News Roundup: October 20, 2023

The Rise for Animals Team, October 20, 2023

Here’s a roundup of this week’s biggest news stories related to animal research—all the recent media coverage you need to know right now to be the most effective activist for animals in labs.

Supporters Push For Better Animal Protection in the Wake of Beagles Rescued From Virginia Testing Facility

Matt Pusatory, 10/18/2023

The Better Collaboration, Accountability and Regulatory Enforcement (CARE) for Animals Act aims to better protect all animals covered under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). This includes animals at research facilities . . . as well as the 4,000 beagles rescued from an Envigo-run facility in Cumberland, Virginia last year.”

“The Better CARE for Animals Act would enhance collaboration between the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, enabling the DOJ to enforce the AWA more effectively and step in quicker to end animal abuse and unnecessary suffering. Enactment of this legislation would provide more enforcement tools, including license revocations, civil penalties and a process for pursuing appropriate seizure cases in which animals are suffering as a result of AWA violations.”  Full Story →


Lab Leak Fight Casts Chill Over Virology Research

Benjamin Mueller & Sheryl Gay Stolberg, 10/16/2023

“Questions about whether Covid leaked form a Chinese laboratory have cast a chill over American virus research, drying up funding for scientists who collect or alter dangerous pathogens and intensifying a debate over these practices.”

“At Pennsylvania State University, a proposal to infect ferrets with a mutant bird flu virus passed the federal government’s most rigorous biosafety review only to be rebuffed by the National Institutes of Health.”

“The virus, which transmitted poorly among people, should also have struggled to spread among ferrets, mammals used as experimental stand-ins for humans. But to his surprise, the virus sometimes jumped from one ferret to another, picking up genetic mutations . . .  Viruses behave differently in ferrets than in humans, and mutations that may enhance one variant can have different effects on another.”  Full Story →


New Book Imagines Society Based on Animal Rights

EurekAlert! News Release, 10/12/2023

“What would a society based on animal rights look like? A new book by a University of Leicester politics expert explores how our laws and institutions might change if non-human animals had the same rights as humans . . . What are Animal Rights For? by Dr Steve Cooke, Associate Professor of Political Theory at the University of Leicester, explains the nature, function, purpose, and limitations of animal rights, showing why they are needed and what society would look like if they were implemented.”

“‘The key message of the book is that the fact that nonhuman animals are able to suffer and feel like us means that they ought to be granted fundamental rights. These rights should offer legal protections against harms such as being killed or made to suffer. Existing welfare protections don’t go nearly far enough because they permit serious and systematic wrongful harms.’”  Full Story →


US Supreme Court Turns Away Appeal in PETA Undercover Recording Case

Andrew Chung, 10/16/2023

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear North Carolina’s defense of a state law aimed at preventing hidden-camera investigations from damaging farms and other businesses in a challenge by [PETA] and other animal rights groups.”

“[PETA] said it had wanted to conduct an undercover investigation of animal testing labs at the University of North Carolina but feared the threat of monetary damages from the state law, which critics call one of several ‘ag-gag’ measures around the country aimed at restraining animal rights activists . . . ‘Ag-Gag laws are a desperate, last-ditch attempt by animal exploiters to smother free speech and hide appalling cruelty to animals from a public that is increasingly disinclined to tolerate it,’….”  Full Story →


Primate for UW Studies Dies in Program’s Care, Inspection Found

Frank Sumrall, 10/18/2023

“A non-human primate under the care of the University of Washington’s (UW) animal facilities recently died while under anesthesia during routine implant maintenance, a probe showed. The primate’s death was one of four non-compliant items an unannounced inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found between Sept. 12-14.”

“‘Internal documents reveal that in one recent eight-month period, the primate center had to treat a staggering 332 traumatic injuries (such as broken limbs and teeth), more than 200 cases of gastrointestinal problems, 149 cases of significant weight loss, 19 cases of rectal prolapse, and a dozen implant abnormalities.’”  Full Story →


Alzheimer’s Research: Why the Mouse Model Keeps Failing

Rise for Animals, 10/18/2023

Despite billions of dollars in funding, the failure rate of animal research to translate into human Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics is over 99%. Why? (Hint: Scientists aren’t studying the right species.) Here, we dig into the facts:  Full Story →

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