February 21, 2001

Regulations for the Use of Laboratory Animals

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Mr Glickman served as US Secretary of Agriculture from March 30, 1995, to January 20, 2001.


Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Executive Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(7):941. doi:10.1001/jama.285.7.941

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently settled the litigation involving coverage of rats, mice, and birds under the Animal Welfare Act. I firmly believe that the USDA's decision in this matter was in the best interest of all involved—the federal government, the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF), and the biomedical research community—and will not jeopardize important research being conducted on a number of fronts.

The USDA entered into the settlement agreement with the ARDF, the plaintiffs in the case, because attorneys with the Justice Department and our Office of the General Counsel advised us that the US District Court might very possibly rule in favor of the ARDF. If that had happened, the US District Court could have dictated the nature and time frame for coverage of rats, mice, and birds under the Animal Welfare Act. Such a judgment might have even required the USDA to extend coverage immediately under existing standards with no opportunity for input of any kind from the research community and other interested parties.

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