www.aau.edu 1200 New York Avenue, NW Suite 550 Washington, DC 20005 202.408.7500 202.408.8184 fax March 22, 2013 We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the report of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Working Group (WG) on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research (NOT-OD-13-026). The Associa
The Great Ape Protection and Cost Saving Act of 2011 (S. 810/ H.R. 1513 ) would ban all life-saving research involving chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are a unique and invaluable resource for ethically conducted biomedical research, particularly translational research through which scientific discoveries are advanced into treatments and cures. The research community and AAU are committed to ensuring that such research not only conforms with ethical, legal, and safety regulations but also maintains the highest standards of animal care and health.
This bill would halt or delay ongoing research on devastating diseases for which no other animal model exists and could harm research that directly benefits chimpanzees and other great apes.
As the principal performers of National Institutes of Health (NIH) extramural research, our member institutions base their animal care and use programs and their compliance with the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals on the National Research Council’s Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) 1996 Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and, as applicable, the Animal Welfare Act. However, NIH’s implementation of the new Eighth Edition of the Guide makes significant changes to the PHS Policy. We recommend that NIH’s implementation of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals be delayed until key concerns can be addressed.
AAU expresses thanks to NIH for the recent effort to reduce regulatory burden faced by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees.
Animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major biomedical advance of the last century—increasing scientific knowledge while furthering human and animal health. The research community and AAU are committed to ensuring that such research not only conforms with ethical, legal, and safety regulations but also maintains the highest standards of animal care and health. This obligation requires effective training and education of investigators and service personnel, as well as rigorous regulation and oversight of animal research.
Dear Senator Helms: On behalf of the 61 U.S. research universities in the Association of American Universities, I am writing to thank you for attaching an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill that would maintain existing protections for animal care but prevent the creation of counterproductive new regulations. Your amendment to codify the existing enforcement definition of rats, mice, and birds in the Animal Welfare Act will help ensure that federal and university research funds can remain focused on finding future medical diagnoses, treatments, and cures, rather than diverted to costly and duplicative paperwork.
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