Research!America Offers Novel Civil Engagement Initiative

Research!America has rolled out a novel bipartisan civic engagement initiative that is providing $1,000-$3,000 grants to student science policy groups. The goal is to better engage the next generation of scientists in the public policy process and impressing upon policymakers the importance of science in the 2018 midterm elections. The grants can be used for “lab tours, roundtable discussions, and policy briefings with candidates; host community science events and Pub Nights; support social media engagement including Twitter chats; conduct media outreach; and organize webinars highlighting the benefits of federally funded research.”

This initiative is born from the necessity to get researchers, particularly young researchers, involved in the public policy process to protect and promote their work. Lawmakers take input from the scientific community seriously, however researchers are often reluctant to engage in the policy process and share their work. Research!America’s civic engagement initiative is a creative way to incentivize communication with legislators that the research community needs.

HSUS Admonished by Illinois Legislature

Late last week, a resolution was introduced by State Representative Daniel Burke (D) admonishing the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The resolution encourages residents of Illinois to support local humane societies given the “disrespectful work culture” and “lack of commitment to supporting animals.” It explained only 1% of donations to HSUS in 2016 funded efforts or programs to provide care for animals.

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

NABR Provides Members with Tracking Sheet for Mandatory Lab Animal Adoption Bills

In order to keep NABR members informed and up-to-date on legislative matters affecting animal research, NABR has created a document tracking the mandatory research dog adoption bills that have been introduced in state legislatures thus far in 2017. The document provides detail for each proposed adoption bill, including the sponsor and a summary of the impact of each bill. In addition, it provides a timeline tracking the status of the bills as they progress through each state legislature, noting key information and highlighting important future dates.

NABR recognizes the importance of keeping a finger on the pulse when it comes to important legislation that will directly affect the work of its member organizations and biomedical research. We anticipate this document will become a key tool for researching and assessing state legislative developments that directly impact biomedical research efforts. Click here to find the full tracking chart in the Legislative portion of NABR’s Members Only section (log-in required). It will be updated as bills progress, so make sure to check often to stay up to date on the status of these bills.

Veterinary Medicine Day Declared in Georgia!

The Georgia State Senate has passed SR79, legislation marking February 8, 2017 as Veterinary Medicine Day at the state capitol.

The resolution, passed last Thursday, January 26, recognizes all veterinarians for the scientific knowledge and skills that they contribute towards the protection of animal health and welfare and for their commitment to the betterment of the animal world.

SR79 acknowledges the importance of veterinary medicine by proclaiming, “veterinarians use their scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge,” adding that they, “protect, promote, and preserve the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Georgia.”

State Legislatures to Return to Business Soon

With 2016 coming to a close, state legislatures from coast-to-coast will be bustling with activity in the coming weeks. Legislatures will soon adjourn to begin their 2017 legislative sessions. Some states have already begun prefiling legislation and NABR is actively scanning these bills to analyze any potential impact to biomedical research.

For more information on the political make-up of your state legislatures please click here.  To view a calendar of the projected session dates of the state legislatures across the country in 2017, please click here.

Several threats to the ability to find cures and therapies through ethical and humane animal research were seen in 2016 and NABR expects 2017 to be a particularly busy year in the states. Please continue to check for updates on pertinent state legislation and check your inbox for the latest edition of the NABR Update.  You can also follow us on Twitter for the late breaking news.

Election Day is Fast Approaching!

One of the most important political events is rapidly approaching! Election Day is a little over a month away. On Tuesday, November 8 Americans across the country will go to the polls to cast their ballots for President, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Governor, as well as a number of state and local offices.

Every vote counts! If you’re not yet registered to vote, please do so. You can find out more about voting in your state by clicking here.  Check out Google’s How to Vote to learn more about voting in your area.

Registration Now Available for NABR’s Next Webinar, “Participating in the Public Policy Process”

NABR is the only national, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to advocating for sound public policy that recognizes the vital role animals play in biomedical research. NABR members play a unique and irreplaceable role in public policy process, especially when Congress considers legislation impacting biomedical research and when federal agencies propose new regulations.

Join us Tuesday, October 11 at 12:30 p.m. for NABR’s next webinar, Help Us Help You: Participating in the Public Policy Process. This webinar will provide participants with the necessary information to become an active participant in the regulatory and legislative processes and provides guidance about how to help shape the environment in which we all work. NABR’s program will share an insider's perspective into Washington that highlights important aspects of policymaking by using recent legislative initiatives and Federal Register notices to demonstrate the importance of participation.

As always, space is limited for NABR's webinars so please be sure to register ASAP to guarantee your spot for Help Us Help You: Participating in Public Policy Process. Please click here to reserve your spot.

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.

Big Milestones in the Race for President Just Weeks Away

This year is an important election year as Americans will go to the polls in November to elect the nation's 45th President. The race will start with a fever pitch in 2016 with two key contests: the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucus.

The Iowa caucus is scheduled for Monday, February 1 and the New Hampshire primary is slated for the following week on Tuesday, February 9. "Super Tuesday," a day of 14 primaries and caucuses, is a few weeks later on March 1. Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia will hold contests on Super Tuesday.

The results of these dates will be important in deciding the candidates for each party so please be sure to go to the polls or caucus to make your voice heard.

For the most up-to-date election results please check your inbox for the NABR Update or check your favorite local or national media outlet.

2016 State Legislative Sessions to Begin Soon

As 2015 winds to a close, state legislatures across the country are gearing-up to begin their 2016 legislative sessions.  Many states have begun prefiling legislation for the upcoming session and NABR is actively scanning through these bills to analyze any potential impact on biomedical research.

To view a calendar of the projected session dates of the state legislatures across the country, please click here.

NABR expects 2016 to be a particularly busy year on the state front so please continue to check for updates on pertinent state legislation or be sure to check your inbox for the latest edition of NABR’s biweekly newsletter, the NABR Update.