Animal Welfare Information Center News FeedThursday, February 27, 2014 - 15:10USDA. APHIS. Wildlife Services.
Taking on an adult grizzly bear or a pack of wolves is a lot to ask of a livestock protection dog, but it’s a task they willingly take to protect their herds from predation. For centuries, livestock protection dogs have helped ranchers protect livestock from coyotes, feral dogs, foxes, and mountain lions. Without them, thousands of sheep, lambs, and calves would be killed or injured each year.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 13:04USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is continuing to move swiftly and consistently to take enforcement action in response to animal welfare violations. As part of its effort to make its actions transparent and accessible to the public, APHIS is highlighting enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA).
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 10:38HHS. FDA. Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today an opportunity for public comment on FDA’s proposed collection of information from sponsors of generic animal drugs.
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 15:11USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
USDA Animal Care has revised its factsheet entitled Questions and Answers: Regulation of Dog/Cat Breeders and Dealers.
This factsheet provides information that we hope you find useful, including: 1) the types of dog/cat breeders and dealers regulated under the Animal Welfare Act; 2) the standards of care required by USDA; and 3) USDA’s role in the commercial transport of dogs/cats.
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 15:12USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
USDA Animal Care has created a publication entitled Proper Giraffe Care in Cold Weather.
This tech note provides information that we hope will aid in the care and treatment of giraffes. These animals are highly susceptible to cold temperatures because they do not acclimate to the cold as effectively as most other mammals.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 15:28Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)
OPEN-SOURCE INTEGRATED TESTING STRATEGY TO IDENTIFY POTENTIAL SENSITIZERS
NTP scientists are collaborating with Dr. Joanna Jaworska and colleagues at Procter and Gamble, who developed an integrated testing strategy for identifying potential skin sensitizers without conducting animal tests. The testing strategy uses a Bayesian network to analyze data from non-animal tests and other information about a test substance, such as chemical structure and solubility, to identify potential skin sensitizers. The software used by Procter and Gamble for these analyses is patented. Thus, the goal of the current project is to develop similar tools using open-source software to make the integrated testing strategy approach more widely available so that organizations worldwide may use this approach for identifying potential sensitizers.
Files for running the open-source integrated testing strategy analysis are available on the NTP website at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/its. Users of these files are strongly encouraged to join a listserv that has been established for users to provide feedback and share results. To join the listserv, go to https://list.nih.gov/cgi-bin/wa.exe?SUBED1=ITS-OS-COMM&X=2889916917F32E8157-4F8749712A4C1A9EBD33714E3C5A8AEF-LUI1387833694312.
MURINE LOCAL LYMPH NODE ASSAY LITERATURE DATABASE NOW AVAILABLE
On behalf of ICCVAM, NICEATM has conducted a number of analyses to evaluate the usefulness of the murine local lymph node assay (LLNA) to identify potential skin sensitizers. NICEATM is making this data available for reference to interested stakeholders for developing and evaluating alternative methods that replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals for skin sensitization testing. The database is available on the NTP website at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/40498.
Grants Available from the Alternatives Research and Development FoundationThursday, January 23, 2014 - 14:13Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)
The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation is currently soliciting research proposals for its 2014 Alternatives Research Grant Program. Grants of up to $40,000 are available to support individual projects of scientific merit and feasibility with the potential to significantly reduce or replace laboratory animal use. Preference will be given to projects as U.S. universities and research institutions and projects that use pathway-based approaches.
More information is available on the ARDF website at http://www.ardf-online.org. Application deadline for the grants is April 30, 2014.
NICEATM announces availability of new websiteThursday, January 23, 2014 - 14:16Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)
In an effort to make information on NICEATM and ICCVAM activities more easily available to stakeholders, NICEATM has launched a new website located at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/niceatm. The new NICEATM website resides within the existing National Toxicology Program (NTP) website, reflecting NICEATM's increased involvement in NTP high-throughput screening and other activities.
The new NICEATM website condenses summaries of past and current NICEATM and ICCVAM activities into a reduced number of webpages for easier navigation. A section dedicated to ICCVAM processes and activities within the new NICEATM site is located at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/iccvam.
NICEATM Federal and contract support staff will continue to be actively involved in developing and maintaining content for the new NICEATM website. Please contact NICEATM webmaster Cathy Sprankle at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments about the new site.
Sr. Communications Specialist
Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc./Contractor supporting the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 14:17USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
The Animal Care Information System (ACIS) is the powerful, searchable database created by USDA Animal Care that provides useful information about individuals/facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act. This information – including animal inventories, inspection report citations and the number of animals used in medical research – is accessible to one and all via the Animal Care website and is provided in multiple formats to meet peoples’ individual needs as they create their own searches.
