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Thread: NABR Update

  1. #1

    NABR Update

    The following is an update from the National Association for Biomedical Research. The following developments should be of interest to our community:

    The Homeland Security Act was originally slated to transfer animal inspections from its current home in the US Dept. of Agriculture to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This was because animals and diseases of animals may be a target of terrorism. This would have transferred inspection of research animals from USDA to DHS and many people were worried that this would result in new regulations and changes that might affect research use of animals. However, the house bill apparently will affect on the inspectors who are in charge of checking animals at our borders instead of all animal inspections.

    In the meantime, the Senate approves a large increase for APHIS (animal and plant inspection services) of the USDA, including a 7% increase of enforcement of animal welfare regulation enforcement. While this, in itself, is not worrisome, some language in S.2766 which appropriates funding for NIH suggests that the increase in inspections and enforcement funding will be slated for increased governmental scrutiny of animal research. This Senate bill expresses the worry that some institutions doing animal research may not be in compliance of animal welfare regulations and directs the NIH to investigate. This is puzzling since I don't think that there has been any complaints or evidence that animal research is not in compliance. The wording of bill suggests that animal liberation lobbyists have been at work to introduce this language in so that there is further regulatory scrutiny of animal research.

    Finally, the Senate has passed their appropriations bill that will have doubled the NIH budget in 5 years. This is an enormous achievement for Senator Harkin and Spector who have been champions of research funding. In my opinion, the people of America owe these two senators and others who have supported NIH a great debt for accelerating biomedical research.


    On July 26, the House passed HR 5005, introduced by Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), which creates the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The vote was 295 to 132, with the majority of those opposed being Democrats objecting to provisions pertaining to workers' rights. The bill conforms to the recommendations made by the House Select Committee on Homeland Security regarding the limited transfer of functions from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to DHS; namely that only APHIS personnel involved in protecting U.S. borders would move to the new department. The companion legislation, S. 2452, introduced by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) was expected to be considered by the Senate prior to its August recess, but the bill has been delayed because of objections voiced by Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-WV). Senator Byrd is not happy with the administration's proposal to transfer monies within DHS without Congressional approval.


    SENATE APPPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES
    FY2003 AGRICULTURE BILL

    On July 25, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved (29-0) the agriculture bill for fiscal year 2003, and the legislation will next be considered by the full Senate. Total spending in the bill, according to the Committee Report, is $74.21 billion, $750 million above the FY2002 level. Of that amount, $736 million is for Animal and Plant Health Inspections Service (APHIS), more than a 15 percent increase from FY2002. For animal care, the legislation appropriates $16.4 million, which includes Animal Welfare Act investigations and enforcement, compared with $15.2 million in FY2002, a seven percent increase. $800,000 of the increase is dedicated to compliance inspection for the Animal Welfare Act, while the other $441,000 is for salaries.


    SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT ADDRESSES LAB ANIMAL ISSUES

    The Senate Appropriations Report on appropriations bill S.2766, for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Fiscal Year 2003, contains the following language pertaining to institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their compliance with the Public Health Service policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory animals: "The Committee is concerned about allegations that several institutions receiving NIH funding may not be in full compliance with the Public Health Service policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The Committee encourages NIH to determine the extent and scope of any such allegations and notify the Committee of its findings."


    NIH FUNDING INCREASE APPROVED BY US SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE

    On Wednesday, July 17, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Labor - HHS Appropriations Subcommittee respectively, celebrated their committee's recommendation of the final $3.7 billion installment for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget. With this installment, NIH's budget will have been doubled in only five years.

    "Five years ago, Senator Specter and I set out to double funding for our nation's first medical research facilities. Today - without regard to administration or party - we have reached that goal, increasing our nation's investment in the lifesaving research supported by NIH to $27.2 billion. That investment is paying off with improved treatments for breast cancer and ways to decrease heart disease. And science is at the point where effective treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's is now within reach," said Sen. Harkin at a press conference.

    The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the legislation on July 18 and the full Senate may consider the bill prior to the August recess. The House Appropriations Committee has yet to consider this spending bill but is expected to take action in early September.

    STATE LAWS AND LEGISLATIVE INFO NOW AVAILABLE FOR "MEMBERS ONLY"

    NABR is pleased to announce our new and improved membership service for providing information on current state level laws and pending legislative proposals governing the use of animals in biomedical research, product safety testing and education. This statutory and legislative information, in the areas of animal cruelty, regulation of facilities, pound animal use, research/facility protection, cloning, and the use of animals in education, is easily accessible to NABR member institutions on-line at www.nabr.org. Go to the "Members Only" page and, after you log in, simply click the "State Legislation" button. If you have not signed-up for NABR's "Members Only" service, please e-mail us at <mailto:%20info@nabr.org>info@nabr.org. If you have any questions regarding current or pending state laws, please contact NABR Director of Governmental Affairs <mailto:%20kmills@nabr.org>Kelli Mills, or NABR Public Policy Analyst <mailto:%20fcromwell@nabr.org>Frank Cromwell.


    SHAC SETS UP SHOP IN PHILADELPHIA

    Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an animal extremist organization formed to close down the research and testing company Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), has now set up a chapter in Philadelphia, Pa. Apparently, SHAC has set up this office to target vendors who do business with HLS, which, in addition to its U.K. facility, has a site in New Jersey. In a press release, SHAC states that it will be targeting offices of Marsh, Inc., a company that provides insurance to HLS. SHAC has targeted numerous other Marsh offices from other locations around the country, and while their website denies culpability for the recent attack on the Marsh offices in Seattle (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XXIII, No. 14) their recent statements certainly gives one pause. After that attack, as reported by the Seattle Times, Frank Hampton of SHAC had this to say about Marsh: "Until they remove their support of Huntingdon Life Sciences, I can only imagine this sort of activity will continue."


