Is Compliance with the Animal Welfare Act Important to Your Institution?

If the answer is yes then you shouldn’t miss NABR's next webinar!  With record attendance and availability short, we suggest you register RIGHT NOW to reserve your spot.

Your friends at NABR have organized a special opportunity that will give you and your institution the chance to "meet" the new Deputy Administrator for Animal Care at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Tuesday, May 3 during NABR’s next webinar.  Bernadette Juarez will be answering your questions live from NABR headquarters in Washington, DC.  As we mentioned, space is going very quickly so please register ASAP.

During this webinar, Ms. Juarez will present her vision for Animal Care, answer your questions, and discuss the future of the USDA division responsible for the regular inspection of your facilities.  If you'd like to submit an anonymous question for Ms. Juarez to answer during the webinar, please send it to info@nabr.org.

All questions must be submitted in advance to info@nabr.org and will remain anonymous. Questions will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication.

 

register now

 

 

*This webinar is a complimentary service for NABR member institutions. Unlimited numbers of interested participants from member institutions may register free of charge. Interested participants from non-member institutions must be pre-approved and will be charged an access fee of $279/person. All major credit cards accepted.

“President” Underwood Survives Thanks to Animal Research

The critically acclaimed Netflix original series, House of Cards, is one of the most popular and most talked about shows in recent memory.  The main character, President Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is one of America’s favorite villains.  His never ending arsenal of political schemes, subterfuge, and ruthless ambition has millions of viewers on the edge of their seats.  But did you know that animal research played an indespensible role in saving his life in one of the show's many plot twists?  It did, and the folks at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) took some time to examine the role of animal research in President Underwood’s lifesaving liver transplant.

Liver transplants are the second most common organ transplant.  Diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and autoimmune diseases can destroy the liver’s function, making a transplant a patient’s only hope for survival.  After years of careful animal research, immunosuppressive drugs developed in the 1980’s and 1990’s such as Cyclosporin A and Tacrolimus helped patients live longer after the transplant, giving recipients about a 60% chance of living for 15 years post-transplant.  Sadly, at one time patients rarely survived longer than a year after the transplant.  Rodents and other animal models are, right now in labs across the globe, involved in studies to improve these drugs and minimize their side effects.

Studies with rats and pigs are helping lengthen the viability time of donated organs.  They have yielded new and better ways to preserve organs awaiting transport and to preserve them for transplant.  Rats aided in the refinement of a process called supercooling, where organs are perfused with a concentrated sugar solution that prevents the formation of damaging ice crystals.  Pig livers have shown that infusing donor organs with warm blood leads to improved retention of liver function.  Both of these developments can extend storage time up to three days.  This additional time will help those on donor lists get the organs they need anywhere on the globe.

To learn more about these innovations, please click here.

Thanks to the animal research highlighted by FBR in their recent posting, we can hope to see more of President Underwood in future seasons on House of Cards.  Oh, and apologies for the spoiler!

Matt Bailey Named Executive Vice President of FBR

NABR Executive Vice President Matthew R. Bailey has been appointed Executive Vice President of the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR).  Matt joined the NABR staff in 2005 and played an integral role in the vigorous campaign for passage of the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA).

Promoted to EVP of NABR in 2014, Matt will now serve management roles in both organizations.  In making the announcement on Tuesday, Frankie L. Trull, President of both organizations said, “FBR and NABR work in tandem to ensure a pro-research climate that allows the continued humane use of lab animals in biomedical research. While the organizations’ objectives and audiences differ, our programs and initiatives are strategically integrated and complementary.”

Focused primarily on science and technology issues throughout his career, Matt has extensive political experience. He was previously a congressional liaison for the U.S. Department of Commerce and has held positions in both the House and Senate. Born and raised in Arkansas, Matt and his wife, live in the Washington, DC area, with their two daughters. Despite his lack of sleep for the past several years, Matt brings his vibrant energy and unique leadership to FBR. Please join us in congratulating him on his new role.

Second Activist Sentenced in AETA Case

Tyler Lang, an animal rights activist from California, was sentenced Wednesday for his involvement in the 2013 raid of a fur farm in Morris, IL.  In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve called Tyler Lang's actions "counterproductive," noting that hundreds of the minks died and many others suffered.  Judge St. Eve sentenced Lang to three months time already served, six months of house arrest, six months community confinement and one year of supervised release. He is also required to make a $200,000 restitution payment to the farm operators.  "This is a very serious offense that caused a substantial loss to the victim. It wiped out their business and life savings," St. Eve said at Lang's sentencing hearing, reported the Chicago Tribune. "You destroyed their feelings of security and their trust of others, in addition to their business."

Lang and his partner in crime Kevin Johnson (a.k.a. Olliff) were on a cross-country journey to sabotage animal farms when they were stopped by police a few days after the Morris incident. They were arrested in possession of tools and masks while staking out a fox farm near Peoria, which they planned to sabotage as well, authorities said.  The pair was convicted of conspiracy under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA).  Last month, Johnson received a three-year prison sentence and was ordered to make a $200,000 restitution payment.  In a statement, Lang and Johnson's support team said "Tyler and Kevin's case should be a reminder to us all that we have to show each other love and support in the face of State oppression."

Unintended Consequences for Maryland Research Animals

Veterinarian Shannon Stutler explains her opposition to a Maryland research animal adoption bill in a March 29 Baltimore Sun op-ed column, Unintended Consequences for Maryland Research Animals.

