The federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) gives some protections to warm-blooded animals used in research laboratories. That is, to 5 percent of them. It leaves the rest -- rats, mice, and birds -- out in the cold.
For the animals it does cover, the "AWA requires researchers to minimize animal pain, use pain relief, set appropriate housing for species, and provide appropriate veterinary care," according to an Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) white paper. But for the other 95% of animals in labs, researchers aren't legally required to provide decent housing or any anesthetic or veterinary care at all.
There is now a bill in Congress to extend the AWA to protect rats, birds, and mice. It is the decent, humane, and logical thing to do, and will close a nonsensical legal loophole that has allowed millions of sensitive sentient beings to suffer.
95% of animals in research laboratories have no protection from cruelty and neglect. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is meant to protect lab animals, but it excludes birds, rats, and mice. There is a bill, HR 6693, pending to amend the AWA to cover these animals. Please support it and sign on as a co-sponsor.
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