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—have been settled. The settlement includes the agency’s commitment that it has restored and will continue to provide public access to the records at issue.
USDA Settles 2017 Blackout Lawsuits
FDA Releases Drafts of Five Draft Guidance Related to Animal Drugs
The Food and Drug Administration has released five draft guidance for industry documents related to animal drugs on effectiveness studies, biomarkers and surrogate endpoints, programs to support the approval of new drugs for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.
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.
Groups Sue Over Conditions of Primates Used in Research
The New-England Anti-Vivisection Society and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, represented by the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Clinic, have filed suit against the United States Department of Agriculture, alleging that the agency’s rejection of their petition and requesting that the agency put into place appropriate psychological well-being standards for nonhuman primates as required by the Animal Welfare Act is unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act."
National Academies Committee Assesses Veterans Affairs’ Use of Dogs in Biomedical Research
A national advisory panel has concluded that most research involving dogs conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs is unnecessary. The committee’s report also makes several recommendations for the VA to promote the development of alternatives to using animals in research and for improving the care and welfare of those that are.
Michigan Considers Ban on Using Dogs in Animal Research
Michigan Senate Bill 0971 proposes to prohibit conducting research or training activities on dogs “in a manner that causes pain and distress.” A violation of this ban would be punishable by a fine of between $1000 and $5000.
University of Missouri to Pay $175,000 in Attorney Fees to Beagle Freedom Project
The University of Missouri has reportedly settled a suit brought by Beagle Freedom Project over attorney fees from a 2015 case in which the University asked the nonprofit to pay over $80,000 to fulfill a freedom of information records request.
NIH Proposes Information Collection on Chimpanzee Research
The National Institutes of Health has provided notice of an opportunity for public comment on a proposed information collection that would ensure that NIH funding would only support noninvasive research conducted on chimpanzees. The agency suggests submitting comments on this proposal within sixty days.
Mexico Takes Step Closer to Ban Cosmetic Animal Testing
Last month, the Mexican Senate passed a bill that would outlaw the manufacture, marketing, or sale of cosmetic products tested on animals. The lower house in the Mexican legislature will consider the bill next.
Trade Secrets Exposed in Humane Society Undercover Video, Suit Claims
Drug researcher Charles River has been sued by a company who claims its trade secrets were revealed in an undercover expose of the drug researcher by the Humane Society of the United States posted on YouTube. The company claims it hired Charles River because it specialized in protecting sensitive information and claims fraud, violation of the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, negligence, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violation of state trade secret laws.