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Thread: New Animal Regulations Threatening SCI Research

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Argao, Cebu, Philippines


    I agree about the snail mail problem but faxes are better than email, I think. But doing both is the best of all.

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Chicagoland area

    Dr Young, This should make you Chuckle

  3. #13
    THC, that cartoon is funny. Wise.

  4. #14
    Here is something from Americans for Medical Progress (AMP):

    As we reported Friday, a congressional conference committee is meeting in regards to this year's Farm Bill. It may chose to include in the final legislation an amendment that has already been passed by the Senate to codify the current administrative exclusion of rats, mice and birds from the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

    PERSONAL MESSAGES TO THE CONGRESSIONAL CONFEREES ARE NEEDED IMMEDIATELY TO ENCOURAGE ADOPTION OF THIS AMENDMENT. Animal rights activists have already sent out alerts and are flooding key conferees offices with messages in opposition.

    Following is a well-crafted legislative alert by the American Physiological Society (APS) that will be sent out to all members of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) today. APS and FASEB have graciously allowed other biomedical research and advocacy organizations to circulate this alert in order to reach as many in the research community as possible, as quickly as possible.

    The APS/FASEB alert below contains the contacts, key language, strategy and background information you will need to weigh in on this vital matter.

    AMP News Service / Americans for Medical Progress 908 King Street #201
    Alexandria VA 22314
    703 836 9595
    fax 703 836 9594

    ================================================== ================


    OVERVIEW: On February 12 the Senate adopted an amendment to the farm bill that would permanently exclude rats, mice, and birds from the regulatory provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The amendment, offered by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), would write into law the administrative exclusion of these species from the AWA that has been in place for 30 years. The amendment was adopted in the Senate by unanimous consent. The farm bill is now pending before a House-Senate conference, which must decide whether to include the Helms language in the final version of the bill.

    The Helms amendment is needed to clarify once and for all that the USDA should not regulate rats, mice, and birds. If this legislation is not approved, the USDA will issue a proposed rule later this year bringing these species under the AWA. The USDA must issue this proposal to comply with the agreement it reached with animal activist plaintiffs in September 2000 in an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit over the USDA's past exclusion of rats, mice, and birds from the AWA.

    Your help is needed to make sure the Helms amendment becomes law. Animal rights activists are flooding congressional offices with phone calls asking the conferees to drop the Helms amendment.

    If you need further information about this issue, see below under "ISSUE BACKGROUND." If you are ready to begin, just follow the plan of action below.



    AUDIENCE: The first priority is for constituents to write to conferees from their home states. THE VOICE OF THE VOTER DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. This email message includes a list of conferees and their fax numbers. The mail on Capitol Hill is still disrupted due to anthrax so please fax your letters.



    *We are placing special emphasis on conferees from these states.

    If none of the conferees are from your state, write letters to Sen. Harkin and Rep. Combest because they are the Chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees. Fax those letters to your own Representative and Senators with a cover note asking them to tell the conferees to include language in the farm bill to codify the existing administrative exclusion of rats, mice, and birds from the Animal Welfare Act. (To find the names and fax numbers of your Members, go to the C-Span website at

    We also want to demonstrate the research community's support for the Helms amendment to Sen. Richard Lugar, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. Charles Stenholm.


    MESSAGE: Use the sample letter provided below, adding the appropriate introductory paragraph for a Senator or Representative. Be sure to include your home address. Members of Congress are deluged with email, form letters, and phone calls from advocacy groups. The single most effective way to be heard above the other "noise" is a personal note, handwritten if possible. Alternatively, you can cut and paste the text below into your word processor.

    Make your letters direct and personal. Animal activists want the conferees to delete the Helms amendment. We have to present our views with dignity and commitment. The critical sentence is the closing line: "Please make sure that the final version of the farm bill includes the Helms amendment to make permanent the exclusion of rats, mice, and birds from the Animal Welfare Act."


    TIMING IS EVERYTHING: The farm bill conference is already underway, and the staff is working through the issues. It is impossible to predict when the Helms amendment will be brought up. Please fax your letters IMMEDIATELY. In addition, ask your institution to contact your state's congressional delegation in support of the Helms amendment.


    SENATE CONFEREES: Use the salutation "Dear Senator ________:" unless another salutation is specified below. The opening sentence for letters to Senate conferees is:

    "Thank you for including language in the farm bill to exclude rats, mice and birds permanently from the Animal Welfare Act." [The rest of the message is below.]

    SENATE DEMOCRATS (majority)

    The Hon. Tom Harkin (Chairman, Senate Agriculture Committee) Home state: Iowa
    Fax: 202-224-9369
    Special salutation: "Dear Mr. Chairman:"

    The Hon. Patrick Leahy
    Home state: Vermont
    Fax: 202-224-3479

    The Hon. Kent Conrad
    Home state: North Dakota
    Fax: 202-224-7776

    The Hon. Thomas Daschle (Senate Majority Leader) Home state: South Dakota
    Fax: 202-224-7895
    Special salutation: "Dear Mr. Majority Leader:"


    The Hon. Richard Lugar (Ranking Member, Senate Agriculture Committee) Home state: Indiana
    Fax: 202-228-0360

    The Hon. Jesse Helms
    Home state: North Carolina
    Fax: 202-228-1339
    NOTE: Be sure to thank Sen. Helms for sponsoring this amendment.

    The Hon. Thad Cochran
    Home state: Mississippi
    Fax: 202-224-9450


    HOUSE CONFEREES: Use the salutation "Dear Representative ____________:" unless another salutation is specified below. The opening sentence for letters to House conferees is:

    "Please recede to the Senate on the Helms amendment and include language in the farm bill that will permanently exclude rats, mice and birds from the Animal Welfare Act." [The rest of the message is below.]

