USDA's deadline nears, and scientists struggle to reconcile their research priorities with new regulations
Laboratories throughout the United States that use animals for research are rushing to meet new federal regulations affecting the welfare of animals used for research. The regulations cover exercise for dogs, improved housing for cats, and the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates.

The rules require labs to have on hand, ready for inspection, plans that comply with these regulations by August 14. Issued in February by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the regulations represent the culmination of years of bureaucratic tussling and angry exchanges between animal-rights forces and scientists who use animals in research.

The new rules were adopted to comply with amendments to the Animal Welfare Act that were passed by Congress in 1985. U.S. laboratories will have until 1994 to implement all of the physical and procedural changes in their plans.

While much...

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