Research groups are criticizing a recent proposal by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) arm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that adds medical record-keeping details to the Animal Welfare Act regulations.

The proposed standards, published in a Federal Register docket, specify that medical records must include such items as history of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, all vaccinations, and dates of screening and routine tests. Jerry DePoyster, senior veterinarian medical officer at APHIS, told The Scientist he was not able to say what prompted the proposal.

The proposal will "ensure that animals receive adequate veterinary care," while allowing the agency to better assess how animals are treated in various programs, according to the docket. "Almost all research facilities and more than 75% percent of other regulated facilities already comply with [the] proposed minimum standards," the APHIS writes.

But in a letter to APHIS, Federation of American...

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