NABR Press Release Urging Trump Administration to Streamline Research Animal Transportation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Contact: Eva Maciejewski
Phone: (202) 857-0540
Email: emaciejewski@nabr.org

NABR Urges Trump Administration to Streamline Research Animal Transportation

Washington, D.C. - National Association for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey issued the following statement regarding the need to streamline transportation of animals used domestically in medical research, particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic.

On March 18, 2020, NABR sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urging the Trump administration to streamline transportation of animals used domestically in medical research. NABR’s letter states that the proclamation of a national emergency regarding the coronavirus pandemic underscores the importance of streamlining animal research to develop vaccines and cures for the novel coronavirus and other dangerous diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing antiviral medications in an effort to develop treatments and cures for the coronavirus. Research such as this must be expedited and streamlined to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to save human lives.

“Access to laboratory animals is necessary to develop and ensure the safety of drugs and medical devices. Research animals are vital to understanding the genetic and molecular pathways that lead to disease, promising areas for research leading to new treatments for devasting diseases,” stated Bailey.

“Laboratory animals used in medical research are purpose bred under controlled conditions with highly defined health status. We urge the Trump administration to take immediate action to eliminate policies that discriminate against transportation of animals intended for research if they are to operate in the airspace of the United States,” he continued. “Urgent action is needed to address the detrimental effect current airline policies are having on vital research programs.”

Presently, medical researchers in the United States must rely on foreign airlines to transport many animals used in medical research due to the pressure tactics of PETA and other animal rights groups. Even in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, these groups continue to pressure airlines that are aiding American efforts to develop treatments for the disease.