Treatment of Animals in Medical Research

January 12, 1966

Report Outline
Campaign for Laws on Animal Research
Anti-Vivisectionists and Medical Research
Outlook for a Break in Long Deadlock

Campaign for Laws on Animal Research

The latest drive for federal legislation to curb inhumane treatment of animals in scientific research may gain new momentum this year. Brief House subcommittee hearings last September on a number of animal protection bills are due to be resumed during the present session of Congress, and hearings on Senate bills similar to the House bills have been promised. The country's numerous be-kind-to-animals organizations are hoping that the 100th anniversary of such organized endeavor —dating from the founding in 1866 of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals —may be celebrated in 1966 by the first federal enactment on handling of laboratory animals.

Leading proponents of legislation of this kind, disclaiming any desire to hamper research necessary for the alleviation of human ills, have gained ground by modifying earlier legislative proposals. But the effort to develop compromise legislation that would protect animals from needless suffering without tying the hands of research scientists has deepened long-standing divisions within the movement for humane treatment. Some of the animal protection groups are actively opposed to the pending bills that have the best chance of adoption.

The scientific community, alarmed at the prospect of having non-scientifically oriented controls imposed on the procedures of biological research, is countering the campaign for regulatory legislation with a program of its own for improved animal care. The outcome of this tug of war may depend on the results of a study of “the real needs in the laboratory animal field” undertaken by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. James A. Shannon, N.I.H. director, asked last autumn that action on the House bills be deferred until his agency could complete its study and submit recommendations, presumably early in 1966.

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Jan. 12, 1966  Treatment of Animals in Medical Research
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Biology and Life Sciences
Medical Research and Advocacy
Regulation and Deregulation