ACTIVATE FOR ANIMALS – SEPTEMBER 2017

USDA STILL BLOCKING ACCESS TO WELFARE REPORTS

You love animals, right? Of course you do! We care about what happens to all animals, not just our dog and cat companions, but also the ones we don’t often see, like those in laboratories, commercial breeders, circuses, zoos, and puppy mills. USDA regulates these facilities and the public expects the agency to protect animal welfare by upholding the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). However, USDA is still not allowing access to all animal welfare records and legal documents previously available on its website.

How can we be sure that animals are being adequately cared for and that USDA is doing its job?

Having access to public records, such as those required by the AWA, is important in AAVS’s effort to inform the public on the use of animals in science, but now reliable info is much more difficult to acquire. For example, for years AAVS has monitored random source Class B dealers, which acquire dogs and cats from shelters and sell them to labs, by accessing their animal welfare inspection reports online. However, this information is not available online for certain Class B dealers, including those with a history of violating the AWA.

The reports and documents that USDA is currently making available still have notable omissions and inconsistencies, raising questions about whether information on facilities is complete. The public has the right to know how animals are treated at the facilities USDA regulates. Not only does this provide transparency, it also helps to keep individuals and facilities accountable for their actions.

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In the News

FDA Suspends Addiction Test on Monkeys

After receiving comments from Jane Goodall describing the FDA’s use of squirrel monkeys in nicotine addiction research as “shameful” and “cruel and unnecessary,” the agency has halted its experiment. Addicted monkeys were trained to press a lever to give themselves a dose of nicotine, and four reportedly have died since the start of the experiment in 2014. FDA has stated that it will “evaluate the safety and well-being of the monkeys,” as well as access the “science and integrity” of the testing to decide whether or not it should be resumed.

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NAVY EXPERIMENTS ON DOLPHINS

For decades, the U.S. Navy has maintained a facility in San Diego where dolphins are kept and trained to detect underwater mines. They are also used in experiments to study diabetes, subject to invasive procedures including blubber biopsies and anal catheterizations, and suffer from a number of chronic diseases, like other marine mammals in captivity. Dolphins in the wild live in large family groups, have a complex social structure, and travel miles a day. The millions of dollars funding this program would be better spent on conservation.

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NIH AWARDS $15M FOR ALTERNATIVES

For decades, the U.S. Navy has maintained a facility in San Diego where dolphins are kept and trained to detect underwater mines. They are also used in experiments to study diabetes, subject to invasive procedures including blubber biopsies and anal catheterizations, and suffer from a number of chronic diseases, like other marine mammals in captivity. Dolphins in the wild live in large family groups, have a complex social structure, and travel miles a day. The millions of dollars funding this program would be better spent on conservation.

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BLUEBELL THANKS YOU!

Last week, AAVS sent out an emergency alert asking for donations to help primate sanctuaries damaged by Hurricane Irma. You came through—thank you! Thousands of dollars were raised and 100% of these donations have already been forwarded to Jungle Friends and the Center for Great Apes. If you haven’t had a chance to give for this cause, it’s not too late!

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