The Animal Experimentation Scandal:
· The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Office of Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) should be required to compile annual reports detailing: the amount of funding directed at animal experimentation, the amount of funding directed at alternatives development, the number of animals used in experimentation, etc.
· Congress should commission a General Accounting Office audit of the grant system within these same agencies, also correlating research contracts data, to examine the issue of duplication within the system and to develop specific parameters to prevent excessive duplication and redundancy within the grant system. This information should also be correlated with information relevant to funding of research projects in other agencies including the Department of Defense, United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, etc.
· The grant approval system, on the agency level, as well as the facility level, must be overhauled to put more community representation on Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees (IACUC) for all facilities that receive federal funding, and all IACUC meetings must be open to the public, and regularly announced.
· All branches of the federal government that perform animal-based experimentation should be required to maintain internet accessible databases of all funded projects to prevent inter-agency project duplication.
· All research projects at laboratories who are fined by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) should be automatically suspended for a period six months. If a research facility is cited for 10 violations of the AWA within one year, the offending facility should be placed on probation for a one year period. If further violations occur during that year, then all federally funded research projects should be suspended. If after suspension, a facility has reason to be fined or suspended again, then all federally funded projects should be permanently terminated.
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