One of NAVS’ primary initiatives has been fighting for transparency about animal research in the U.S. As you know, transparency surrounding animal use directly impacts our animal welfare efforts, as understanding trends in animal use can help us better gauge whether efforts to refine, reduce and replace the use of animals in research, safety testing and education are effective.
And as 2019 comes to an end in just a few weeks, we are still fighting for transparency regarding the release of 2018 animal use numbers.
Each year, usually in the early summer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes available its Research Facility Annual Summary Reports. While the reports lack much vital data, they do provide some useful information about animal use in the U.S.
The reports summarize how many Animal Welfare Act-covered animals were used in research during the prior year. They also specify the numbers of animals used in experiments of differing pain levels, ranging from procedures involving no pain to painful procedures in which no pain relief was administered. And because they have been published since 1973, they allow us to track general trends in animal use over the years.
Last year, the release of the 2017 annual report was delayed from summer until early fall. This year, however, the 2018 animal use reports still have not been released.
A few weeks ago, we brought this to your attention in Science First, and also reported that the USDA had, without any notice, removed all of the previous animal use reports that had been posted on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.
At that time, we had asked you to help demand transparency and ask APHIS officials to restore this missing data—and we achieved some success. Shortly after our campaign to request transparency on animal use, access to the previous years’ “Animal Usage by Fiscal Year” reports were restored.
But APHIS still has not released the most recent numbers—and APHIS officials are not able to specify when the 2018 data will be made available.
Please help NAVS demand transparency from the USDA by calling their Animal Care office at 1-970-494-7478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that the 2018 Animal Usage by Fiscal Year Annual Reports be released without further delay.
Help NAVS continue to fight for transparency in animal research and to fund the development of animal-free alternatives to reduce animal experimentation by making a donation today.