Deadline to submit comments is June 12!
The 21st Century Cures Act directs NIH to find ways to reduce the so-called “regulatory administrative burden” for those who conduct animal experiments, “while” maintaining animal welfare and research integrity. Animal research lobbyists are using this as an opening to reduce oversight and transparency meant to assure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. This would jeopardize the welfare of tens of thousands of animals at research facilities across the country.
Protecting animal welfare should never be considered a burden. It’s the right thing to do!
Yet, pro-animal research industry groups are calling for fewer inspections, more self-policing, and weakened requirements for considering alternatives that can replace the use of animals in experiments, which has been one of the most cited problems in USDA inspections.
The best way for labs to avoid problems with animal welfare oversight is to increase their use of alternative methods. More attention should be paid by federal agencies to further the development of alternatives and non-animal methods of investigation.
As NIH works to harmonize regulations and policies associated with animal research oversight, it must make the welfare of animals a top priority. Tell NIH that as it considers streamlining regulatory requirements, it must also ensure that AWA standards are strengthened, not weakened, and animal welfare is not compromised.