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Vertebrate Animals in Research

Gary Fracione, director of the Animal Rights Law Clinic at Rutgers University, says it is ironic that the government relied on PETA's expertise, while at the same time it tried to undo the organization through its grand jury investigations (Burd, 1993, p. A38).

However, the controversy still rages. For example, the U.S. Appeals Court recently ruled that the Agriculture Department need not toughen its regulations on the care and use of animals in research. The appeals court overturned a 1991 order by a district court judge that struck down the department's existing rules. The lower court said those rules gave colleges too much leeway in complying with a 1985 law designed to improve the care of research animals. The ruling also stated that animal rights groups did not have the standing to sue the government (Burd, 1994a, p. A29).

Researchers were elated by the decision. According to Richard M. Knapp, chairman of the board of the National Association for Biomedical Research, an advocacy group for animal research that is supported by contributions from research institutions and pharmaceutical companies, the ruling by the appeals court made it clear that animal activist organizations cannot control the government's authority to oversee animal research, or interfere with the research community's responsibility for the animals in its care (Burd, 1994a, p. A29).

In another ruling, a Federal Appeals Court held that the Agriculture Department did not have to monitor the way universities treat the rats, mice, and birds that they use in research. The ruling involved the Animal Welfare Act, which was passed in 1971. In setting regulations to carry out the legislation, the Agriculture Department excluded rats, mice, and birds, contending that Congress allowed the department to determine the meaning of the term "animal (Burd, 1994c, p. A29)."

What this meant is that, according to this ruling, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's v...

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Vertebrate Animals in Research. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:01, August 17, 2017, from
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