This week, Take Action Thursday urges action to improve data collection on how animals are used for research by federal agencies.
In 2014, NAVS filed a petition for rulemaking with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), asking them to expand the information they collect from researchers on the use of animals. Information on animal use is mandated by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), but the specifics of what information is collected is at the discretion of the Secretary of Agriculture. When the petition was published for public comment in 2015, it received 1,473 responses (85%) in support of this rulemaking.
Last month, more than four years after this petition was filed, the USDA formally denied our petition, citing their lack of statutory authority to adopt our requested changes. This is despite the fact that the AWA specifically allows the collection of “such information as the Secretary may require for the effective administration of this chapter [of the AWA].”
As NAVS considers our next steps, please consider taking action, whenever possible, to improve transparency in the use of animals for research, testing and education.
Federal Legislation: The FACT Act
The Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act, HR 249, would require federal agencies to improve their reporting on how much progress they have made in adopting non-animal test methods instead of using animals for chemical testing. In addition, it would require researchers to report animal use data by species, number and test type, information not currently available. The FACT Act would be a valuable tool in assessing their progress toward ending the use of animals for chemical testing, and for determining where additional efforts are needed to develop alternatives for this purpose.
While the additional reporting requirements of this legislation would apply only to federal agencies, it would nonetheless represent a good start toward mandating the collection of increased information on the use of all animals for research and testing.
Please let your U.S. Representative know that you strongly support this legislation to increase transparency by the federal government.
State Updates: Post-Research Dog and Cat Adoption
Since last week’s issue of Take Action Thursday, further updates have occurred on two bills to require healthy dogs and cats used for research be adopted instead of euthanized after the research is complete. If you live in one of these states, please let your legislators know that you support these bills.
In Washington, SB 5212 unanimously passed the House on April 9. This bill was amended from the language approved by the Senate in March, so a joint House/Senate committee will meet to agree on the final language before this bill goes to the Governor for his signature.
In Pennsylvania, SB 534, a companion bill to HB 238, the Retired Animal Adoption Act, was introduced in the Senate. Please let your legislators know that you support this legislation!
Want to do more? Visit the NAVS Advocacy Center to TAKE ACTION on behalf of animals in your state and around the country. And please make a donation today to support the advancement of humane legislation across the U.S.