February 15, 2019

NIH RFI on Administrative Burden: NABR Comments and Word Limit Update

In 2016, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act. As a part of the act, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is required to review areas to reduce regulatory burden on investigators conducting animal research. The NIH solicited comments from the scientific community and provided a Draft Reportof their responses. The comment period for the Draft Report: Reducing Administrative Burden to Researchers for Animal Care and Use in Research will close on February 20. Originally, there was a 900-word limit for all comments, in which case, NABR was planning to submit two separate comments. However, the NIH has now increased the word limit to 2,700 words. This change is reflected on the submission site. All comments must be electronically submitted to: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=83 by February 20.

NABR’s draft comments can be found here: http://www.nabr.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/NABR-RFI-Comments-on-Draft-Report.pdf.

NABR Wants your Opinion Regarding Mandatory Adoption Policies

Mandatory adoption legislation has passed in 9 states, is pending in 13 states, and was introduced at the federal level in the 115th Congress. NABR would like to collect more information on adoption policy considerations, among our own members. Please take some time to fill out this survey. Survey results will be helpful in evaluating the community’s primary concerns when developing an institutional adoption policy or when facing mandatory adoption legislation. The results of this survey will remain private, within NABR, and will not be shared.  If such legislation has not yet been introduced in your state, it likely will be at some point in the future. NABR is already aware of at least two more states that will likely introduce bills this year.

PUPPERS Act Reintroduced in House of Representatives

Representatives Brian Mast (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV) have re-introducedthe “Preventing Unkind and Painful Procedures and Experiments on Respected Species Act,” also known as the PUPPERS Act. The goal of this bill is to end canine research at the Veterans Administration (VA). The last time this bill was introduced, it did not pass.

However, proponents were successful inserting language into the FY18 Omnibus bill which requires the Secretary of the VA to personally sign off on all pending canine protocols. The language prohibits, “research using canines unless: the scientific objectives of the study can only be met by research with canines; the study has been directly approved by the Secretary; and the study is consistent with the revised Department of Veterans Affairs canine research policy document released on December 18, 2017.” This language mirrors existing approval practices at the VA.

According to Rep. Titus, “It’s time to end dog testing at the VA once and for all.” This bill has continued to be pushed by the White Coat Waste Project (WCWP). In addition to this reintroduction, the WCWP campaign against VA canine research has prompted an Institute for Laboratory Animal Research study, an OLAW review, and an Inspector General investigation.

Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2019

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) has introduced the Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2019, H.R. 689, “to amend the Animal Welfare Act to ensure that all dogs and cats used by research facilities are obtained legally.”

This bill would prevent research institutions from obtaining cats and dogs from random source Class B dealers. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) cannot issue random source B dealer licensure due to language in previously passed appropriations bills. Having been introduced in every Congress since 1996, this is another piece of unnecessary legislation that would appear to have no material impact on biomedical research, however will likely be touted as a fundraising tool for animal rights organizations.

Pharma Canine Research Vilified on ‘The Pet Show’ (Video)

Supporters of the Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP), formerly the Beagle Freedom Project, received air time in friendly interview on WJLA’s “The Pet Show.” NABR strongly encourages all canine research institutions to view this video for a better understanding of the tactics being used.  You can watch the full video here.

NABR’s Next Webinar: Animal Law and the Animal Research Community

Join us, on Tuesday April 23, 2019, when Jerrold Tannenbaum Professor Emeritus of Veterinary and Animal Ethics and Law, School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California Davis will discuss “Animal Law and the Animal Research Community.

He will emphasize what the research community needs to know and what they need to do to address one of the most important threats to animal research - the recent emergence of the new field of animal law. Professor Tannebaum will discuss how animal law has become a central tool of animal activists in opposing animal research. He will also look at the significance of a development in activist legal theory that has thus far been ignored by many in the research community. He will emphasize that it is essential for supporters of animal research to understand how animal activists are attempting to use the law to achieve their aims, and to think seriously about what the research community should do. To register for the webinar:

FASEB Webinar on NHP Research

On Tuesday, February 26, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) will be hosting an educational webinar: “Why Do We Study Nonhuman Primates (NHP) and How is this Research Regulated”. Speakers will include Dr. Sabine Kastner, MD, PhD, Princeton Neuroscience Institute and Dr. Doty Kempf, DVM, Yerkes National Primate Research Center. You can register for free at FASEB’s website.

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