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1985 Amendments House Conference Report 99-447, Joint Explanatory State of the Committee of Conference



Country of Origin: United States

Agency of Origin: Congress

National Citation: House Conference Report 99-447


Summary:   The Senate amendment designates this title as the “Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act.” 
Material in Full:

            The managers on the part of the House and the Senate at the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the Senate to the bill (H.R. 2100) to extend and revise agricultural price support and related programs, to provide for agricultural export, resource conservation, farm credit, and agricultural research and related programs, to continue food assistance to low-income persons, to ensure consumers an abundance of food and fiber at reasonable prices, and for other purposes, submit the following joint statement to the House and the Senate in explanation of the effect of the action agreed upon by the managers and recommended in the accompanying conference report:

                                    [pp. 325-592 omitted]

 

SUBTITLE F— ANIMAL WELFARE

[p. 592]

 

Amendments to Animal Welfare Act

            (a) Short title

            The Senate amendment designates this title as the “Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act.”  (Sec. 2001.)

 

The House bill contains no comparable provision.

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate amendment.

            (b) Findings

The Senate amendment declares the finding of Congress to the effect that the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education or for advancing knowledge of cures and treatments for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals; methods of testing that do not use animals are being and continue to be developed which are faster, less expensive, and more accurate than traditional animal experiments for some purposes and further opportunities exist for the development of these methods of testing; measures which eliminate or minimize the unnecessary duplication of experiments on animals can result in more productive use of Federal funds; and measures which help meet the public concern for laboratory animal care and treatment are important in assuring that research will continue to progress. (Sec. 2002.) [p. 592-593]

 

The House bill contains no comparative provision.

            The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision.

The conference intends that the adequacy of efforts to develop techniques that reduce or eliminate the use of animals be a matter of continuing concern and attention.

            (c) Standards and certification process

The Senate amendment revises the standards, required to be promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture, which govern the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of animals by dealers, research facilities, and exhibitors.

 

The Senate amendment provides that these standards would include minimum requirements for handling, housing, feeding, watering, sanitation, ventilation, shelter from extremes of weather and temperatures, adequate veterinary care, and separation by species for humane handling, care or treatment of animals; and for the exercise of dogs and for a physical environment adequate to promote the psychological well-being of primates.

            The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to provide that an attending veterinarian would be responsible for ensuring that dogs receive a reasonable amount of exercise according to general standards promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture.

            The conferees intend the standard for exercise for dogs to offer a variety of possibilities to allow the animal motion.  It could consist of regularly letting the dog out of its cage for a period of time, the use of dog runs, or allowing ample room in animal housing.

            The intent of standards with regard to promoting the psychological well-being of primates is to provide adequate space equipped with devices for exercise consistent with the primate’s natural instincts and habits.

 

The Conference substitute also amends the Senate provision to–

 

            (1)             except as provided in the Act, prohibit the Secretary from promulgating rules and regulations with regard to designs, outlines, or guidelines of actual research or representations by a research facility as determined by such research facility.

 


 

            (2)             except as provided in the Act. Prohibit the Secretary from promulgating rules and regulations or orders with regard to the performance of actual research or experimentation by a research facility as determined by such a research facility;

 

            (3)             prohibit the Secretary, during any inspection, to interrupt the conduct of research or experimentation; and

 

            (4)             require every research facility and Federal research facility to show upon inspection and to report at least annually that the provisions of this Act are being followed.

[p. 593-595]

 

While the main purpose of the amendments to the Animal Welfare Act is to improve the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to insure the proper care and treatment of animals used in research, the conferees are also concerned that responsible research not be interfered with inappropriately.  Thus, the conference substitute includes a provision prohibiting Federal inspectors from interrupting the conduct of actual research or experimentation.  The language establishes the general areas in which the Secretary may promulgate regulations with regard to the conduct of actual research.  These circumstances were made clear so that essential research not be impeded.  As in the past, the Committee intends that the research facility show that professionally acceptable standards are being followed during the actual research or experimentation. 

