On-Demand Viewing Now Available for Last Week’s NABR Webinar

Last week’s NABR webinar, “The 2017 USDA Inspection Data: Celebrating a New Milestone in Compliance?” is now available online for on-demand viewing by NABR members with credentials for the Members Only section.

Please click here to view “The 2017 USDA Inspection Data: Celebrating a New Milestone in Compliance?” Again, you will need your NABR members-only log-in credentials to watch the presentation.

If you have problems logging-in, please contact us at info@nabr.org.

NBC News Spotlights Canine Cancer Research

In case you missed it, a segment on Saturday's NBC Nightly News broadcast with Lester Holt was dedicated to exploring some promising cancer research involving dogs.

As explained by NBC News Medical Correspondent Dr. John Torres, 20 major medical centers are conducting clinical trials for drugs that could potentially cure cancer in dogs. "Humans and dogs are 95% identical genetically—and the diseases that affect humans, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma, are almost identical."

Click here to learn why so many researchers are turning to man's best friend for new cancer treatments that could benefit humans and companion animals alike. The segment perfectly exemplifies the Foundation for Biomedical Research's (FBR) outreach campaign: "Love Animals? Support Animal Research."

HSUS CEO Resigns Amid Harassment Allegations

On Friday, Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) resigned amid numerous claims of inappropriate behavior. Pacelle’s resignation comes after HSUS’s board voted to keep the CEO, prompting seven board members to issue their resignations. Kitty Block has been named interim chief executive.

HSUS, one of the largest animal rights organizations in the country, has historically been a staunch challenger to animal research and even has a section of its website devoted to the “troubling issue of animal research.”

To read POLITICO’s coverage of the claims of harassment at HSUS, please click here.

New NIH Working Group to Develop Guidelines for Chimpanzee Retirement

What to do with nearly 300 retired research chimpanzees has remained a question for quite some time. Currently in three medical research centers, the animals have been awaiting transfer to the only federal retirement sanctuary: Chimp Haven.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to organize a working group for developing recommendations for veterinarians to consider when or if to transfer chimpanzees. This comes after a number of deaths of former research chimps shortly after arriving at the sanctuary. The unavoidable stress of moving the animals, many of which are elderly and sick, has raised concerns leading many to question whether moving the animals at all is a wise endeavor.

“Retirement in place” at the medical research centers, in the animals’ existing social groupings, has been suggested as a preferable alternative. The NIH’s formation of a working group could signal a reevaluation of the subject of research chimpanzee retirement.

Nature covered this story early in the week, which can be read in its entirely here.

CNN Features NABR, FBR President in Coverage of FDA Nicotine Research

This morning, Matt Bailey, NABR and Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) president, expressed concerns in an article by CNN covering the recent decision by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to end nicotine studies with primates.

Countering claims by Justin Goodman, Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy of the animal rights organization the White Coat Waste Project (WCW), that such research is a misuse of federal tax dollars, Bailey said, “Research into the effects of nicotine is indeed a public health issue, especially given the rise in popularity of vaping devices among teenagers.” Adding, "My understanding is that the research project in question aimed to determine whether there is or is not a safe level of nicotine absorption by young people." "That's an important question," said Bailey.

Bailey also addressed concerns regarding additional regulatory burden, saying any efforts to augment animal care must be done without impeding the speed of finding breakthroughs. "Additional oversight efforts need to be balanced by efforts to reduce the significant amount of regulatory burden felt daily by research scientists in the US."

"Animals played a role in the development of each of the top 25 most prescribed drugs in America," Bailey said. Adding that our pets, farm animals and wildlife also benefit from medical treatments developed in part from animal research, he noted, "Farm animals and wildlife are routinely vaccinated against any number of diseases, but those vaccines wouldn't be available without animal research. So if you love animals, you really should support animal research."

"Undoubtedly, some will argue that this recent action by the FDA is a reason to end research with animal models. But given the inextricable role humane and responsible animal research plays in the health of the overall population, and the health of the animals about which we care so deeply, that is a very dangerous proposition," he said.

Please click here to read Bailey’s interview by CNN

Time is Running Out to Register for NABR’s Next Webinar!

Time is running out to sign up for NABR's next webinar! If you would like to attend and have not yet reserved your spot for “The 2017 USDA Inspection Data: Celebrating a New Milestone in Compliance?”, scheduled for next Tuesday Feb. 6 at 12:30 p.m. (EST), please do so immediately.

