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

or

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.

Register

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

FBI Resources on Cyber Security Now Available

We hope you attended our most recent webinar “Cyber Threats and Cyber Security: Are You Prepared?”  Those who participated were treated to eye opening presentations by the experts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  If you missed it, you still may benefit from a number of resources the Bureau was kind enough to provide, which we are including below.

These documents, available here, will give you a general overview of cyber threats and best types of cyber security practices:

The Insider Threat – An introduction to detecting and deterring an insider spy - It’s easy to detect someone from the outside seeking to do an institution harm. But what if the infiltration has come from the inside? This general overview of detecting and deterring an insider spy will help make your institution safer.

Internet Social Networking Risks - Social networking is everywhere and nearly everyone engages in it.  Take a moment to learn the risks and preventative measures needed to protect not only your institution, but yourself, from con artists, criminals, and hactivists.

Economic Espionage – Protecting America’s Trade Secrets - Proprietary information or technology.  Every research institution has them. In this FBI pamphlet, learn more about the laws in place to protect your institution from those who wish to steal your intellectual property.

Higher Education and National Security: The Targeting of Sensitive, Proprietary and Classified Information on Campuses of Higher Education - This whitepaper developed by FBI’s Counterintelligence Strategic Partnership Unit will educate U.S. colleges and universities on the risks of cyber security breaches from abroad and how best to protect valuable information and data.

Visitors: Risks and Mitigation - Learn how to better protect sensitive information at your facility from site visitors who may be seeking to compromise your security.

Finally, if you or your institution’s IT team feel that your cyber security has been compromised, please contact your local FBI Field Office immediately.

Washington University in St. Louis’ Magazine Highlights Important Translational Research with Dogs

“Outlook,” the magazine published by Washington University in St. Louis, took an interesting look at the connection between animals, specifically dogs, and cancer research for both human and animal benefit in its April edition.

Physicians, collaborating with veterinarians, are designing clinical trials to seek out mutually beneficial therapies and treat diseases.   “Shared Medicine” is an interesting examination of the One Health, or One Medicine, movement and clearly shows the importance of animal research when it comes to conquering cancer not just for mankind but for dogs and other species, as well.

Through these endeavors, researchers are hoping to accelerate cancer drug and treatment development for humans and their four-legged friends.  “People love their pets and want to treat them when they get cancer,” Dr. David Curel, professor of radiation oncology and of cancer biology at Washington University said. “And dogs get cancers that are very similar to human cancers.”

To read “Shared Medicine,” please click here.

New York Judge Amends Order in Chimpanzee ‘Personhood’ Case

Questions about the legal rights of chimpanzees, including their possible “personhood,” have received considerable media attention, beginning in the late 1990’s as the field of animal rights law began to grow more active. So when a New York judge issued an order April 20 in a case filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) on behalf of two research chimpanzees, a Google News search produced nearly 150 results about it. Media outlets often parrot animal rights organizations’ interpretations of the facts, and this was all too true in this instance. A NhRP press release mistakenly claimed for the “first time in world history” a judge “recognizes two chimpanzees as legal persons and grants them writ of habeas corpus.” Many media outlets repeated these statements and/or went even further with their headlines.

It appears the New York Post was the first news organization to actually contact the court for clarification and reported that Judge Barbara Jaffe had “her principal court attorney send out an email blasting the activists’ ‘inaccurate press release’ and insisting that her order merely scheduled a May 6 hearing in the case.” She also quickly amended her written order by crossing out reference to a Writ of Habeas Corpus from the pre-printed title. The New York Daily News updated their account saying the action was a “routine determination to consider the matter [and] stopped short of implying that chimps are persons — as the group exuberantly proclaimed in a press release that got international attention.” The New York Times (subscription required) also carried a more complete, updated story. Nature published a reliable question and answer piece about the confusing legal implications. However, while some other media outlets have done second or revised reports, there are still erroneous news articles available online and new ones are appearing.

NABR’s Special Update of April 21 was correctly cautious about the New York court’s order in this case and its implications thanks to the advice of our own legal counsel and that of Pepperdine School of Law Professor Richard Cupp, who are following developments closely. In that regard, the Office of the New York Solicitor General, representing Stony Brook University in the matter, requested a postponement for submitting their response. The hearing of same is now set to take place on May 27 in Manhattan.

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