The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing changes to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations to reduce the administrative burden for research facilities, while ensuring that research animals continue to receive humane care. The proposed changes would apply to approximately 1,100 registered facilities that use animals to conduct research, teaching, testing and experimentation.
The proposed rule addresses unduly burdensome and unclear administrative requirements regarding inactive facilities, redundant facility contact information status reports, conditions for registration termination, the validity period of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee-approved protocols, and signatures on animal research facility annual reports.
These changes are being proposed as part of USDA’s commitment to regulatory reform and are in compliance with the 21st Century Cures Act, which directs USDA to work with the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to complete a review of regulations and policies for the care and use of laboratory animals. It also requires USDA to make revisions to reduce the administrative burden on the research community, while maintaining the integrity of research findings and the protection of research animals.
The proposed rule may be viewed in today’s Federal Register. Beginning tomorrow, members of the public will be able to submit comments for 60 days.