    OLAW ISSUES CLARIFICATION ON USE OF CARBON DIOXIDE FOR EUTHANASIA

    The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) has issued a Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) guidance to assured institutions clarifying the current requirements for the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a euthanasia agent for small laboratory animals. Since the policy pertains to USDA-covered species, the Animal Care (AC) unit of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reviewed the policy and concurs with same. This guidance is contained in a July 17, 2002 notice published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (OD-02-062), and is posted at:
    <http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-062.html>http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/n...OD-02-062.html.



    RCMP CONDUCTS RAID AGAINST ALF's DAVID BARBARASH

    In a July 29th press release, the Animal Liberation Front announced that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) conducted a raid on the home of David Barbarash, spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). According to a search warrant left at the residence, RCMP officers were acting under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act in support of a US government investigation into ALF activities that took place in the state of Maine some time during 1999. Some possessions were seized, including all computers in the residence. Barbarash has been the spokesman for ALF since 1999, when he replaced Katie Fedor and the ALF press office relocated from Minnesota to Vancouver, British Columbia (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XX, No. 15).
    The RCMP identified Mr. Barbarash and Darren Thurston as suspects in a 1995 parcel-bomb campaign, and in both 1995 and 1996, charged Barbarash with allegedly sending razor blades through Canadian mail to guide outfitters and fur traders, but stayed those charges in September of 2000 (NABR UPDATE, Vol. XXI, No. 21).

    FUND FOR ANIMALS LAUNCHES ANIMALFUNDING.ORG

    The Fund for Animals, an animal rights organization, has launched a <http://www.AnimalFunding.org>www.AnimalFunding.org, a website that offers free advice on fundraising to other animal shelters, sanctuaries, advocacy groups and individuals. It gives advice on how best to conduct direct mail campaigns, apply for foundation grants, and maximize Internet fundraising as well as planned giving. The Fund for Animals was founded in 1967 by author Cleveland Amory and operates animal care facilities in Texas, California, South Carolina and New York.

    LATEST ANIMAL RESEARCH POLICY SUMMARY AVAILABLE ONLINE

    We are pleased to announce that NABR's July, 2002 version of its Animal Research Policy Summary is now available in the "Members Only" section of the website (<http://www.nabr.org>www.nabr.org) under "Current Issues." Please direct any comments or questions to <mailto:%20kmills@nabr.org>Kelli Mills, NABR Director of Governmental Affairs.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Wise, under the "members only" area can you do a search of any bills pertaining to animal care regulations that were heard in "closed sessions" of any senate or house committees at the federal level? Considering the current witch hunts towards all anthrax researchers some of this money may be in non-public access funding..

  3. #3
    Sue, I am not sure because although I am a member of the board, I have not yet signed up as a "member" on the web site. The "witch-hunt" for the anthrax researcher responsible for the mail terrorism indeed is a worrisome development.

    The statement by Steven Hatfield http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/s...940797,00.html and particularly the following assertion was worrisome:

    My girlfriend's home was also searched. She was manhandled by the FBI upon their entry, not immediately shown the search warrant. Her apartment was wrecked, while FBI agents screamed at her that I had killed five people and that her life would never be the same again. She was terrified by their conduct, put into isolation for interrogation for eight hours. I was horrified. The search was another media event.
    The FBI agents apparently searched, detained, and interrogated the girlfriend of a man who has not yet been charged with any crime. The writ of Habeas Corpus provides an avenue for inquiring into the lawfulness of the restraint of a person who is imprisoned or detained in another's custody. Section 9, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: "The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

    Although there has been no formal declaration by President Bush to this effect, this and other actions appear to be suspensions of the writ of habeas corpus, as suggested by Timothy Lunch of Cato Institute http://www.cato.org/new/06-02/06-20-02r.html. This behavior by the FBI seems to be unnecessary. I have not yet heard the FBI's side of the story but believe that it is important that the government justify its conduct on the grounds of invasion or public safety.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I find so much about the entire anthrax/terrorism/Patriotism Act scarey that PETA and even the ALF seems to fade into the background. I agree that it appears there have been instances of the writ of habeas corpus being suspended in cases not specific to the clause you cite. Jihad Johnny may have fallen under the clause and the other American born Taliban fighter may also. I do not see how American scientists at American research facilities on American soil and their family and friends loss their right to protection under the writ of Habeas Corpus. I would also be interested in hearing the FBI's version of events.

    The current search for the source of the mailed anthrax is definitely turning into a witch hunt. This should concern all of us. But what also concerns me is how anthrax may have left the grounds of Ft Detrick as the local papers report. Anyone who watched the Dateline report several years back on the Ebola virus should have felt safe that under no circumstances could any viruses leave that compound accidently or by criminal intent. That surity is now gone. Earth First could win by all of us losing if another, more deadly, virus were to leave on someone's shoes or clothing. I believe the FBI will find that there were two sources of anthrax, one the mailed envelopes done by a terrorist and the other, from a major hole in a security area meant to safely hold viruses for experimental use (mainly the manufacture of vaccines).

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