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Provide basic facts to the public on the use of live animals in research and teaching

This petition had 539 supporters


Under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act, the federal government requires all researchers using animals for experimentation to report annually on the animals they use. However, the current U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) system of collecting and reporting data about animals used in research, testing  and teaching is inadequate.

Information obtained under these reporting requirements is vague and sometimes misleading.  Critical data about how animal are used in research and their disposition once research is complete is unavailable. More meaningful information on animals use is essential to improving animal welfare, as reliable statistics are central to understanding how well the 3R’s—reduction, refinement and replacement—of animal use are being implemented.  APHIS needs to be more transparent about research on animals, especially since taxpayer dollars pay for the collection and dissemination of this information.

A petition for rulemaking has been submitted by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) urging APHIS to require all research facilities that use animals to include more accurate, detailed and useful information in their annual reports.  APHIS is now asking the public [http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0033-0001] to comment on whether new reporting requirements are needed. 

This is basic information which is already being collected by the research facilities, so almost no additional work would be required on the part of the facilities or their researchers. NAVS’ petition simply asks that the information be passed along to APHIS to facilitate more complete reporting on the part of the federal agency.

NAVS believes APHIS should require information on animal research and testing to include more detailed information by adopting the type of data collection system used by the European Union, including more basic information on the purpose of the research and making it available in a more transparent manner to the public. Doing so will help:

·         to better understand how and how many animals are used for research;

·         to measure progress made in implementing non-animal alternatives to animal research and testing, as required under APHIS regulations; and

·         to streamline the system of reporting so that it is more accurate and also easier for researchers and the public to use.

 

Please sign this petition and support NAVS in urging APHIS to provide more detailed and accurate information on how many and in what manner animals are being used for research, testing and education.  Your support is needed!

 

Docket No. APHIS-2015-0033, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

 

Dear Dr. Clarke,

In response to Docket 2015-0033, APHIS should amend Animal Welfare Regulations Recordkeeping requirements to require research facilities to provide more specific information on how animals are used in research, testing and education in our country. The public has a right to know how animals are used in research and how tax dollars are being spent.

Collection of more detailed and useful information on animal use is critical for improving animal welfare efforts. Detailed and reliable statistics on how animals are being used in research and teaching are key to understanding how well the 3R’s—reduction, refinement and replacement—are impacting the number of animals being used. This will help federal government agencies, licensees and the public develop strategies for how to better implement the 3R’s.

The information collected on the purpose of animal research should be at a level of detail equivalent to what has been collected in the European Union and reported in the “European Commission Annual Report on the Statistics on the Number of Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes in the Member States of the European Union.”

Concerns that the collection of more detailed information would cause an unfair burden on registered research facilities are unfounded. This information is already being collected by individual research facilities. The revised system of recordkeeping that has been proposed would ease data collection responsibilities of research facilities, as data regarding animal use would be collected and reported in a more comprehensive and functional electronic format. Because more comprehensive data would be reported in the publicly available Annual Report, it is anticipated that significantly fewer FOIA requests would be made. This should result in reducing the resources needed by research institutions and APHIS to fulfill FOIA requests.

Collection of this data would also enable research facilities to track the progress their implementation of the 3Rs is having in reducing the number of animals used by their institution.

Form 7023, which is now used to collect animal data, is missing critical information on animal use compared to the annual report template used in the European Union. This additional information is critical to obtaining a better understanding of how animals are being used in the United States. Some of the missing information includes the purpose for which animals are being used, the source from which animals are acquired and their genetic status.

I strongly support the proposal to require APHIS to move forward with rule-making to improve how and what information the agency collects and disseminates to the public.



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