New therapies, advancements rely on dog research

Recently, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie did something rarely seen in Washington, D.C., these days. He told the truth despite pressure from special interest groups to do otherwise. Mr. Wilkie explained that, like many other Americans, he is a dog lover. However, he also supports health studies in a limited number of canines to develop new therapies aimed at helping American veterans injured on the battlefield.

Animal research has improved the health of humans and animals alike through the development of countless medications and therapies. And while most research occurs in rodents, an incredibly small percentage of these breakthroughs require dogs. While speaking at the National Press Club, Mr. Wilkie highlighted past major advancements involving canines, including the heart pacemaker and a treatment for cardiac arrhythmias. Nowadays, dogs are helping us battle various forms of cancer. In addition, new therapies developed in dogs with a form of muscular dystrophy are now being tested in human patients.

Activists have been misleading Americans about animal studies for decades, falsely claiming they are no longer necessary. However, in many cases, there are simply no alternatives. You can’t model complex biological systems if you do not fully understand them.

It may be easy for some — including the PG editorial board — to accept animal rights fiction as fact (Nov. 17 editorial, “Put Him on a Leash: Dog Testing by Government is Wrong”). Thankfully, Mr. Wilkie did not make this mistake. He stood up for good, ethical science that benefits both veterans and animals. For that, he should be applauded, not criticized.

Paula Clifford
Washington, D.C.

The writer is the executive director of Americans for Medical Progress.

Clinical trials are commonly used during the development of drugs studied for approval by FDA for the use in animals.  Similar use in veterinary medicine has been increasing, but there are a number of interesting issues not considered in human clinical trials, where the individual involved in such trials is able to provide consent for inclusion in the trial.  Clearly, the animals that may be subject to such studies, cannot provide specific consent—their owner would have to do so on their behalf.  Those advocating for a change in status of animals as “property” to “persons” would be expected to object to such clinical trials, even if they benefit animals and people and help save their lives.

This issue was critically analyzed by veterinarians analyzing whether clinical veterinary studies must be reviewed by institutional animal care and use committees pursuant the Animal Welfare Act; the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare for those studies funded by NIH; and/or reviewed and approved by a Veterinary Clinical Studies Committee established by a research entity, in a JAVMA published study, “Institutional animal care and use committee review of clinical studies.”

The study found

Determining whether activities conducted under the auspices of a clinical study are regulated by the USDA or OLAW, and thus require IACUC oversight, is not always a clear and simple issue. Institutions should develop their own guidance on how the IACUC oversees-or does not oversee-clinical trials.

Whether and to the extent certain clinical trials required review and approval by the IACUC pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act and/or OLAW requirements was dependent on whether the studying entities purchased the animals involved in the clinical trial and whether the proposed procedures would be required for the animal’s care, or were additional procedures only required for the purposes of the clinical trial.

The article presents 6 examples to help determine when USDA or OLAW oversight would be required.

Clearly, clinical trials, as utilized in human medicine, provide critical data related to the final approval of drugs and medical devices that will help prevent, diagnose and/or treat animals affected with life-altering diseases and conditions.

Americans for Medical Progress (AMP) “supports research involving animals when it is necessary to advance our understanding of biological processes.” and provides tools for “public outreach that builds understanding and appreciation for necessary and humane animal research.”

The latest tool in their toolbox is a video “designed to be a conversation starter about the importance of animals in research and the high standards of care they receive,” titled “Love, Care, Progress,” which you can view here.

The videp features

[r]esearch professionals, including a trainer, scientist, animal behaviorist, surgical manager, and veterinarian talk about caring for the animals in their charge, and their pride in the progress made possible in studies with these animals. Several dogs can be seen enjoying their time with technicians in a facility playroom.

Other associations that support animal research, including the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), also explain why “Animal Lovers Should Support Animal Research, Not Condemn It” as NABR President Matt Bailey explained on FoxNews :

Every year, 12 million cats and dogs in the United States are diagnosed with cancer. For their owners, that diagnosis is both emotionally and financially devastating. The initial cancer diagnosis alone can cost $2,000. Subsequent chemotherapy and radiation can run up to $10,000.