At the moment, however, ACIS is not performing optimally. We are faced with technical challenges that are affecting not only the speed with which users can retrieve information from ACIS but also the accuracy and consistency of some of that information. Our technical team is aware of the problems and is working to resolve the issues. We please ask for your patience in this matter.
ACIS has been a valuable resource to thousands of people since its creation in 2011. We will do all we can to correct the current technical issues so that we can once again provide you with accurate, timely information.
At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 14:17USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
To more efficiently share Horse Protection Act (HPA) information, USDA Animal Care will now use the USDA/APHIS Stakeholder Registry to periodically alert you when we post our disqualification lists and enforcement actions.
The following link will take you to the most recent list of violators who have been disqualified from participating in HPA-regulated horse shows/exhibitions/sales/auctions: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp/downloads/reports/USDAHPDQ_01072014.pdf.
The following link will take you to the USDA news release that includes the most recently completed HPA enforcement cases: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2013/12/awa_november.shtml.
We will continue to do all we can to make the cruel and inhumane practice of soring horses a thing of the past. For more information, please visit our Horse Protection Program webpage: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hpa_info.shtml.
At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 14:18USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
As part of our ongoing efforts to enforce the Horse Protection Act and eliminate the cruel and inhumane practice of soring horses, USDA Animal Care will host a webinar with a renowned expert in the fields of equine thermography and digital imaging.
Dr. Tracy A. Turner, DVM, MS (diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons; diplomate, American Board of Thermology), will present scientific evidence in the form of thermal and digital imaging that he has collected over the past six years while serving as a consultant to USDA’s Horse Protection Program. His advancements in the area of thermography are helping us make strides as we continue to work with the walking horse industry to ensure that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows/exhibitions/sales/auctions.
Dr. Turner, a professionally recognized leader in equine podiatry, has published over 100 manuscripts and book chapters. As an influential member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, he has served on numerous national and state committees. He attended veterinary school at Colorado State University, interned at the University of Georgia and completed his surgical residency and Master of Science degree at Purdue University. He has held multiple academic positions, including chief of large animal surgery at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Turner is a member of the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame and is one of only four individuals to be board certified in veterinary thermography.
The webinar will take place Friday Jan. 17, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST. To register, please click here: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/705181247.
We look forward to your attendance and your participation during the webinar.
At USDA Animal Care, ensuring the welfare of the animals we regulate is at the heart of everything we do.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 14:19APHIS Animal Care
With temperatures expected to remain extremely low in many parts of the country, USDA Animal Care urges licensees/registrants with outdoor-housed animals to please take the necessary steps to ensure that your animals are protected from the cold.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Our goal is the same as yours: ensuring the welfare of your animals.
Updated Animal Welfare Act Regulations Posted on USDA's Animal Care WebsiteTuesday, November 5, 2013 - 13:35USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
USDA Animal Care has posted the most up-to-date version of the Animal Welfare Act regulations on its website: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/index.shtml. On this homepage, you will see the familiar “Blue Book” cover on the right side. Clicking on this image will pull up the Animal Welfare Act and its associated regulations.
The Animal Welfare Act and its regulations require that basic standards of care be provided for certain animals used in certain activities – including warm-blooded animals exhibited to the public, bred for commercial sale, used in medical research or transported commercially. We monitor the care of these animals by conducting unannounced inspections of all facilities licensed and registered under the Animal Welfare Act. When regulated facilities abide by these federal standards, we know that their animals are receiving humane care and treatment.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 13:58USDA. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
WASHINGTON, October 23, 2013 –Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will introduce new guidance—FSIS Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock—to support the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Proper implementation of this guidance will better ensure the humane treatment of livestock presented for slaughter, as it provides establishments a set of practices that will assist them in minimizing excitement, discomfort and accidental injury.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 13:14U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released today an update on its investigation into pet illnesses and deaths associated with jerky pet treats from China. The update includes a description of the extent of the agency’s testing and current findings, as well as a “Dear Veterinarian” letter and Fact Sheet for pet owners.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:48USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2013--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has revised the definition of “retail pet store” under the Animal Welfare Act to restore an important check and balance that helps ensure the health and humane treatment of pet animals sold sight unseen.
The previous definition of “retail pet store” was developed more than 40 years ago, before the Internet provided an alternate method of selling pets to the public. Some breeders were selling pet animals sight unseen, without providing an opportunity for the buyer to observe the animal prior to purchase, as was intended by the regulation. APHIS is revising the definition in its regulations to bring animals involved in these transactions under the Animal Welfare Act so that they can be monitored by our Agency for health and humane treatment.
“Requiring these breeders to adhere to the Animal Welfare Act standards is important because we know that if the federal standards are being met, the animals are getting humane care and treatment” said Ed Avalos, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “By revising the definition of retail pet store to better suit today’s marketplace, we will now improve the welfare of more pet animals sold sight-unseen.”