            The Conferees intended that the Secretary of Agriculture will consult with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to avoid duplicative reporting requirements where possible.

            The Conferees also intend to allow private research facilities to protect their intellectual property rights from disclosure.  It such rights, in the opinion of the owner, may reasonably be compromised or subject to disclosure during an inspection of an institutional Animal Committee, the owner may exclude the committee from inspecting the limited area within the facility during such proprietary activity.

            (d) Institutional Animal Committee

                        [restatement of provisions omitted]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to delete all references to “Institutional Animal” after the first referral to the Institutional Animal Committee.

 

            (e)   Research facility training

                        [restatement of provisions omitted]

[p. 595]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to retain training requirements, but delete references to any “annual” training.  The Conference substitute also clarifies that such training procedures would be subject to the requirements issued by the Secretary of Agriculture.

[P. 596]

The Conferees intend that instruction of research facility employees cover the basic needs of each species appropriate to the conditions of the animals and provide appropriate instructions for scientists as specified in the Act.

All personnel are intended to be acquainted with the provisions of this Act and instructed to report deficiencies promptly to ensure that the institution is in compliance at all times.  No employee shall be discriminated against for reporting violations.

 

            (f) Information service

The Secretary would establish an information service at the National Agricultural Library.  The service would provide information (A) pertinent to employee training; (B) which could prevent unintended duplication of animal experimentation as determined by the needs of the research facility; and (C) on improved methods of animal experimentation, including methods which could reduce or replace animal use, and minimize pain and distress to animals, such as anesthetic and analgesic procedures. (Sec. 2003.)

[p. 596]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision.

 

The Conferees intend that all investigators be provided ready access to methods of research and testing involving fewer or no animals, or reduce pain or distress through the National Agriculture Library in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine.  The conferees further intend that the National Agriculture Library maintains a data base of instructional materials to be available to research facilities to enhance uniformity of training.

 

            (g)   Loss of Federal funding

                        [Restatement of provisions omitted]

The House bill contains no comparable provision.

[p. 596]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision.

           

            (h)   Inspections

                        [Restatement of provisions omitted]

The House bill contains no comparable provision.

[p. 596]

The Conference substitute adopted the Senate provision.

 

            (i) Penalty for release of trade secrets

                        [restatement of provisions omitted]

[p. 597]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision.

The penalties in this Act are directed toward members of the Institutional Committee which attempt to use facility intellectual property to their own benefit.  It is not meant to interfere with standard reporting procedures outlined in this Act, or as determined by the Secretary.

 

            (j)   Civil penalties

                        [restatement of provisions omitted]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision.

 

            (k)   Definitions

                        [restatement of provisions omitted]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision with an amendment to define the term “Federal Award” as any mechanism under which Federal funds are used to support the conduct of research.

[p. 597]

The Conferees expect the Secretary of Agriculture to have full responsibility for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act.  However, the Conferees also recognize that a portion of the nation’s research facilities fall under regulation from more than one agency.  While the legislative mandate of each agency is different, and they may regulate different aspects of animal care, it is hoped that the agencies continue open communications to avoid conflicting regulations wherever possible or practical.

 

            (l)   Effective date

                        [restatement of provisions omitted]

The Senate amendment provides that these provisions in the bill would take effect 1 year after enactment of the bill.

[p. 598]

The Conference substitute adopts the Senate provision.

 

The Conferees are aware that zoological institutions already comply with humane care, handling, and transportation regulations promulgated pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  The permitting system established under these statutes are not considered to be Federal awards by this Act.  The Conferees do not intend for this Act to alter the Secretary’s determination in regard to the classification of zoological institutions as research facilities.

 

The Conferees intend for the definition of pain to be pain other than slight or momentary, such as that caused by injections or other minor procedures.

 

The Conferees recognize past difficulties in supplying Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service inspectors with adequate training.  It is intended by the Conferees that additional training will be provided.

 

 

 



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