Fortunately, scientists are on the cusp of discovering treatments that could help pets with cancer at a much lower cost – if we let them continue the animal medical research needed to make those discoveries. But all over the country, self-professed animal lovers are lobbying for limits on – or even an end to – medical research involving animals.

That’s counterproductive, because animals are among the primary beneficiaries of such research. Consequently, animal lovers should be among the biggest supporters of animal medical research.

Matt goes on to describe how research has saved the lives of animals and humans.

While the use of animals in research remains critically important, efforts have long been employed to reduce, replace, and refine that use when possible.  In some states, like New Jersey, if there is an appropriate alternative testing method that can replace traditional animal testing methods, it must be employed “[w]hen conducting any product testing in the State . . .[but this does not] apply to any animal test conducted for the purposes of medical research.”  N.J.S.A. 4:22-59(a).  If animal testing is required to comply with other state or federal laws to ensure the health or safety of consumers, the requirement does not apply.

In time, we may be smart enough to develop reliable simulators and other tools that can replicate animal models, but until that time, researchers will continue to treat animals in their care humanely, while they work to save lives.

The “PUPPERS” Act, H.R. 3197, a bill that would prohibit the use of canines in biomedical research at the Veterans Administration by eliminating required funding, is misguided and, if enacted, would be harmful to both humans and animals.

Esteemed scientific associations (listed below) wrote to Congressional representatives, in opposition to H.R. 3197, explaining that while scientists embrace efforts to reduce the number of animals needed in research and to replace animals when possible, animal models are still required before drugs or devices are sufficiently proven to be both safe and efficacious for their intended use.  While the number of dogs involved in biomedical research has been reduced, their contribution remains critical in finding cures for certain diseases and disorders, like the previously incurable and fatal genetic disorder affecting skeletal muscles in both humans and dogs, called Myotubular Myopathy (MTM), recently described here.

Canines are currently playing a vital role in the moonshot to end cancer, aging and Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, and most recently the first FDA-approved artificial pancreas was brought to fruition because of work at the VA. Additionally, 22 of the 25 most prescribed medications were brought to patients’ bedsides thanks to research with canines.

Quote from letter to Congressional representatives from:

  • American Academy of Neurology (AAN);
  • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS);
  • American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) ;
  • American Neurological Association (ANA);
  • American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP);
  • American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET);
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS);
  • Americans for Medical Progress (AMP);
  • Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMSNY);
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO);
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC);
  • Association of American Universities (AAU);
  • Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC);
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU);
  • Baylor College of Medicine California Biomedical Research Association (CBRA);
  • Coalition for the Life Sciences The College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Inc. Comparative Biosciences, Inc. Council On Governmental Relations (COGR);
  • Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB);
  • IACUC 101 Series Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR);
  • Michigan Society for Medical Research (MISMR);
  • National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR);
  • National Association of Veterans’ Research & Education Foundations (NAVREF);
  • New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research (NJABR);
  • North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR)
  • Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR);
  • Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU);
  • Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research (PSBR);
  • RxGen SNBL USA, Ltd. Society for Neuroscience (SfN);
  • Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR);
  • States United for Biomedical Research (SUBR);
  • Texas Society for Biomedical Research (TSBR); and
  • University of California, Los Angeles University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Washington University in St. Louis.

Our ability to study and find cures for many human and animal diseases and disorders would not have been obtainable without studies involving animals, including the following medical achievements:

  • the cardiac pacemaker;
  • the first liver transplant;
  • nicotine patch;
  • the discovery of insulin;
  • vaccinations against canine distemper, parvovirus, rabies, coronavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, measles, and hepatitis;
  • prevention of canine intestinal parasitic diseases, fleas, ticks, mites and mange.

Like the entities listed above I look forward to a time when biomedical research does not involve animal testing, but we currently are not knowledgeable or scientifically advanced enough to entirely replace animals with other models.

Therefore, federally proposed bills, including H.R. 3197 and a similar amendment offered by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) to the Defense, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development National Security Appropriations Act, 2018, if adopted, would only serve to harm both human and animal health, and should therefore be opposed.

