• Animal Care

    Federal Regulators Must Enforce Animal Welfare Law to Protect Toki

    Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is urging the US Department of Commerce and the US Department of Agriculture to initiate enforcement actions against Miami Seaquarium (MSQ) for failing to protect the health and welfare of its animals, particularly Toki (also known as Tokitae, Lolita, and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut), the world’s oldest captive orca. Toki has been languishing in the world’s smallest orca tank for half a century. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible for administering the Animal Welfare Act through regulations specific to marine mammals such as Toki. The Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for…

  • Animal Care

    Federal inspectors issue warning after finding animal welfare violations at Virginia Tech | State and Regional News

    “Virginia Tech has been aware of the USDA concerns and has been working with them since the inspection to address the issues raised,” Mark Owczarski, associate vice president for university relations, said in a statement to The Virginia Mercury. “We are doing so with great diligence and care and we believe that all matters will be addressed.” Owczarski said he did not have additional information on specific actions the university has taken to correct the violations. Federal inspectors also found multiple problems with Virginia Tech’s animal housing. Seven sheep and five cow pastures do not provide any shade for the animals “by either natural or artificial means,” the report noted.…