    HOUSE REPUBLICANS (majority)

    The Hon. Larry Combest (Chairman, House Agriculture Committee) Home state: Texas. District offices in Lubbock, Amarillo, Odessa Fax number: 202-225-3317
    Special salutation: "Dear Mr. Chairman:"

    The Hon. John A. Boehner
    Home state: Ohio. District offices in Hamilton, Troy Fax number: 202-225-0704

    The Hon. Bob Goodlatte
    Home state: Virginia. District offices in Roanoke, Staunton, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg Fax number: 202-225-9681

    The Hon. Richard Pombo
    Home state: California. District office in Stockton Fax number: 202-226-0861

    The Hon. Terry Everett
    Home state: Alabama. District offices in Dothan, Montgomery, Opp Fax number: 202-225-8913

    The Hon. Frank Lucas
    Home state: Oklahoma. District offices in Oklahoma City, Woodward, Enid, Clinton Fax number: (202) 225-8698

    The Hon. Saxby Chambliss
    Home state: Georgia. District offices in Macon, Waycross Fax number: 202-225-3013

    The Hon. Jerry Moran
    Home state: Kansas District offices in Hutchinson, Hays Fax number: 202-225-5124

    HOUSE DEMOCRATS (minority)

    The Hon. Charles Stenholm (Ranking Member, House Agriculture Committee) Home state: Texas. District offices in Abilene, San Angelo, Stamford Fax number: 202-225-2234

    The Hon. Gary Condit
    Home state: California. District offices in Modesto, Merced Fax number: 202-225-0819

    The Hon. Colin Peterson
    Home state: Minnesota. District offices in Detroit Lakes, Waite Park, Red Lake Falls Fax number: 202-225-1593

    The Hon. Calvin Dooley
    Home state: California. District office in Fresno Fax number: 202-225-9308

    The Hon. Eva Clayton
    Home state: North Carolina. District offices in Norlina and Greenville Fax number: 202-225-3354

    The Hon. Tim Holden
    Home state: Pennsylvania. District offices in Pottsville, Reading Fax number: 202-226-0996


    MESSAGE TO ALL CONFEREES: Start with the appropriate opening sentence for House or Senate conferees. The rest of the message is as follows:

    I am a research scientist whose work requires animals. I treat my animals humanely both for ethical and scientific reasons. In addition, the National Institutes of Health, which funds my research, requires me to take good care of my animals. If I treat my animals badly, my institution will stop my research. If we don't follow the NIH's animal care guidelines we will lose our government funding.

    Rats, mice, and birds have never been part of the Animal Welfare Act. We already have good safeguards in place without it. Adding new rules from the USDA won't improve how we take care of the animals, but it will take time and money away from medical research.

    Please make sure that the final version of the farm bill includes the Helms amendment to make permanent the exclusion of rats, mice, and birds from the Animal Welfare Act.


    [Include your name and home address]


    ISSUE BACKGROUND: The "Laboratory Animal Welfare Act," as it was originally known, was passed in 1966 to prevent stolen pets from ending up in research labs and to provide for the humane care of dogs and cats in medical research. The law was amended in 1971, and other species were added. More species were later added administratively. Purpose-bred rats and mice have always been excluded.

    It has long been a goal of animal activists to extend USDA regulations to rats, mice, and birds. Researchers support animal welfare but believe that existing oversight already assures high quality animal care. Since the vast majority of these species used in research fall within the other existing oversight systems including the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals, AAALAC accreditation, and the FDA's Good Laboratory Practices Act standards, USDA regulation would increase paperwork burdens and administrative effort without enhancing animal welfare.

  5. #15
    I have been told by several experienced people that email is fine for lobbying. It counts as much as a fax. Wise.

  6. #16
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    beaumont tx usa
    i still say this is not our fight. we want sci researchers to leave the animals alone and start helping people.

  7. #17
    To paraphrase Dan Ackroyd...''Da you ignorant slut." Of course it's our fight. I know it is pure foolishness to try to pull you out of the cesspool of myopic stupidity in which you love to wallow so I will just ask where your battle plan is. Remember this ...

    "since im commander now, i will submit a plan in a few days. don't punk out or make excuses. it was your idea. we will get a cure fast under my leadership."

    That was over a week ago and still no plan. I guess your plan making skills are about as strong as your prediction making skills. I think Miss Cleo is hiring da, I'm sure you could get that job.

    Dr. Young, thank you for the additional info on this issue. I hope people will put the list of committee memeber names to good use.

    david the playa hater.

    HATE the 'PLAYA' because if there weren't any 'playas' there wouldn't be a game.

    [This message was edited by Jakstraw99 on Mar 05, 2002 at 12:00 PM.]

  8. #18

    Dr. Wise, is this right?

    I just got a letter yesterday, March 15th, dated February 24th from Senator Feinstein saying that the Helm amendment to the Farm Bill excluding experiments on birds, mice, and rats from regulation under the Animal Welfare Act passed on a voice vote.

    So our we out of the woods on this for the time being?


  9. #19
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    beaumont tx usa
    wow, i didnt know dan knew me. must been that new mobility article. that dan, what a yo yo.

  10. #20
    Calico, I am not sure. The Senate indeed did pass the amendment on a voice vote and it went to conference (the committee that reconciles the House and the Senate bills) where apparently the animal rights people wanted to strip the amendment. I have not yet heard that the amendment is out of the woods yet. Much hog-swappin' occurs on that committee. I will post as soon as I know. Wise.

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