NABR collects information from the USDA’s Animal Care Inspection System database each year to review the inspection results for the previous fiscal year. Our efforts this year were complicated by a lack of access to the searchable database which could be used to download data into spreadsheets for what would have been a relatively straightforward analysis of the actual inspection data. The new Public Search Tool provides data efficiently, but the data is difficult to analyze. Fortunately, with our analysis, we will provide you with valuable insight into the inspection process.

Join NABR next week on Tuesday, Feb. 6 as we look at FY2017 data and compare it to analyses from previous years. Our findings will demonstrate how the research community continues to improve compliance with the letter and spirit of the regulations. This information will help you manage your own animal care and use program in the coming fiscal year. As always, registration is complimentary for dues-paying NABR members and subscribers. Nonmembers are welcome to attend, but a fee will be applied

 

USDA-ACIS Database Lawsuit Dismissed

Last year, on February 3, 2017, in response to a privacy lawsuit about the Horse Protection Act (HPA), the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed from its website the Animal Care Information System (ACIS) database. The ACIS database consisted of documents concerning inspection and licensing of animal research facilities.

A coalition of animal rights groups and activists, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Delcianna Winders, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Born Free USA, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) filed a lawsuit alleging the removal of ACIS information violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As the lawsuit progressed, APHIS continued to review, update, and repost the documents, completing an official review and republishing many of the documents on its website in September 2017. APHIS then filed a motion to dismiss PETA’s lawsuit on various grounds.

On January 18, 2018, U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper dismissed the case, finding PETA’s claims were moot, considering most of the documents had by this time been reposted by APHIS. Regarding the documents that were not reposted, the judge dismissed without prejudice PETA’s complaint, finding those documents could be obtained with a normal FOIA request by PETA, which would allow APHIS to decide whether the documents should be redacted or withheld.

Matthew R. Bailey, FBR President, said exactly that when he spoke to the media last year: “I would certainly agree that protection of personal information is of utmost importance, given the rich history of targeting individuals involved in animal research.” Read the 12-page opinion dismissal here.

Alex Azar, Nominee for Secretary of HHS, Confirmed by Senate

Alex Azar, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Human and Health Services (HHS), was confirmed yesterday by the Senate.

As former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., Azar’s nomination has been generally well-received by lawmakers, and his confirmation comes as no surprise. Having also served HHS as general counsel under the George W. Bush administration, he brings both executive branch experience and pharmaceutical company experience to the table. Azar is expected to tackle increasing drug prices.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has expressed full confidence in Azar, stating, “Clearly, Mr. Azar has seen both the good and bad at HHS and knows how to manage them. I don’t think there is anyone here, even on the other side of the aisle, who would contest that.”

European SHAC Animal Rights Extremists Sentenced

Two members of the European-based animal rights group, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), were sentenced last week for terrorism acts.

The extremists were directly involved in a series of attacks against employees connected to the Cambridge, UK-based Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). These attacks included threatening HLS  employees and destroying their vehicles by setting fire bombs. Seven other SHAC members were jailed for similar crimes in 2009, and collectively they will serve a 50-year sentence.

The two defendants in this case, Natasha Simpkins and Sven Van Hasselt, were sentenced to two years and five years, respectively.

Members of SHAC USA were also convicted in 2006 for similar crimes against employees of a HLS lab in New Jersey. Among those was Kevin Kjonaas, who served six years for violating the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA), precursor to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). Kjonaas is now director of operations at the animal rights group the Beagle Freedom Project (BFP).

HHS Nominee Advanced by the Senate Finance Committee

Alex Azar, President Trump’s nominee for secretary of Human and Health Services (HHS), has been advanced by the Senate Finance Committee.

With a 15-12 vote, decided primarily by party affiliation, Azar was approved by the Committee last Wednesday afternoon. As former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., Azar’s nomination has generally been well-received by lawmakers, and he is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate. Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said, “By any objective account, Mr. Azar is very well qualified for his important position.” If confirmed for the position, Azar has promised to tackle increasing drug prices, citing his ten years with Eli Lilly & Co. as evidence for his leadership on this front.

Though a final vote for the full Senate has not yet been scheduled, his confirmation is expected by the end of the month.

Page 1 of 3212345...102030...Last »