Action Needed: Letters of Support for NABR DOT Complaint
Many NABR members may be aware we have filed an official complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the refusal of major airlines to carry animals for the purpose of research. The importation of non-human primates (NHPs) for research into the U.S. has become problematic. Further, the transport of several other research species around the world has also become increasingly challenging. As a result, the research community is beginning to see increased costs and uncertainty about the future of research projects. However, without access to the appropriate models for medical research, the public stands to lose the most, as treatments for emerging public health crises may be delayed, discontinued, or moved to other countries.
We strongly encourage research institutions to submit letters of support for NABR’s complaint on the DOT docket which argues that airlines’ refusal to ship research animals violates common carrier rules regarding discrimination of cargo. Our European counterparts have done an excellent job getting letters on the record. Now we need American research institutions and individuals to weigh in on this. Instructions for how to access the docket can be downloaded here: http://www.nabr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Instructions-for-Access-DOT-docket.docx. NABR has also made a template letter available for download.
Please take a moment to file a personal comment of support or draft a letter on behalf of your organization.
The following organizations have currently filed (in chronological order) comments in support of the complaint:
Council on Governmental Relations Basel Declaration Society Bioculture (Mauritius) Ltd. Merck KGaA American Society for Laboratory Animal Practitioners GIRCOR BFC Israel Ellegaard Gottingen Minipigs Noveprim Ltd. American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Agenda Resource Management Envigo Society for Neuroscience Research4life American Veterinary Medical Association Camarney S.L.U. Federation of European Neuroscience Societies American Association for Laboratory Animal Science European Animal Research Association University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center Association of Primate Veterinarians
While there is no official deadline for comments on the DOT docket, it would be best to file them by next Tuesday, September 25 when the airlines named in the complaint are expected to file their responses. It will be extremely helpful for DOT attorneys to see research comments prior to the airlines’ legal responses. If you are unable to meet this unofficial “deadline,” you may still file a letter at any point afterwards.