SIS / NABR Liasion Report April 2014
There have been 3 significant Webinars since the last NABR report - These webinars are available in the members-only section of the NABR, and are summarized in this report.
1) Understanding Animal Legal Personhood Issues
2) Are your institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC)records putting you at risk?
- Professor Cupp has advised numerous organizations about law and animals and is well-known for supporting humane treatment of animals rather than an animal rights paradigm
- Explained legal personhood arguments and counter-arguments and analyzed the legal landscape regarding personhood claims
- Addressed important implications for biomedical research, including how the litigation may expand beyond chimpanzees over time to include other animals more frequently utilized in research
- Discusses the publicized habeas corpus lawsuit which was recently filed in New York asserting "Legal personhood" for chimpanzees kept by a research facility. Although a trial court dismissed the lawsuit seeking relocation of the chimpanzees, the case is now on appeal and numerous similar lawsuits can be expected.
3) Contingency plans: providing a perceptive perspective
- Given by Dr. Taylor Bennett Scientific Advisor and Lisa Holiday Clinical Veterinarian
- The IACUC discussions should be called Minutes NOT transcripts
- There is an increase in FOIA requests but unsure how the information is being used
- Medical records and necropsy reports - what and how to write. Be complete and concise but not too wordy with a summary page included. Do not use non-descript redundant words or verbosity
- If you or your institution house animals they must be included in your contingency plan(s) or have a plan of their own
- An adequate plan is "...a strategy and course of action to be taken in reponse to an emergency system failure or disaster..." for example, shelter for animals, excaped animals etc.
- The written plan should be backed up by deliberate thought regarding implementation and persons reponsible
- Required by regulations:
- 1- Develop, document and follow an appropriate plan
- 2- Must maintain documentation of their annual reviews
- 3- Roles and responsibilities as outlined in the plan
Updates from NABR
A voice in federal policy and regulations
- Animal rights advocates are using increasingly sophisticated and coordinated legal strategies in an attempt to incrementally change the laws as they relate to animals
- Chimpanzee legal personhood lawsuits are dismissed
- 3 New York courts have rejected the first step in the Nonhuman Rights Project's (NhRP) legal effort to have captive chimpanzees granted the same rights as a "legal person"
Communicating to Biomedical Researchers
- Harvard medical school announces that the New England national primate research center (NEPRC) will phase-out
- April 2013 the wind down of operations of the NERPC will occur over the proceeding 12 to 24 months rather than seek to renew a five-year federal grant to continue operating the center
- Newcastle University announced the end of a stroke research project conduted in Kenya and involving nonhuman primates
- Nov 2013 - Unanimous consent from the House of Representative approved lifting the $30 million spending cap originally provided for federal chimpanzee retirement facilities so that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) may reprogram already approved funds and retire additional research chimpanzees
- Cosmetic Test Ban Bill introduced in March 2014
- The human cosmetics act wound end the use of inhumane animal testing methods in favor of cost effective testing alternatives that keep the American cosmetics industry competitive in a changing global market that increasingly requires non-animal safety tests