 

I recently attended the 2017 National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) Conference, titled “Animal Nation.”  There, I heard the remarkable, heart-wrenching but uplifting story about the life of Joshua Frase and the challenges he overcame with the support from his family who never gave up in their relentless search to find a cure for Myotubular Myopathy (MTM), a genetic disorder affecting skeletal muscle that Joshua was born with.

As described on the foundation’s website, children born with MTM “will often experience skeletal problems, gait problems, respiratory and feeding challenges, and fatigability along with poor muscle development . . . Statistically, 50% of these children do not live past their 2nd birthday.”

Joshua’s mom, Alison Rockett Frase shared her story at the NAIA conference:

On February 2, 1995, Alison gave birth to her son, Joshua—a baby so weak, he could only move his right hand.  The doctors said that he wouldn’t survive the day and, in a moment that defined the rest of her life, Alison said, “Let’s give him a chance.”  From that moment on, Alison became Joshua’s advocate. Before his first birthday, Alison determined that she would use her husband’s platform in the NFL to start a foundation that would one day find a cure or treatment for her son’s condition. I n 1996, together with her husband, she created the Joshua Frase Foundation.  Since that time, Alison has helped raise over $6 million to fund medical research, search for a cure and raise awareness of neuromuscular-related disorders.

During her search for a cure for this rare disease and to save her son and others similarly challenged, Alison, with scientists and researchers started unraveling the clues to a treatment and perhaps a cure.

After studying the use of gene therapy to restore normal function in mice with the same disorder, the search was on to find a larger animal model before the treatment could begin in humans.

Alison described that search:

This may be the last chance to save my son Joshua. His health has declined dramatically and I am sensing impending danger. It is a miracle that Joshua is now 14, given the odds he would never celebrate his first birthday. It has been a tough and critical year physically for Joshua. We knew the gene replacement therapy success we were showing in the mouse model had to translate to a larger animal before we could even consider getting the FDA’s attention for human trials.

Miraculously, Alison found that animal model in a Labrador Retriever living in Canada named Nibs, who carried the genes for MTM.  Nibs’ puppies born with MTM have been successfully treated.  Nibs, who had been given to Alison to help find a cure for Joshua, was returned to her owner to live out the rest of her life back on the farm in Canada, running with horses.

On September 21, 2017, “Audentes Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BOLD), a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing gene therapy products for patients living with serious, life-threatening rare diseases . . . announced it has commenced dosing of patients in ASPIRO, a Phase 1 / 2 clinical trial of AT132 for the treatment of X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM).”

Alison is hopeful that this treatment will save the lives of those afflicted with this devastating disorder.  Sadly, Joshua passed away in 2010.

If you are interested in learning more about Joshua, the Foundation, and this remarkable research that will help save lives of children and puppies, please visit the website to learn more.

On September 22, 2017, the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research (NJABR) offered its 24th Annual IACUC Conference,  – “the region’s premier training conference for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee members, lab animal veterinarians, animal welfare compliance specialists and lab animal research team members.”

As described, the conference focused “focus on opportunities to improve laboratory animal welfare, while reducing regulatory burdens, cutting red tape and creating efficiencies within institutions.”  Toward that end, presenters from NIH and USDA (Patricia Brown, VMD, MS, Director, NIH, OLAW and William S. Stokes, ACLAM, DACAW, BCES, FATS, Assistant Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA, APHIS, respectively) requested recommendations from the attendees to reduce unnecessary or redundant regulatory burdens to researchers.

Following morning presentations, discussed further below, the conference included the following workshop selections that attendees could attend:

AAALAC Perspectives on Occupational Health & Safety Programs

Presenter: Richard B. Huneke, DVM, Council Member Emeritus

Animal Care & Use Committee Scenarios: You Make the Call

Presenter: Pam Straeter, RLATG, Asst. Director, Research Integrity and Assurance, Princeton University

Legal Update: USDA, Animals and the Law                               

Presenter: Nancy Halpern, DVM, Esq., Attorney, Fox Rothschild

New IACUC Member – Double Session   

Presenter: Amy Salem, PhD, Associate Director of Operations and Training for Animal Welfare, Merck

