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  1. SfN member Tania Roth authored an op-ed about the need for animal research in response to PETA protests at the University of Delaware. delawareonline UD professor: Ethical animal research can help us offer hope to children,... Thanks to research on rats, we have a better understanding of how negative life experiences affect brain development.
  2. Michael Oberdorfer

    PETA attacks Postdoctoral Researcher

    Speaking of Research reports that a young Yale researcher is under attack by PETA. Christine Lattin is a postdoc at Yale University where she is engaged in very interesting research on the effects of stress on wild birds. She describes her research on her website providing details on the relevance of her work including details of its importance, the choice of the animal model and the implications that her work has on our understanding of the negative impact that stress has on all creatures including humans. Her research is in full compliance with all regulations involving animal research. Additionally her project has been reviewed and approved by BIRDNET an organization that specifically reviews research on wild bird populations. PETA activists are demonstrating at Yale where their goal is to threaten, intimidate and isolate Dr. Lattin, this includes demonstrations at her home. These tactics may be aimed at breaking a researcher early in her career. She needs our support. You can do this by sending her a message on twitter: @c_lattin Wouldn’t you want to hear from others if you were subject to this kind of attack?
  3. Michael Oberdorfer

    Collins statement on Animal research

    In an interview this week with The Washington Examiner, NIH Director Francis Collins reaffirmed the importance of animal models in NIH-funded research. In the interview which covered a number of topics, Collins remarks were in response to PETA’s support for cuts to the NIH budget, specifically funds involving animal research. Collins stated: “I think NIH is very focused on making sure that animal studies are done in the most ethical way possible, but also very convinced there are things we can learn from animal studies that will help people with terrible diseases that we otherwise can’t quite learn.”
  4. Michael Oberdorfer

    2016 Animal Research Statistics

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published the 2016 animal research statistics according to Speaking of Research The numbers show a 6.9% increase over 2015, despite a general downward trend over the last three decades. The figures do not include mice, rats and fish, nor do they include 137,000 animals housed in research facilities but not used in research studies in 2016. There has been a small rise in most animal species, except cats, with the most significant increase in non-human primates. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS/USDA) has provided the breakdown here. A number of nations have a clear policy of transparency regarding animals in research, including the UK which recently posted a visual 360 degree tour of several animal facilities. Could the United States do more to promote transparency as suggested by Speaking of Research? What do you think?
  5. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned a ruling by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) which allowed the redaction of names and addresses of institutions and businesses involved in importing monkeys in 2014. PETA pursued an appeal when a lower court ruled that the DAR’s redaction was within their statutory authority in protecting personal information whose disclosure is “likely to jeopardize public safety." The state Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, after considering such factors as whether the redacted information pertains to home or business addresses, whether the redacted information is available from other sources, and whether DAR could demonstrate a significant risk to individual safety, overturned the lower court’s ruling. This ruling narrows these kinds of legal exemptions significantly and may serve as a legal precedent in other states. Your thoughts?
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