The US Senate recently dropped a proposed amendment from the Agriculture Appropriations Bill to restrict research institutions from purchasing laboratory animals from Class B dealers. The "Class B amendment," introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), would have prohibited colleges, universities, and other research centers that lawfully purchase animals from Class B dealers from receiving funds from the US Department of Agriculture or the Food and Drug Administration. Institutions that purchase from Class B dealers would lose funding for all projects, even those that do not use animals.

Class B dealers get animals from a range of sources; Class A dealers breed them. The amendment apparently stemmed from reports that some Class B dealers steal animals and subject them to abusive handling, denying them sufficient food, water, and veterinary care before they are sold to laboratories.

News of the amendment stirred concern and mobilized researchers. In a letter to a House-Senate...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?