Today’s announcement fulfills a commitment APHIS made in response to an Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit on dog breeders. The 2010 audit found that more than 80 percent of sampled breeders were not being monitored or inspected to ensure their animals’ overall health and humane treatment resulting in some buyers receiving unhealthy pets—especially dogs. Instead, these breeders were selling pets over the Internet and claiming “retail pet store” status, exempting themselves from oversight by both consumers and APHIS.
With this regulatory change, APHIS has acted on the recommendation made by the OIG and restored the definition of retail pet store to its original intent: a place of business or residence at which the seller, buyer and the animal available for sale are physically present so that the buyer may personally observe the animal and help ensure its health prior to purchasing or taking custody of it.
Traditional, “brick and mortar” pet stores will continue to be exempt from federal licensing and inspection requirements under the Animal Welfare Act. However, Internet-based businesses and other businesses that sell animals sight unseen must now be licensed and inspected by APHIS to ensure the pets they sell to the public receive minimum standards of care.
Many animal rescue groups, pounds, shelters and humane societies will continue to be exempt from APHIS regulations. Also exempt are the following: people who breed and sell working dogs; people selling rabbits for food, fiber (including fur) or for the preservation of bloodlines; children who raise rabbits as part of a 4-H project; operations that raise, buy and sell farm animals for food or fiber (including fur); and businesses that deal only with fish, reptiles and other cold-blooded animals.
The change in regulations will also increase from three to four the number of breeding females (dogs, cats or small exotic/wild pocket pets) that people may maintain before they would be required to be licensed under the Animal Welfare Act. This will allow APHIS to better concentrate its resources on ensuring the welfare of animals at larger breeding operations. Breeders who maintain four or fewer breeding females are considered hobby breeders who already provide sufficient care to their animals without APHIS’ oversight – provided they only sell the offspring of animals born and raised on their premises for pets or exhibition.
APHIS already regulates the commercial sale of pet animals on the wholesale side to ensure that animals bred at wholesale facilities are receiving humane care and treatment.
With Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, APHIS works tirelessly to create and sustain opportunities for America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Each day, APHIS promotes U.S. agricultural health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and carries out wildlife damage management activities, all to help safeguard the nation’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries. In the event that a pest or disease of concern is detected, APHIS implements emergency protocols and partners with affected states and other countries to quickly manage or eradicate the outbreak. To promote the health of U.S. agriculture in the international trade arena, APHIS develops and advances science-based standards with trading partners to ensure America’s agricultural exports, valued at more than $137 billion annually, are protected from unjustified restrictions.
Note to reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through really simple syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/ and click on the RSS feed link
A New Vision and Direction for ICCVAM: Comments Requested on Draft DocumentThursday, February 27, 2014 - 15:16Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)
The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) work together to promote the development, validation, and regulatory acceptance of new and revised regulatory test methods. In a February 2013 editorial in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and NTP Director Linda Birnbaum announced upcoming significant changes to the focus and priorities of both ICCVAM and NICEATM.
A draft document now available on the NTP website, titled “A New Vision and Direction for ICCVAM,” describes the initial steps towards a new strategic direction for ICCVAM. Specifically, this document discusses (1) ICCVAM priority setting and areas for scientific focus for immediate resource investment; (2) plans to improve communications with stakeholders and the public; and (3) exploration of new paradigms for the validation and utilization of alternative toxicological methods.
NICEATM invites public comments on “A New Vision and Direction for ICCVAM.” The document will be discussed at the Sept. 24 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM).
Links to “A New Vision and Direction for ICCVAM,” the Environmental Health Perspectives editorial, and the ICCVAM response to the editorial are available on the SACATM Background Materials page http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/40529, under the heading “New ICCVAM Vision and Procedures.” To submit a comment on “A New Vision and Direction for ICCVAM,” go to http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/opensolicitations and select the “Submit Comment” link beside the SACATM meeting announcement. Written comments submitted by September 10 will be considered during the discussion of the draft document at the SACATM meeting.
For more information about the SACATM meeting, go to http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/32822. This page includes links to the Background Materials page, a preliminary meeting agenda, a registration form to attend the meeting, and a webcast that will be available on the day of the meeting.
Monday, August 26, 2013 - 13:01Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)
On October 10-11, 2013, the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present a workshop addressing development of new methods to assess and predict whether substances might affect cardiovascular safety in humans. The workshop, titled Translational Alternative Models and Biomarkers Predictive of Drug or Chemical Cardiovascular Risk, will bring together scientists from the pharmaceutical and industrial chemical industries, academia, and regulatory agencies. Workshop participants will consider new approaches to cardiovascular toxicity testing that will provide better safety and risk assessments while reducing or eliminating animal use, how to prioritize research initiatives in this area, and how to bring together data on test substances from various test methods and sources to develop better cardiovascular toxicity hazard assessments.
