Last Week’s NABR-Exclusive Webinar Now Available for Online Viewing

Last week's NABR webinar, “It’s Not the Same Old Same Old: Completing Your 2015 Annual Report,” is now available online for on-demand viewing.  If you missed the webinar or would like to watch it again, it has been posted in the Members Only section of our website.

Please click here to view “It’s Not the Same Old Same Old: Completing Your 2015 Annual Report.”  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.

USA Today Op-Ed by FBR’s President: “We’re Killing Chimps with Kindness”

The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) continues to receive national attention for its effort to educate the public on the vital importance of animal research for both human and animal benefit.  Moments ago, USA Today featured an opinion piece by Frankie Trull, President FBR, discussing the pitfalls of a recent decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to classify captive chimpanzees as endangered species.

In, "We're Killing Chimps with Kindness," Ms. Trull discusses how the FWS’ recent re-designation of chimpanzees to the “endangered” list is effectively signing the death warrants for countless chimps.  She discusses the promising species-preserving research that will be lost to unnecessary regulation noting, "the move will effectively halt U.S. medical research with chimps — research that is moving ever-closer to yielding a vaccine for Ebola, which has wiped out one of every three great apes over the last two decades."

To read today's coverage of this important issue, please click here.  USA Today is the nation's top newspaper in circulation reaching 4,139,380 people.  Today's coverage is the latest addition to FBR coverage in other significant news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, and the Tampa Tribune.

If you'd like to help FBR continue spreading the word on the critical importance of humane animal research, please share "We're Killing Chimps with Kindness" with your friends, family, colleagues and on social media.  You can make a difference by donating to FBR by clicking below or by calling (202) 457-0654.

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Tuesday, November 3 is Election Day!

Next Tuesday, November 3 is Election Day in several parts of the country.

Gubernatorial seats in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi will be up for grabs as well as several other statewide executive positions.  Elections for seats in state legislatures will also be happening in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia.  A number of large cities will also be holding mayoral elections and other positions and ballot measures will be up for a vote in various locations.

If you live in any of these areas, don’t forget to head to the polls to exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, November 3!

FBR Releases Updated Informational Tools for Public Education

Time and time again, animal rights narrators give inaccurate information about the ethical and humane use of animals in lifesaving and life-improving biomedical research. Therefore, the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), has released newly updated versions of their widely acclaimed “Fact vs. Myth” and “Proud Achievements of Animal Research,” pamphlets to help address perpetually repeated falsehoods and present the truth to the public.

“Facts vs. Myth” challenges misrepresentations by animal rights groups with facts showing the importance of animal research for human and animal benefit, while highlighting the imperative of excellent animal care. To further these points, FBR updated “Proud Achievements of Animal Research,” which dives deeper into the role played by these models in most medical breakthroughs. Antibiotics, analgesics, antidepressants, organ transplants, joint replacement, and other therapies have all been developed with the humane use of animal models. In fact, the Top 25 Most Prescribed Drugs were created with the assistance of a wide range of laboratory animals.

Please share these pamphlets with your friends, family, neighbors, and on social media. Online versions are available at the links above or, if you’d like hard copies for your school or events, please contact FBR at (202) 457-0654 or email info@fbresearch.org.

Over 60 Institutions Sign Letter to Congress Supporting H.R. 3136

Today, NABR delivered a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives announcing support for H.R. 3136.  This letter, signed by over 60 universities, scientific societies, associations, and companies, urges immediate passage of this important transparency improving legislation.

The Enforcement Transparency Act (H.R. 3136) would require the USDA to release the guidelines used by Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in the formulation of any civil penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

This common-sense, bipartisan bill will provide the research community and the public a much greater understanding of how penalties are calculated for enforcement actions by USDA.  Currently, USDA subjectively determines AWA penalties on a case-by-case basis, and the results are unpredictable and inconsistent. These guidelines were once publicly available, but in recent years USDA has chosen to deny the research community and Members of Congress access to them. The last available AWA penalty guidelines are now outdated.

To read NABR's talking points on the ETA, please click here.

Please contact your Congressman TODAY and urge him or her to cosponsor and support H.R. 3136.  Click here to use NABR's Capwiz system to send an email directly to their offices and please encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to do the same.

Official at University of Washington Vocally Defends Animal Research

In an interview printed yesterday in The Daily, the student newspaper of the University of Washington, Dr. David Anderson voiced his support for animal research at the university, stressing the immense importance of ethical and humane medical research with animal models.

The Q&A with Dr. Anderson, the Executive Director of UW’s Health Sciences Administration and Institutional Official of the Animal Care and Research Program, clearly and concisely outlines the value of animal models in modern day biomedical research.  He highlights such points as the impact on modern day healthcare, use of alternatives, oversight, and animal care.  After reading the piece, one commenter wrote, “Thank you for presenting a balanced story on a challenging issue. I appreciate you showing the truth about animal research in response to the misinformation routinely stated by the animal activism leadership. Biomedical research will save lives and improve health in both human and animal populations and should be supported. The University of Washington is a world leader in medical advances and I'm proud to be an alumni.”