Ask the Regulators                                                                    

Presenters:

Patricia Brown, VMD, MS, Director, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare

Tonya Hadjis, DVM, Supervisory Animal Care Specialist, Northeast Area, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care

John F. Lopinto, DVM, Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care

Ashley C. McIntosh, DVM, Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA, APHIS

Animal Reproducibility & Relatability of Animal Research to Human Research

Panelists:

Damir Hamamdzic, DVM, PhD, Research and Regulatory Affairs, Post-Approval Monitoring Compliance Administrator, Rutgers University

Sarah E. Robertson, PhD, Director, Sponsored Projects and Research, University of the Sciences

Laszlo Szabo, Esq., Director, Research and Regulatory Affairs, Rutgers University

Andrew Gow, Ph.D., Professor and IACUC Chair, Rutgers University

Elizabeth Dodemaide, BVSc, MA, MANZCVS, Director Comparative Medicine Resources, Rutgers University

Gregory Reinhard, DVM, Director, Animal Welfare, University of Pennsylvania

Strategies to Enhance Animal Welfare Compliance Monitoring

Presenters:

Pharmaceutical: Lisa Stanislawczyk, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CRO: Mary Ann Jacobs, Envigo

Academic: Greg Reinhard, MBA, DVM, University of Pennsylvania, The Role of the Statistician in Study Design, IACUC Protocol Preparation Data Analysis

Presenter: Alfred Barron, Associate Director, Nonclinical Statistics/TMEDS, Janssen Research & Development

The keynote speaker, Jim Welch, Executive Director of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation, presented a phenomenal motivational talk about “the importance of safe work practices, biosecurity, and collaboration among organizations and institutions seeking to advance scientific discovery.”  It does not sound like a topic that would lend itself to a motivational talk, anyone looking for a keynote should consider Jim.

Overall, it was another great conference.

American for Medical Progress (AMP),[1]a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting society’s investment in biomedical research,just launched an important new educational tool for the public to see and understand the truth behind modern animal research.  “Come See Our World”  is a digital invitation into the world of “essential animal research,” that provides all those interested and concerned a behind-the-scenes glimpse into world of animal research, with a front seat to view the care that research animals receive.  Without this important research, medical advances in human and animal health would not be possible.

AMP invites you to “[j]oin us for a journey into our world of medical progress and discover the animals that help save lives,” including the following examples:

Mice have long been a model for human disease. Zebrafish provide insights into embryological development as well as human disease.  Dogs and Pigs were integral in the development of insulin treatments for diabetics.  Sheep have provided life-saving advancements for those with cardiovascular disease.  People with diseases like cancer and AIDS now have hope because of research with nonhuman primates. Our pets live long healthy lives thanks to vaccinations and many of the same treatments developed for humans.

From rodents, to primates, dogs and cats, farm animals, aquatic and other animals, this website provides more than pictures of well-cared for animals, it also educates the reader about what each animal contributes to the health of others-humans and animals alike.

I encourage you to visit the website and recognize the heroes these animals have been and continue to be.

[1] The author serves on the Board of Directors of AMP.

Guest blog by Shannon Stutler [1]originally published on March 29, 2016, 12:10 PM in the Baltimore Sun.

Republished with permission.

As the loving owner of a wonderful former shelter dog and as a veterinarian, I must stand in opposition to legislation that is now working its way through the Maryland General Assembly. House Bill 594 — Humane Adoption of Companion Animals Used in Research Act of 2016 [2]— would impose on Maryland’s research and teaching institutions onerous mandates that would do little to support animals and could have an unintended consequence: Increasing number of animals in Maryland’s shelters that might be euthanized rather than adopted.

The proposed bill would have the state regulate the way in which institutions handle the adoption of dogs and cats following completion of the research studies in which they are needed, and imposes state reporting requirements that are duplicative of information already reported under the U.S. Animal Welfare Act.

The adoption of post-study animals is already widely embraced by the research community. A large number of institutions already have customized, responsible and detailed adoption policies managed by veterinary specialists familiar with the special considerations and needs of retired research animals.