More information can be found on the website.
Monday, January 6, 2014 - 09:48Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)
The European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) is accepting public comments on draft recommendations for two non-animal test methods. The direct
peptide reactivity assay is recommended as a screening test to identify substances with the potential to cause allergic contact dermatitis. The Bhas 42 cell transformation assay is recommended
as a screening test to identify potential carcinogens.
The draft recommendations are available on the European Union Institute for Health and Consumer Protection website . EURL ECVAM is accepting comments on both draft recommendations through September 13. Comments may be submitted by email to JRC-ECVAM-CONTACT@ec.europa.eu.
This announcement was originally distributed via the ICCVAM-all email list.
Subscribing to the ICCVAM-all email list will enable you to be notified directly of NICEATM and ICCVAM activities. Subscribers receive email notification of publication of NICEATM Federal Register notices, availability of ICCVAM reports, notices of upcoming meetings, requests for public comments or data, and other events of interest to our stakeholders.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 10:36USDA. APHIS. Veterinary Services.
Notice 13-10, Changes to the Rabies Virus NIH Potency Test Validity Requirements, has been recently added to the Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) Web site and is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/vet_biologics/publications/notice_13_10.pdf.
CVB Notice 13-10, signed July 26, 2013, informs licensees, permittees, and applicants of the CVB’s intent to eliminate the median lethal dose (LD50) upper limit for the challenge virus as a validity requirement when conducting the Rabies Virus NIH potency test.
For a valid challenge, the LD50 is now greater than or equal to 12. Supplemental Assay Method 308 will be amended to reflect this change, which is effective immediately.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 12:59USDA. APHIS. Veterinary Services.
VS Memorandum 800.116 - Animal Safety Testing Exemption – signed July 31, 2013, provides guidance so licensed firms may request an exemption under Title 9, Code of Federal Regulations, part 113.4, to animal safety testing as required in the Outlines of Production, and 9 CFR parts 113.64, 113.100, 113.200, 113.300 and 113.450. The Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) will consider granting exemptions to animal safety testing for specific products with a documented history of acceptable safety results that includes controlled manufacturing processes for batch-to-batch consistency and sterility.
This change is effective 30 days from the date of this Memorandum.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 13:41USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
The petition requests that the AWA regulations prohibit public contact with big cats, bears, and nonhuman primates of any age.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 13:42USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 08:35
Poaching, habitat loss and disease all threaten chimpanzee populations. Proposal to list chimpanzee as endangered.
Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 14:47
APHIS seeks comments on revised structure for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network
Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 15:29USDA.APHIS.Animal Care
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2013--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is continuing to move more swiftly and consistently to take enforcement action in response to animal welfare violations. As part of its effort to make its actions transparent and accessible to the public, APHIS is highlighting enforcement actions taken in response to violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Horse Protection Act (HPA).
CPSC Issues Guidance on Assessment of Sensitizing Substances, Requests Comment on Proposed Update to FHSATuesday, April 23, 2013 - 13:49Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods
In a Federal Register notice published March 12, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced new guidance to clarify the definition of “strong sensitizer” as the term applies to substances and products regulated by the CPSC. The CPSC also issued a proposal to update the supplemental definition of “strong sensitizer” under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA).
The CPSC guidance document is titled “Strong Sensitizer Guidance.” The CPSC issued the document to assist manufacturers of chemical products in understanding how the CPSC assesses whether such products might be strong sensitizers and thus require cautionary labeling under the FHSA. The document describes the types of data that the CPSC considers in making such a determination and available methods for generating such data. It notes that a determination that a particular product is a strong sensitizer must occur on a case-by-case basis and does not solely depend upon the presence of a strong sensitizer in the product.
The guidance document is available on the CPSC website at http://www.cpsc.gov/Global/Regulations-Laws-and-Standards/Regulated-Products-Rules/strongsensitizerguidance.pdf
The CPSC proposal to update the definition of “strong sensitizer” under the FHSA would update the definitions for “sensitizer,” “significant potential for causing hypersensitivity,” “normal living tissue,” and “severity of reaction.” The goals of the updated definitions are to “eliminate redundancy, remove certain subjective factors, incorporate new and anticipated technology, rank the criteria for classification of strong sensitizers in order of importance, define criteria for ‘severity of reaction,’ and indicate that a weight-of-evidence approach will be used to determine the strength of the sensitizer.”
CPSC is accepting comments on the proposal through May 28, 2013. Instructions for submitting comments are included in the Federal Register notice announcing the proposal, which is available on the FDSys website at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-12/pdf/2013-05577.pdf or http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-12/html/2013-05577.htm.
Monday, May 6, 2013 - 16:43UK’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs)
A new video resource added to the Procedures with Care website aims to help research workers apply best practice in aseptic surgical technique.