U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Labels Captive Chimpanzees Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced on their website a new rule elevating the status of captive chimpanzees in the U.S. from “threatened” to “endangered.” This new ruling effectively means that biomedical research with the chimpanzee model may become difficult, if not impossible, to conduct.  Of the 36 proposed species for relisting, only captive chimpanzees would have an impact on scientific discovery. It is perplexing how reclassifying captive chimpanzees in the U.S. as endangered, which have been purpose bred for research, would result in any material benefit to the species in the wild. Ongoing research projects involving the chimpanzee model are now required to request a “take” permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a potentially lengthy process that will likely result in the discontinuation of  a number of current studies.

In 2013, NABR provided recommendations to the agency, explaining the past, current, and future potential benefits of chimpanzee research on both human and ape health.

Chimpanzees have been an important part of medical advancement in the United States for decades. The contribution the species has made to medicine benefits nearly every child born in America today. Most children get their first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth, and the Hepatitis A vaccine is typically administered at age 1. Without the chimpanzee model, which naturally carries the virus, researchers would not have been able to produce vaccines for either Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B.

The Service acknowledges in its rulemaking notice that chimpanzees suffer from many of the same diseases humans do by stating, “…diseases, including Marburg virus, polio, anthrax, pneumonia, human respiratory syncytical virus, and human metapneumovirus have resulted in widespread death of chimpanzees, even within national parks.” To suggest that medical research with the chimpanzee model does not benefit both the human and chimpanzee species simply is inaccurate.

The full impact the new FWS ruling will have on biomedical research is unclear.  However, it would be unfortunate, even grave, should an infectious disease outbreak occur where human lives are at stake and a chimpanzee model could expedite development of life-saving medicines.


ALF Destroys Animal Research-Related Trucks in Canada

Canadian Regional Police are investigating claims by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) that it is responsible for setting fire to two trucks in west Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto, over the weekend. In an anonymous email to the ALF Press Office, the organization says it planted incendiary devices under trucks belonging to Harlan Laboratories. The ALF claims Harlan is “owned” by longtime animal rights extremist target Huntingdon Life Sciences, and the company is responsible for supplying research animals and animal feed. Police received multiple calls about a loud bang, flash of light and heavy smoke just after 3 a.m. Sunday. Officers responded and located a transport truck fully engulfed and part of another in flames behind an industrial warehouse unit. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze before it could spread to the warehouse. There were no injuries and no one was on scene when crews arrived, police report.

A photograph of the burning trucks and the full, anonymous email “communiqué” are available at this ALFPO link. The ALF message says in part, "This action was undertaken in order to eliminate this...company's means of transportation, to disrupt the systematic torture and murder of innocent animals, and to cause as much monetary damage as possible." The email also states, "Fortunately, news reports have said that the devices ignited successfully, damaging one truck and completely destroying the other. Our only regret is that the flames were extinguished before they had a chance to spread to Harlan’s offices."

Join Us on Tuesday, July 21 for NABR’s Next Exclusive Webinar!

NABR is pleased to announce the return of one of it's most requested, exclusive webinars... the third edition of "Q&A with the USDA."

Join NABR and Drs. Betty Goldentyer and Robert Gibbens, the Eastern and Western Region Directors of the Animal Care Division for "Q&A with the USDA, Third Edition" on Tuesday, July 21.  This webinar presents a unique opportunity for NABR members to ask questions directly to the leadership of USDA and should not be missed.

Who should attend:

✓ Institutional Officials
✓ Attending Veterinarians
✓ Vet Techs
✓ Legal Counsel
✓ IACUC Members
✓ Employees responsible for implementing an Animal Care and Use Program

Please submit questions as soon as possible to info@nabr.org.  Questions will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication and will be answered in the order they are received.

"Q&A with the USDA, Third Edition" will be scheduled for an hour, but NABR will continue the webinar until all of your questions have been addressed. Again, please submit questions to info@nabr.org as soon as possible.