Having worked as a veterinarian in several research institutions in Maryland, I know first-hand of the loving attention that each animal gets by animal care technicians and veterinary teams. Wherever possible upon completion of a study, dedicated staff who have given the best of care to these animals also work hard to find them great homes, often networking with potential families and adoption groups. I personally have placed mice, rats, ferrets, a pig and two goats, and I am currently working with a research institution to develop a policy so that it might arrange for the post-study adoption of fish.

The bill now under consideration in Maryland is simply “feel good” legislation proposed by animal rights activists who seek the immediate end of all animal-based research. Similar legislation has been introduced in other states by the animal rights group Beagle Freedom Project, which targets research institutions to further its own agenda of ending all animal-based research. The dogs and cats obtained by Beagle Freedom Project have been used as props in inflammatory ads, videos and social media posts to falsely accuse scientists and to vilify biomedical research.

One of the leaders of the group is a convicted felon, having served several years in a federal prison for his role in a campaign of harassment and threats against scientists, research staff and their families, as well as those who have business relationships with research institutions. Therefore, several research institutions, concerned by the negative impact of the activists’ emotive campaign and for the safety of their staff, actually have been forced to shut down their own adoption programs, and thus animals that could otherwise have found homes have been euthanized.

Research dogs, depending on their age, can be more challenging to crate train and housebreak than other dogs. Extreme patience and consistency are required to ensure that these dogs, after their placement in private homes, do not later end up abandoned or in shelters.

Animal shelters are already overburdened. Animal adoption organizations in Maryland and throughout America struggle to find homes for the dogs and cats in their care. According to Save Maryland Pets, a coalition that includes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), 45,000 cats and dogs die in Maryland shelters every year at a taxpayer cost of $8 million to $9 million, and the “96,000 pets entering Maryland animal shelters annually stand barely a 50 percent chance of survival.” Adding research animals to this population would surely increase the number of shelter animals that must be euthanized.

Dogs and cats together make up less than 0.6 percent of the animals needed for research in the United States. Without these animals, life-saving cures and treatments for our loved ones, both human and animal, would not be available today or in the future. We owe these cats and dogs the best of care during and after their research studies.

For the sake of the animals, I urge Maryland’s legislators to reject this unnecessary legislation.

Copyright © 2016, The Baltimore Sun

[1] Dr. Shannon Stutler, a veterinarian, is a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. She is also a Certified Professional IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) administrator. Having served as a veterinarian in the U.S. Army, she is now an independent veterinary consultant.

[2] This bill was not passed by the Maryland legislature but is likely to be re-introduced next session.

 

The humane standards of care of animals are constantly changing, as informed by scientific advances. Animal agriculture, in particular, has been evolving for decades. Livestock housing techniques, like other husbandry practices, have continuously evolved to protect animals from exposure to diseases, pests, environmental extremes, and from each other. Animal scientists and veterinarians continuously research methods, techniques and equipment to maximize animal comfort, while providing necessary protection.

Some recent advances exemplify the importance of continued research in disease protection and husbandry techniques that benefit animals and humans alike.

As reported in the National Hog Farmer, Merck Animal Health has been granted “licensure of its Prescription Product, RNA Particle vaccine platform from the USDA.”

Merck Animal Health described its innovative vaccine platform, and its significance to animal industries:

The RP technology platform is used to make vaccines for swine, bovine, equine, avian, companion animal and farmed aquaculture diseases. Pathogens are collected from a farm and specific genes are sequenced and synthetically inserted into the platform creating RNA particles, making safe, potent vaccines able to provide herd-specific protection. This system was instrumental in producing the first conditionally licensed vaccine to help control porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, a deadly virus that has killed more than eight million piglets since suddenly emerging in the United States in 2013. It also was utilized to produce a conditionally licensed vaccine against H5 avian influenza, which was subsequently awarded a USDA Stockpile in October.

Perhaps this platform could be used to develop effective vaccines to protect horses infected with the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus which has increasingly spread throughout equine racing, show, and pleasure barns and facilities, resulting in prolonged quarantines, and unfortunately, illness and death.

