FASEB has published a new report, "Reforming Animal Research Regulations: Workshop Recommendations to Reduce Regulatory Burden," now available in the Files of Interest section of BDR Connection.
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), with the assistance of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), convened a workshop on reforming animal research regulations on April 17, 2017. The goal of the workshop was to provide actionable recommendations for promoting regulatory efficiency, animal welfare, and sound science. These recommendations are directed to federal agencies involved in the oversight of federally funded animal research, in particular the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The use of animals in research continues to be vital to our understanding of human and animal disease and the development of treatments and cures. Researchers take their commitment to the humane care and use of research animals very seriously, but there are numerous conflicting, outdated, or ineffective regulations that do not improve animal welfare. The proposed changes to regulations, policies, and guidelines outlined in this report would make research and researchers far more efficient while maintaining standards of care.
The vast amount of administrative effort necessary to comply with oversight requirements for federally funded animal research has been highlighted in a number of reports. To date, however, the majority of recommendations to reduce ineffective or redundant requirements by modifying and harmonizing federal regulations and policies have not been implemented. The focus of the April 2017 workshop was to identify requirements that demand significant administrative effort but do not enhance animal welfare. Workshop participants sought to prioritize steps that agencies and Congress can take to reduce these inefficiencies.
Highlights of the major recommendations developed by workshop participants are listed here. Additional recommendations on related topics are included in the body of the report. Many of these recommendations echo those made in previous reports from other organizations. Workshop participants strongly believe that these issues can and should be addressed without delay.