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Stricter law should be passed to ethically treat livestock animals

As a consequence of these occurrences, as well as pressure from animal protection groups and the public, Congress enacted laws to regulate the care and use of laboratory animals.

Animal welfare legislation

Currently there are several layers of oversight of animal research, which are outlined below. This law covered the transport, sale, and handling of animals and provided for licensing of animal dealers to prevent pet theft and their sale to research facilities. The original act covered dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits.

This act was passed with the help of the Animal Welfare Institute, an activist group led by Christine Stevens, which advocated more humane animal practices in laboratories. Department of Agriculture USDA enforces this act by inspecting laboratories and monitoring compliance with the act. The act, now known as the Animal Welfare Act AWAhas been amended four times 1970, 1976, 1985, and 1991each time elevating the standard of animal care.

The amendment of 1985 was the most extensive and had two very significant results. Similar committees had already existed to monitor clinical trials. The 1985 amendment to the AWA now extended the same careful review to research on animals. A quirk of the AWA, however, is the fact that it does not cover the most common species of laboratory animals, namely rats, mice, and birds.

Despite numerous efforts by the animal protection community to change the AWA to include rats, mice, and birds, an amendment was recently passed by Congress to permanently exclude rats, mice, and birds used in research from stricter law should be passed to ethically treat livestock animals by the Animal Welfare Act.

It should be noted, however, that these species are protected under Public Health Service Policy, though this oversight applies only to those research facilities that receive federal funding.

There are institutions, for example some private companies and small teaching colleges, which only use rats, mice, and birds that are not subject to the AWA or Public Health Service Policy. This law applies to any research facility that receives PHS funds, which includes most universities and colleges that perform animal research.

U.S. Law and Animal Experimentation: A Critical Primer

Scientists must comply with guidelines set forth in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals the Guide, see below.

Each animal protocol must include: The committee must also include at least one scientist experienced in animal research, a professional whose primary concerns are not scientific for example, an ethicist, clergyperson, or lawyer and a member who is not affiliated with the institution in any way and who is meant to represent the interests of the community at large. The IACUC also inspects animal facilities twice a year to ensure that the institution is in compliance with federal regulatory policy.

Massachusetts, for example, has its own laws governing the care of research animals, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health licenses and inspects animal research facilities that house dogs or cats. Many municipalities also have laws and regulations that establish more local control over animal research occurring in their jurisdiction. AAALAC International monitors animal care within the United States and accredits research institutions on a voluntary basis by evaluating laboratories every 3 years to ensure scientists comply with the guidelines set forth in the Guide.

The Guide has been updated six times. This includes zoos, circuses, research labs, hospitals, businesses, federal agencies, dealers, breeders, etc.

Each research institution that uses a covered species must have an IACUC review all animal experiment protocols. The USDA licenses research facilities and conducts annual, unannounced inspections. Violations are punished with fines, cease-and-desist orders, and license suspension or revocation. PHS Policy Protects all vertebrate animals including fish, reptiles, rats, mice, and birds used in research funded by the Public Health Service. IACUC members must inspect their research facility twice a year.

Accreditation is on a voluntary basis only. Announced site visits are conducted every 3 years. The purpose of this directive was to eliminate the disparities in laboratory animal protection laws among member nations. The directive outlines principles such as reduction in the number of animals used in research; guidelines for the adequate care of animals; elimination of unnecessary pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm; and avoidance of unnecessary duplication of experiments.

While the provisions of the directive are specific, it is left to each member nation to determine how these provisions will be enacted and enforced.

  1. In 23 states, [ 96 ] circuses are specifically exempted from these provisions.
  2. Anyone who is concerned with animals shall, insofar as circumstances permit, safeguard their welfare. Delaware Delaware requires licenses for circuses, but exempts certain not-for-profit circuses or where religious groups are affiliated with or benefit from circus proceeds.
  3. The issuance of a project license is dependent on several factors including adherence to the 3Rs see 3Rs section , justification of cost and benefit, and training and experience. Issues of Standing to Sue Even where violations of other state and federal laws occur in circuses, litigants face other obstacles in bringing lawsuits against circuses at the federal and state levels.
  4. The 1985 amendment to the AWA now extended the same careful review to research on animals.
  5. The regulatory frameworks differ in each state but are based on the Australian Code of Practices for the Care and Use of Animal for Scientific Purposes, which was enacted in 1969 and last amended in 2004.

The directive also provided that each nation must comply with the directive by 1989 and that every 3 years each member nation must submit a report on the number of animals used in research.

This act also known as ASPA provides for the licensing of experimental and other scientific procedures carried out on any vertebrate animal that may cause pain, suffering, distress, or lasting harm.

  1. The Animals Inspectorate is responsible for assessing applications for licenses and for inspecting work in progress to ensure compliance with ASPA, and each project must undergo an in-house ethical review process that usually involves a committee much like an IACUC.
  2. In the 1960s, the US Congress received more letters from citizens concerned with animal welfare issues than letters concerning civil rights and the Vietnam War.
  3. This responsibility now lies with the Ministry of Science and Technology, which administers the statute on the Administration of Laboratory Animals Order No.
  4. These standards encompass all areas of circus animal care including transportation, housing, exhibition, husbandry and training and are endorsed by the Circus Federation of Australasia.

This act covers all scientific procedures on any vertebrate animal from a simple blood draw to major surgery. While this act was passed in 1986, it continues to be amended to keep pace with changing attitudes and knowledge regarding animal care and use. The ASPA regulates through licensing projects and individuals.

Project licenses are issued to those responsible for directing research programs and personal licenses are issued to individuals performing specific scientific procedures such as giving an injection or taking a blood sample.

The Animals Inspectorate is responsible for assessing applications for licenses and for inspecting work in progress to ensure compliance with ASPA, and each project must undergo an in-house ethical review process that usually involves a committee much like an IACUC.

Animal Welfare

The issuance of a project license is dependent on several factors including adherence to the 3Rs see 3Rs sectionjustification of cost and benefit, and training and experience. When the justification of the project is considered, several issues are further examined, such as the number of animals used, the specific product or knowledge that will be gained, and the severity of the procedures involved.

Personal licenses depend mostly on sponsorship, that is, having a recognized authority vouch for an applicant's qualifications, training, experience, competence, and character. The personal license also dictates the individual's level of supervision and outlines the specific guidelines on the use of anesthetics, drugs, animal husbandry, and so forth that must be followed.