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation recently announced its intention to fund more than $1 million in projects, as reported by Matt Hegarty in the Daily Racing Form:

The 11 new projects include a study of the latency of equine herpesvirus in horse populations. A strain of equine herpesvirus, EHV-1, has wreaked havoc on racing circuits when the highly contagious disease has been detected at racetracks or training facilities, leading to quarantines and shipping restrictions.

Advances have not been limited to disease prevention.

Researchers have announced a probable solution to the culling of male chicks in the egg industry. Because males do not produce eggs, they are culled.

Now, as reported by ABC/Australia, scientists studying poultry diseases at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong “accidentally . . . made a breakthrough with biotechnology” discovering a way to identify male chick embryos before they hatched, making the culling of billions of male baby chicks unnecessary.

The scientists discovered they could inject an embryo with “a green fluorescent protein gene placed on the male chromosome” which could “ensure the males are never born, let alone culled.”

It is important to note that without biomedical research involving animals, these advances, which benefit animals, would not have been possible.

Several bills have been introduced in the New Jersey Assembly which would unintentionally negatively impact biomedical research which is vital to the health of humans and animals alike. Below, the NJABR provides the basis for its recommended amendments to these bills to preserve their intent, while eliminating their unintended consequences to biomedical research.

New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research (NJABR)[1] (republished with permission)

Assembly Bill Nos. 4773 and 4808, which seek to halt the possession, transport, import, export, processing, sale, or shipment of certain animal species threatened with extinction, would unintentionally interfere with life-saving research.

The safe, humane, and rapid transportation of research animals is critical to biomedical research programs throughout the world. The ability to transport animals to institutions and scientists that need them is a crucial component of scientific advancement. Unique disease models, genetically modified animals, and professionally produced high quality animals of every species can only be provided to institutions conducting research if there is the ability to transport these animals from one location to another.

All chimpanzees, even those used in research, are designated as endangered species by the federal government. As such, A4773 and A4808 would prohibit the transport of chimpanzees through New Jersey. This prohibition would even apply to animals being moved to sanctuaries at the end of their time in research. Equally concerning, as defined in the A4808, “priority species” would include blood and other fluids as a product of the animal, which is also critical to certain research programs.

To be clear, NJABR’s concerns are not just focused on human health. Great apes in the wild, including chimpanzees and gorillas, are extremely vulnerable to the Ebola virus, with fatality rates as high as 95 percent. Ebola has killed as many as one-third of the world’s gorillas and chimpanzees in the past few decades in parts of Africa. In order to eradicate the virus in animals, testing on the affected species is needed.

NJABR proposes an exemption from any possession and transportation prohibitions in A4773 and A4808 for animals being used for biomedical research. (See attachment). The proposed amendment for the legislation is narrowly tailored to permit the transport of the designated species to and from legitimate research institutions that are licensed and inspected by the federal government to ensure animal welfare.

Scientific knowledge developed through animal research has saved countless lives, improved human and animal health and alleviated untold pain and suffering. The research community insists on the humane and ethical treatment of all animals used in research, education and testing. The community is guided by the 3Rs philosophy of reducing the number of animals used for research, replacing animals with other methodologies when possible and refining their use when possible. Without exception, the members of NJABR embrace their legal and ethical responsibilities to ensure that animals are not used needlessly and are spared all unnecessary pain and distress.

Proposed Amendment for Assembly Bill No. 4773

To be inserted as a third exemption listed in Section 1(d):

(3)  The priority species is being transported for purposes related to the conduct of biomedical research at a facility licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act or at a facility conducting biomedical research in compliance with the United States National Institutes of Health Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Proposed Amendment for Assembly Bill No. 4808

To be inserted as a new Section 9 in the bill:

Unless otherwise prohibited by federal law, nothing herein shall be deemed to interfere with any animal being transported, imported, exported, processed, sold or shipped for purposes related to the conduct of biomedical research at a facility licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the federal Animal Welfare Act or at a facility conducting biomedical research in compliance with the United States National Institutes of Health Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

[1] Nancy E. Halpern serves on the Board of Directors and the Government Relations Committee of the NJABR