Join us on July 21, 2015 by reserving your spot today!

register now

Webinar participants will be provided with a Certificate of Attendance upon request.

*This webinar is a complimentary service for NABR member institutions. An unlimited number of interested participants from each member institution may register free of charge. Interested participants from non-member institutions must be pre-approved and will be charged a per-person access fee of $279. All major credit cards are accepted. You will be contacted for payment upon registration. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

New Video Answers the Question, “Why Are Animals Needed in Research?”

Those of us in the biomedical research community are often asked by friends, family and acquaintances: why must we use animals in research?  The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) has just released a short new video that answers this very basic question and is designed to be a shareable teaching tool for the public.

Featuring several of the country’s leading scientists and medical experts, this video highlights why animal research is critical for medical progress and the advancement of both human and animal health.

Please take 5 minutes to watch and share it with those you know who may be curious about animal research. Share it with the public, your colleagues, and post it on social media to help increase awareness of the necessity of animal models in medical discovery.

If you appreciate this video and would like to help FBR continue educating the public on these critical issues, please make your tax deductible donation to the Foundation today.


Texas House of Representatives Passes Resolution Honoring UTMB’s Ebola Research

On Wednesday, May 27, the Texas House of Representatives passed H.R. 2464 to recognize the efforts of the researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston in the hunt for an Ebola vaccine.

According to the resolution, UTMB “has made important strides toward conquering the Ebola virus” by developing a single-dose vaccine that is scheduled for human trials this summer.  Legislators acknowledge the importance of animal research by noting, “researchers conducted nonhuman primate testing in the Galveston National Laboratory, the only fully operational Biosafety Level 4 laboratory on an academic campus in the United States.”

To read this honor bestowed by the Texas House of Representatives, please click here.

The Guardian Features Editorial Supporting Primate Research

On Monday, May 25, The Guardian featured an editorial lauding the importance of animals, specifically the use of primate models, in medical research.  The piece, titled, The Guardian view on vital medical research on primates: don’t give in to the animal rights advocates, even states that abandoning primate research would be “craven and foolish.”

The Guardian describes the animal rights extremist agenda against prominent European researcher Nikos Logothetis and his important work.  The piece also highlights extraordinary work by neuroscientists in California that have enabled a paralyzed patient to control a robotic arm through his brain’s impulses, a development achieved through research with monkeys.

Please take a moment to read this editorial by clicking here.

Air France CEO Defends Transportation of Research Primates

(An abridged repost from Agence France Presse; "Air France to continue transporting lab monkeys")

May 21, 2015

Air France will continue to transport live monkeys for laboratory testing, the airline's CEO Alexandre de Juniac said at an Air-France-KLM shareholders' meeting held as animal rights activists protested nearby.

Juniac, who was re-elected by shareholders to remain at the helm of the French-Dutch company, said in response to an activist's question that the airline would defend the practice as long as it served the interests of science.
At the protest some of the around 30 activists donned monkey costumes and locked themselves up in a cage.

Challenged on the issue by a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Juniac said his company has sought advice from experts who believe "experimenting on primates with a similar genetic ancestry to human beings is indispensable" to research.
"So long as medical research for the improvement of human health requires these experiments, we will continue to transport them," he lashed out.

Juniac also said Air France applies relevant regulations and ensures the animals are well treated...

DeBakey Journalism Award Deadline Approaching

The Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Awards, named after the Foundation for Biomedical Research's (FBR) late chairman Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, honor reporting that has enhanced public understanding of how the humane and responsible use of animal models leads to medical and scientific discoveries.  Awards are presented for outstanding investigative or interpretive reporting published, broadcast or posted online between May 1st, 2014 and April 30th, 2015.