NABR applauds Dr. Anderson for speaking out in support of the issue as he, himself, has been the target of animal rights protests.  According to the article, his home has been targeted by protesters over the construction of a new lab animal facility on the UW campus.

To read, “Moment of science: Why animal testing is essential for medical progress,” the question and answer session with Dr. Anderson, please click here.

Is AAAS Anti-Science?

NABR and its members have been watching with growing concern as Science and ScienceInsider have repeatedly covered animal research issues from the perspective of anti-animal research sources such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Beagle Freedom Project (BFP).

As a result, NABR President Frankie Trull again has written to both the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Science news editor expressing disappointment with the coverage starting as early as 2010, but increasing in frequency during 2015. Her letter contains a partial list of 16 examples that have tended to portray certain animal research models in a negative light, whether directly or by implication. She provides not only the basic reasons many of the news features were objectionable, but also questions why Science chose not to report on other important animal research stories, which were found newsworthy by major media such as The Atlantic, PBS Newshour and the New York Times. Trull concludes, “ . . . AAAS publications seem to have spoken with their silence by providing no coverage on this contentious debate. Many biomedical researchers are now questioning whether AAAS publications have abandoned their biomedical research constituents in favor of groups with animal rights agendas.”

Please read the full NABR letter, review the Science and ScienceInsider coverage and decide if AAAS’ commitment to scientific rigor and factual evidence is lacking. NABR would appreciate hearing your opinions on the subject and receiving any suggestions for further actions at info@NABR.org.

NABR and Florida Research Primate Breeding Facilities Featured in Bloomberg Business

An in-depth article about four facilities providing nonhuman primates (NHP) for research, “How Monkeys Became Big Business in Florida,” appeared in yesterday's Bloomberg Business. While the piece is accompanied by some good photos of NHPs, the “moving” picture shown on the opening webpage stands to be misinterpreted. Nevertheless, the story by Felix Gillette is balanced and provides insights into a local situation receiving public attention. The sub-headline summarizes the situation: “The breeders are proud. The activists are mad. The neighbors are confused. And the monkeys still have good aim.”

Early in the article, NABR executive vice president Matthew Bailey explains the critical role monkeys play in basic scientific and medical research as well as in testing new drugs and vaccines before they are marketed. “The use of monkeys has been essential,” said Bailey, “in developing cures for everything from typhus to polio and is integral to the study of currently incurable diseases such as Alzheimer’s and AIDS.” He further suggested, “If you agree with the animal rights narrative, open up your medicine cabinet and throw out all your pills, including your child’s pain reliever. Because without animals in preclinical research and testing, we wouldn’t have them.”

To read this article, please click here.

Our Four-Legged Companions Are Helping Lick Cancer

Another publication has written about the importance of canine models in cancer research.  In the current issue of the ASBMB Today, the newsletter for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology featured a story titled, “Chasing cancer with dogs” focusing on the connection between dogs, humans, and cancer and the exploration for a cure.

Cancer is rampant among humans and dogs.  Cancer occurs in one in every three women and in half of all men.  According to Michael Kastan, the Executive Director of the Duke Cancer Institute, it kills half of all dogs under the age of 10.  Because cancer is naturally occurring in dogs, studying canines with cancer may help answer questions that remain unanswered from studies in humans and rodents.  Humans and dogs share many similarities with the disease, such as tumor genetics, recurrence, metastasis and therapeutic response.

Please click here to read and discuss the story and to learn more about the animal research involved in curing cancer.

Action Required: WHO International Ketamine Rescheduling

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a change to the international scheduling of ketamine, proposed by China. YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED to ask the FDA to protect doctors’ and veterinarians' access to this critical drug. Elevating international regulation of ketamine as a Schedule 1 drug could mean that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for U.S. practitioners to use.

On October 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a request for comments regarding the abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking and impact of scheduling changes on the availability for medical use of 10 drug substances – including ketamine. The comments, DUE THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, will be considered as FDA prepares a response to the WHO regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs and will be provided to the 36th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), which will meet in Geneva November 16-20.

NABR has drafted a letter to the FDA that generally explains how critical ketamine is to veterinary and human medicine and how important it is that it remain accessible to biomedical research. We encourage you to use this template as a starting point to submit your own letter to the FDA. Below are the question(s) WHO has asked be addressed in your response:

  • Ketamine use in clinical settings - when is ketamine the anesthetic, sedative or analgesic agent of choice for any of the following: emergency situations; conducting procedures with pediatric patients; short surgical procedures; long surgical procedures; surgery conducted outside a hospital without respiratory support facilities; and other.
  • Veterinary therapeutic indications approved for ketamine (choices offered: anesthesia; pain management; sedation; no approved uses; other).
  • Current use of ketamine in medical or scientific research (including clinical trials).

Comments can be filed at Regulations.gov.

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