Animals are living things, not laboratory specimens

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The Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to regulate treatment of animals in research. It was designed to offer protection to warm blooded animals used in laboratory experimentation; it sets minimal care standards that must be adhered to by every registered and licensed scientist and laboratory. These care standards include consideration of an alternative, such as in vitro systems and computer simulations; design and performance of experiments with consideration to animal health; use of appropriate quantities and species; avoidance and minimization of pain and discomfort; appropriate anesthesia and sedation; creating humane limits as to how far the experiment can go; adequate veterinary care; appropriate transportation conducted by qualified and trained personnel; and in carrying out the experiment, a trained professional must be monitoring nearby. While these are all important, these regulations are only in place for 5% of all animals used in laboratory testing; of the 95% of animals not included are mice, birds, and rats of the genus Rattus. The USDA is the organization that enforces the AWA and enacts the rules and regulations. We are petitioning the United States Department of Agriculture to amend this act to include ALL animals used in testing because you cannot just pick and choose which species you want to consider animals. 



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