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Congress Requires USDA to Restore Deleted Records and Maintain Records Going Forward

The House Amendment to the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, signed into law on December 20, requires that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture both restore all previously deleted records to its website and to make publicly available for the next three years unredacted versions of all Animal Welfare Act inspection reports, Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act enforcement records, all reports and documentation of non-compliances observed by Department officials, and final Animal Welfare Act research facility annual reports.

Project Chimps Files Suit Against Former Caretakers

Sanctuary Project Chimps has filed suit against two former employees, alleging they have spread false information about the sanctuary, violated non-disclosure agreements, defamed the organization, and driven away potential donors. Project Chimps seeks statutory relief, injunctive relief, return of property, accounting of proceeds defendants have gained through the use of proprietary information, review of defendants’ electronic devices and accounts, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. 

FDA Releases Drafts of Five Draft Guidance Related to Animal Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration has released five draft guidance for industry documents related to animal drugs on effectiveness studies, biomarkers and surrogate endpoints, programs to support the approval of new drugs for minor uses and species, use of foreign data, and use of real-world evidence. The agency is seeking comments on all drafts until October 13, 2020. 

EPA Announces Webinar on Reducing Vertebrate Animal Testing

The Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to host public webinars on reducing animal testing. The first of these webinars will be held on January 22, 2020.

NMFS and NOAA Seek Nominations to Marine Mammal Scientific Review Group

The National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are soliciting nominations to fill vacancies and gaps in expertise in three new independent Scientific Review Groups to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. The agencies are accepting nominations until October 5, 2020.

Congressperson Calls for NIH Count and Reduce

Representative Roybal-Allard sent a letter to the NIH Director requesting a full public accounting of the animals it uses or plans to use in its internal research program, including those not covered by the AWA. The letter also calls for a five-year plan to reduce this number.

Application of 3R Principles in Small Animal GLP Testing of Biomaterials

This article explores the difference in animal testing when “Good Laboratory Practices” (and the three Rs: replace, reduce, and refine) are employed.

USDA Settles 2017 Blackout Lawsuits

Two cases stemming from 2017 when the United States Department of Agriculture removed Animal Welfare Act enforcement records from its website—an incident referred to as the USDA Blackout—were settled. The settlement includes the agency’s commitment that it has restored and will continue to provide public access to the records at issue.

New York Considers Ban on Manufacture and Sale of Cosmetics Tested on Animals

New York Senate Bill 4839 would make it unlawful to manufacture, knowingly import for profit, sell, or offer for sale at retail a cosmetic if either the final product or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using animal testing.

Congress Considers Reintroduced Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences

House Bill 4101, the Humane and Existing Alternatives in Research and Testing Sciences (HEARTS) Act, would direct the National Institutes of Health to ensure that non-animal methods are prioritized in proposals for all research funded by the agency. This would be accomplished by establishing incentives for non-animal research and testing and fully evaluating non-animal alternatives. The bill was previously introduced in 2019.