Lab animal study sidelined

Agencies decline to fund "pointless" inquiry, despite legal mandate.

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)
Nov 5, 2002

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will not conduct a study on the use of rats, mice, and birds in biomedical research and testing, despite being instructed by law to do so, The Scientist has learned.

The 2003 Omnibus Farm Bill, signed into law in May, contained an amendment exempting "birds, rats of the genus Rattus, and mice of the genus Mus, bred for research" from protection under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). However, the bill also directed NAS to conduct a study on how these animals are used in research in order to determine the potential effect of including them under the AWA.

The study was to have been conducted by the NAS Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) and funding for it was expected to come from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But DHHS has...

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