Entries may be submitted in the following categories. FBR reserves the right to adjust placement of entries based on number and quality of entries in each category. If you have any questions about which category in which you should enter, please email info@fbresearch.org

  • Print – Large Market (national/international)
  • Print – Small Market (local/regional)
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Online

Entries must be accompanied by the following:

  • Cover letter (or email) from journalist explaining the importance of the piece,
  • Category in which the journalist is entering,
  • Journalist’s brief  biography,
  • Brief letter/email of consent from employer supervisor/employer,
  • Optional letter(s) of support from employer or colleagues, and
  • The story itself, either as attachment or as link.


Deadline for entry is June 15th, 2015. 

Submit your entry to:

info@fbresearch.org, Subject: The Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Awards


Foundation for Biomedical Research
1100 Vermont Avenue, NW Suite 1100
Washington DC 20005
Attention: The Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Awards

 2013-2014 Winners:

Kerry Sanders & Erika Angulo, NBC News (Television)

Kristen Brown, San Francisco Chronicle (Print, Small Market)

Amy Dockser Marcus, The Wall Street Journal (Print, Large Market)

 Rebecca Jacobson, PBS NewsHour (Online) (tie)

Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, VetStreet.com (Online) (tie)

Jon Hamilton, National Public Radio (Radio)

Florie Charles & the UCSF Science Policy Group (Viral Video)

NABR Drafts Response to PCRM Petition for USDA Rule On ‘Alternatives’

As is our customary service to member institutions, NABR has drafted comprehensive comments in response to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) solicitation for public comments (March 30 Federal Register (80 FR 16592)) on the subject and the petition for new federal rulemaking proposed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). NABR encourages member institutions first to review this draft document and let us know any additional concerns or suggestions. Then please submit your own online response to APHIS at Regulations.gov. (Docket ID: APHIS 2014 -0050). Feel free to support the NABR submission by reference in your comments there. APHIS will consider public input received on or before May 29, 2015.

Specifically, the 12-page PCRM petition dated October 30, 2013 asks APHIS to (1) define the term alternatives, (2) clarify the existing definition of painful procedure, (3) establish standards governing the consideration of such alternatives at AWA-registered research facilities and (4) acknowledge USDA authority to enforce regulations regarding the consideration of alternatives to procedures likely to produce pain and distress in animals. With this announcement, APHIS is soliciting comments regarding the petition and any issues raised by the petition that should be taken into consideration by the agency. To help determine if any action should be taken on this request, APHIS poses six questions for interested parties to answer.

NABR Releases THREE NEW Members-Only Exclusives!

NABR is pleased to announce not one, but THREE brand-new exclusive products that we hope you will find helpful: a USDA Inspection Management Checklist and a special on-demand webinar on Chapter 7 of the USDA’s Research Facility Inspection Guide.

Developed with input from experts in the field and with the invaluable contributions of Dr. Taylor Bennett, the USDA INSPECTION MANAGEMENT CHECKLIST could prevent you from making costly mistakes during your next visit with a USDA veterinary medical officer (VMO). Print our handy checklist to make sure all your bases are covered for your next USDA inspection! To access it, please click the "download" button below (log-in required).

NABR DL Button


As you are already aware, Chapter 7 of the USDA’s Research Facility Inspection Guide has been revised significantly. In this straight-to-video webinar, Dr. Bennett provides you with a step-by-step analysis of what those changes are and what they mean to the biomedical research community.  Click the button below to view the webinar (log-in required).

NABR Watch Button


Last but not least, we are pleased to announce our third annual “Q&A with the USDA” webinar on July 21, 2015. This is a unique opportunity for NABR members to ask questions directly to the leadership of USDA. Drs. Betty Goldentyer and Robert Gibbens, the Eastern and Western Region Directors of the Animal Care division, have graciously agreed to participate.  Questions should be submitted in advance to info@nabr.org, and they will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication. Questions will be answered in the order they are received, so please submit them as soon as possible. As in the past we will schedule the session for an hour, but will continue the webinar until all your questions have been addressed.


We hope that you’ll find these new resources valuable.  If you have any questions about them, please email us at info@nabr.org.

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