additional 3Rs. We anticipate that the first Global 3Rs Award-ees will be announced and honored during the 66th Annual
National AALAS Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, in November 2015.
MAKING WELFARE AND CARE A PRIORITY
AAALAC’s strategic plan also calls for a greater leadership
role in promoting the welfare and responsible care and use of
research animals. AAALAC does not stand alone in this capacity and fortunately other organizations involved with research
animal care and use have initiated and/or amplified their own
leadership roles in this area to bring greater speed, cohesion,
and decisiveness to the resolution of issues facing our community. We see the evidence of this in the industry’s coordinated response addressing problems in the transportation
of research animals, and the recent defeat of the European
Citizen’s Initiative to impose a ban on animal research within
the European Union.
Nonetheless, those opposed to or critical of animal research
are unrelenting in their cause and inventive in their strategies,
and they too frequently have defined the environment we
work in and who we are to the public. In the U.S., a partial
list of recent examples of such efforts with the potential to
impact regulations include the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s petition to define the term “alternatives”
and clarify the definition of “painful procedure” in the Animal
Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR). Another example is the efforts of several groups to incorporate strictly defined ethologically appropriate environments for non-human primate care
and use in the AWAR. A third example is the current legislative effort to enlarge the USDA’s authority to oversee agricultural animal research within federal installations.
The burden falls to the animal research community to
speak out authoritatively to identify and dispel the fabricated
controversies being used to impede animal research. We must
work together to better explain how the issues or events
that are impacting animal welfare that are rare or infrequent
aberrations might be addressed— without imposing additional
sweeping regulatory burden on the entire community.
EVALUATING NEW NEEDS
Certainly, AAALAC International acknowledges that regulations derived from national and supranational legislation and
international reference standards, such as those articulated
in World Organization for Animal Health’s Terrestrial Animal
Health Code, Chapter 7. 8 (Use of Animals in Research and
Education), have an important place globally in establishing
basic requirements for the care and use of research animals.
Regulatory compliance is also considered an element of the
AAALAC accreditation process.
However, as an alternative to addressing contentious and
controversial issues through more regulations and bureaucratic agents, AAALAC International has long offered a collegial,
expert peer review approach as the most viable and desirable
option for creating a supportive institutional environment for
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