House Bill 594, the Humane Adoption of Companion Animals Used in Research Act of 2016, is now working its way through the Maryland Senate.  The bill passed the Assembly.  Dr. Stutler opposes the bill, calling it simply "feel good" legislation proposed by animal rights activists who seek the immediate end of all animal-based research.  It would impose on Maryland's research and teaching institutions onerous mandates that would do little to support animals and could have an unintended consequence: increasing the number of animals in Maryland's shelters that may be euthanized rather than adopted.  The adoption of post-study animals is already widely embraced by the research community. Many institutions already have customized, responsible and detailed adoption policies managed by veterinary specialists familiar with the special considerations and needs of retired research animals. For the sake of the animals, Dr. Stutler urges Maryland's legislators to reject this unnecessary legislation.

To read Dr. Stutler's op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, please click here.

Australian Senate Rejects Legislation Banning the Importation of Primates for Research

As you know, the transportation of lab animals for lifesaving and life-improving biomedical research is an important concern for the scientific community.  Animal rights activists opposing animal research have made it a target in their ongoing efforts to curtail medical progress for both humans and animals and these efforts have not been based solely focused on the United States.  Just last week, the Australian Senate decided not to pass legislation that would have prohibited the importation of nonhuman primates (NHP) for biomedical research.

This proposal was made late last year based on concerns that primates being imported into the country were wild-caught and that there was no need for importation given the fact that breeding colonies already existed in Australia.  The importation of wild-caught NHP’s is already prohibited in Australia.  A report by the Australian Senate even noted that passage of this legislation was the first step towards outlawing animal research in that country.  After hearing common-sense arguments from scientists in Australia and across the globe, legislators in Australia rejected the bill.

To read more about this important development, please read the report by the European Animal Research Association (EARA).  Please take a moment to visit NABR’s page on transportation, “No Cargo, No Cure,” to learn more about the transportation of animals for research.

Show Your Support for Biomedical Research!

Are you proud of your work to help improve global human and animal health?  Do you want to help support the efforts to protect scientific liberty and the ethical use of animal models in biomedical research?  Then look no further.

The folks at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) have BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH SAVES LIVES bumper stickers available for distribution.  If you missed out on these at last year’s AALAS Annual Meeting, here’s your chance to grab one.  These are a great way to highlight the importance of supporting lifesaving science with the general public.

Contact FBR today at info@fbresearch.org to learn how you can get a bumper sticker.

What Animal Research Means to March Madness

March Madness is in full swing.  The brackets are filled out.  Some are busted.  The upsets are happening.  The powerhouses are surging towards the Final Four.  But did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, animal research is playing a role?  It definitely does and got the folks at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) thinking.

In a blog post published today, FBR took a close look at the world of animal models in competitive sports.  In one interesting example, horses and macaques, for example, were instrumental in the development of microfracture surgery.  This surgical procedure corrects torn cartilage in the knee by smoothing the edges of the tear and creating tiny fractures in the underlying bone, releasing stem cells from the bone marrow.  By creating a “superclot,” cartilage-building cells are released.  Arthroscopic surgery and repairs of ligament tears also owe a debt to animal research.

If you have a moment in between games or during halftime, take a few minutes to scout out FBR’s latest blog post, “What Animal Research Means for March Madness.”  You can read the posting here.

Thanks to Primates, OHSU Researchers Are One Step Closer to Killing HIV in Newborns

There is exciting and promising news coming out of Oregon Health & Science University.  According to a KGW.com report, researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center have discovered that a genetically engineered antibody can hunt and kill HIV.

Genetically engineered antibodies were administered 24 hours after primates were infected with the HIV virus.  The findings were amazing.  “This is really a complete, 100-percent cure basically,” said Dr. Nancy Haigwood, Director of the Primate Research Center.  By the end of the study, six months later, the primates showed no infection.  Each year, 200,000 children are born to mothers with HIV and this new development, hopefully, will help prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

To read the news story on this development and to see Dr. Haigwood’s interview, please click here.

Register Today for NABR’s Upcoming Exclusive Webinar!

Do you or your institution have questions for the USDA about compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act?  Then you've come to the right place.  NABR has organized a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet the new Deputy Administrator for Animal Care at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Tuesday, May 3 during NABR’s next webinar.  She will be answering your questions live from NABR headquarters in Washington, DC at this special event.  Space is going very quickly so please register ASAP.

As you probably already know, APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea announced in February that with the retirement of Dr. Chester Gipson, Bernadette Juarez was named as the new head of Animal Care. During this NABR-exclusive webinar, Ms. Juarez will present her vision for Animal Care, answer your questions, and discuss the future of the USDA division responsible for the regular inspection of your facilities.  If you'd like to submit a question for Ms. Juarez to answer during the webinar, please send it to info@nabr.org.

Ms. Juarez is an attorney with extensive experience in investigating violations and enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). As Director of APHIS' Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) she led investigations into suspected violations.  During her tenure in the USDA's Office of General Counsel, she represented APHIS in numerous enforcement proceedings. Register today so you don't miss this opportunity.

All questions must be submitted in advance to info@nabr.org and will remain anonymous. Questions will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication.

Space is limited for this webinar and will fill quickly, so please register ASAP!

 

register now

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