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Development of Welfare Legislation for Animal Testing

Info: 949 words (4 pages) Example Law Essay
Published: 4th Dec 2020 in Example Law Essay

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In 1890’s, debates between the public and research scientists grew as a result of public concern for the welfare and treatment of animals used for research in laboratories.  Between the years 1896 and 1900, there were three attempts to generate laws to govern animal research in the District of Columbia (Ferdowsian, 2011).  Scientists argued that research on animals is important and is a necessary alternative to human research done in the past, such as, the Tuskegee syphilis study, radiation experiments on pregnant women etc.  Before 1876, there were no restrictions placed on animal research. In 1876, the Cruelty to Animals Act was enacted by the British Parliament in Europe (Ferdowsian, 2011).  The first restrictions placed on animal research in the United States was the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966 (Ferdowsian, 2011).  This Act prevented the buying and selling of dogs to be used in research (Ferdowsian, 2011).  Being that this was the first form of legislature ruling to place restrictions over animal research, there were flaws associated with it that were later amended with the creation of other policies.  In 1970, the Animal Welfare Act was amended to include all warm-blooded animals, but one of the flaws in the Animal Welfare Act was that it excluded certain species from being protected.  Birds, rats and mice are not considered animals in this Act and therefore are not protected (Ferdowsian, 2011).  The Animal Welfare Act combined with the 1985 Health Research Extension Act make up the laws that regulate animal research performed in laboratories.  Public Health Service requires the formation of an Institutional Animal Care and Use committee (IACUC) to oversee animal research conducted in laboratory facilities (Ferdowsian, 2011).  The IACUC is responsible for inspecting the research facility, reviewing animal research proposals, ensuring that personnel conducting the experiments are trained, investigating concerns that may arise from the research being conducted, as well as to suspend any research facility for not operating within the guidelines of The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Guide (Ferdowsian, 2011).  The only flaw within the power to suspend is that the committee must have the support of the facilities Chief Executive Officer or Vice President (Kahn, Parry, & Dell, 2020).  If the Chief Executive or Vice President does not agree, a suspension for violation may not happen.  The purpose of The Guide is to ensure that laboratory testing on animals is carried out in a humane manner.  It lays out guidelines for the committee to use in fulfilling it duties.  Physical environment, behavioral management, population management, animal procurement and transportation, preventative medicine measures, surgery, pain management, euthanasia, and the facility physical conditions such as ventilation, noise control are all within The Guide (Clark, Gebhart, Gonder, Keeling, & Kohn, 1997).  The Veterinary Medical Officer reports the non-compliant Item for investigation.  If the non-compliant issue is deemed suitable for prosecution, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services take legal action (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012).  The reprimanding action could be an official warning or fines.  If the offenses are repeated or serious, the report will be given to a law judge to suspend or revoke the USDA license accompanied by a fine.  Minor non-compliance is noted, the facility will be expected to become compliant within 90 days (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012).  If the facility does not become compliant, an official warning letter is given informing of the violation and that compliance was not met within the allotted time given (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012).  Investigative and Enforcement Services will conduct an investigation to document repeat noncompliance and reluctance to make progress.  A fine will be given along with a time frame to pay it, also, a right to waive the fine and have a hearing is given to the violator (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012). Lastly, the prosecution process is started by the Office of General Counsel, this office submits a complaint form informing violations of the Animal Welfare Act (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012).  The Violators must either agree or seek a court hearing before a USDA administrative Law Judge (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012).  Based on the evidence submitted by the Animal and Plant Health Investigation Services the judge will decide and give an order of which the violator can appeal (Cardon, Bailey, & Bennett, 2012).

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