five beluga whales from MarineLand in Canada. (See AWI Quarterly, winter 2020.) The National Marine Fisheries Service issued a permit in August 2020 under the...
In September, the administrative law judge who presided over the November 2019 hearing regarding the Makah tribe’s request for a waiver of the Marine Mammal Protection Act gave his formal recommendation to the National Marine...
For over 50 years, Lolita (a.k.a. Tokitae, Toki, and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut), an orca originally captured from the Southern Resident killer whale population, has been languishing as the only orca in a tiny tank at the Miami...
The International Whaling Commission, established in Washington, DC, and headquartered in the United Kingdom since the 1950s, celebrated its 75th anniversary on December 2, 2021. AWI has participated in almost every meeting of the IWC...
by Julia Dombroski, Syracuse University The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirsotris) is an endemic subspecies of West Indian manatee that inhabits inland and coastal waters of the southeastern United States. Its population is threatened by...
Scientists in South America are studying the recovery of southern right whales after many decades of whaling in the past and ongoing human threats, including entanglement in fishing nets, ship strikes, pollution, anthropogenic ocean noise...

Wildlife

Since 2007, the Christine Stevens Wildlife Award, named after AWI’s late founder and long-time president, has provided over $900,000 in grants in total to over 85 award recipients to support innovative research to humanely study...
This is part two of a two-part series. In our previous issue, we described the devastating impacts that a warming planet is having on wildlife and its habitat. Here, we examine initiatives the Biden administration...
The US Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program recently killed eight wolf pups on federal public lands in Idaho. Conservation groups and a representative of Timberline High School—named after one of the affected packs—sent a...
An underwater pipeline ruptured about five miles off California’s southern coast in early October, spewing at least 25,000 gallons of oil into the sea. While the exact cause remains unclear, investigators believe the pipeline may...
In October, Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Parliament published a blistering report entitled Health and wellbeing of kangaroos and other macropods in New South Wales, taking to task the NSW government for serious issues regarding...
Forensic analysis conducted by Dr. Sam Wasser led to the recent arrest of two men from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for conspiring to bring more than two tons of ivory, a ton of...
A recent study that surveyed attitudes regarding red wolves found that, while a broad majority of the population liked and supported the wolves, a small minority of poachers is driving the species toward extinction in...

Government Affairs

Congress has made little progress on finalizing fiscal year 2022 spending bills—an unfortunate circumstance given that many of them include important provisions that would benefit animals. The House agriculture appropriations bill provides funds to assist...
In October, Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) reintroduced the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act. A longstanding AWI priority, this bill would prohibit the import and export of, as well as interstate commerce in, two of...
As part of its coronavirus relief package, Congress gave the US Department of Agriculture $300 million to monitor susceptible wild and domestic animals for the presence of COVID-19. Over the summer, the department proposed a...
The Horse Protection Act (HPA) was passed in 1970 to clamp down on the practice of soring (intentionally injuring horses’ legs and hooves) to create a more high-stepping gait for walking horse shows. Weak enforcement...
For years, US Department of Agriculture inspectors dutifully documented suffering: Chinchillas with eyes swollen, weeping, and sealed shut; a thin, unresponsive chinchilla, missing part of her leg, brutally “euthanized” by breaking her neck; another with...

Reviews

In 2005, hundreds of thousands of companion animals died or were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. Pictures of abandoned pets taking refuge on the roofs of cars and houses flooded the media. This tragedy highlighted...
Eloquence of the Sardine: Extraordinary Encounters Beneath the Sea by Bill François, a French physicist and naturalist, is full of fascinating and thought-provoking information about life beneath the waves. Through science and storytelling, François explores...
Susan Orlean is a gifted and well-read writer. I enjoyed reading The Library Book and therefore approached On Animals with eager anticipation. Less than a quarter of the way through it, my eager anticipation changed...

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