SIS / NABR Liasion Report October 2014
Ebola Crisis Still Making Global Headlines: The Role of Primates in Ebola Treatments.
Despite the fact some groups claim nonhuman primates are no longer needed in biomedical research, the role these animal models play in the quest for Ebola treatments is real and in the news. This area emphasizes why federal support for biomedical research is critical.
Ebola Vaccine Fully Successful in Monkey Tests:
Monkeys infected with Ebola five weeks after they were given an experimental vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline Plc survived without developing any symptoms of the deadly virus, leading researchers to start human tests. (Bloomberg, Sept 7, 2014)
- New Ebola Vaccine is tested in humans, after success in Monkey: Researchers injected rhesus monkeys with the experimental vaccine and found it could protect the animals for as long as 10 months.
- National Institutes of Health began giving the vaccine to healthy people Sept 2014 for the first time
- Experimental Ebola medication ZMAPP saves infected monkeys:
- CDC transcript and related background for the Oct 20, 2014 press briefing on updated guidance located at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/ebola_reports.html
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website contains links to information and resources for the nation's medical schools and teaching hospitals about Ebola and protocols for protecting health care workers from the virus: https://www.aamc.org/ebola
NIH Announces new policy to balance sex differences in cell and animal studies
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new policy requiring "a balance of male and female cells and animals in preclinical studies in all future applications."
- Janine Clayton MD, director of the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and NIH Director Francis Collins MD wrote in Nature - "The over-reliance on male animals and cells in preclinical research obscures key sex differences that could guide clinical studies."
- Non-Animal alternatives information resources available from the Joint Research Center (JRC) includes "Alternative methods for regulatory toxicology - a state of the art review"
NABR President presents Biomed's viewpoint in New York Times piece on "Enforcing the legal rights of animals" and "Don't leg animal rights restrict biomedical research".
- Biomedical researchers must study laboratory animals to discover new medicines and therapies, and deem them safe and effective. Should courts begin to assign personhood to animals, ceaseless litigation could bring lifesaving and life-improving research benefiting both animals and humans to a grinding halt. Carefully and respectfully conducted research with animals has and will continue to yield treatments and cures for many of the world's worst illnesses.
- In addition to Trull's view, Pepperdine School of Law Professor Richard L. Cupp Jr. also offered a thoughtful opinion "Animal cruelty laws don't depend on animal rights"
- Vigorous prosecution of animal cruelty is appropriate, but not based on animal rights. All members of non-human animal species are incapable of significant moral responsibilities, and thus affording them "rights" doesn't fit. Rather than focusing on rights for cats and dogs, we should focus on human moral responsibility.
New York court sets date for appeal in on NhRP Chimpanzee lawsuit..
- New York courts in three other jurisdictions refused to grant Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) requests and dismissed cases filed previously
- NhRP argue “chimpanzees are autonomous, self-aware, highly intelligent, emotionally complex beings, who fit the definition of a ‘person’ entitled to a common law writ of habeas corpus when imprisoned within the State of New York.” The group also states, “If the appellate court rejects the NhRP’s arguments, the organization will appeal this decision to the highest court in New York: the Court of Appeals.”
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1528, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (VMMA).
- Supported by over 100 groups including NABR. President Obama signed law August 1, 2014.
- Amended the Controlled Substances Act to clarify a veterinarian registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may transport, administer, and dispense controlled substances, in the regular course of veterinary practice, without having to obtain separate registrations for each activity