Expand animal protection bill
Live animals used in laboratory research in Vermont are in need of our help.
Vermont is one of the few states in this country that does not allow citizens access to information about how live animals are cared for and used in publicly funded experiments.
The regulatory system run by the USDA is inadequate and only involves annual or biannual inspections of labs; in fact, USDA audits have repeatedly documented problems with the regulatory program, as well as poor compliance by research facilities. As such, public oversight of live animal research is absolutely vital — and yet it is impossible in Vermont.
Currently, House bill 757 would continue to prevent public access to documents like animal use protocols and veterinary care records. On the other hand, Senate bill 127 supports greater transparency in our state government by allowing citizens access to this information, while still respecting the proprietary nature of certain information and the personal information of researchers.
I therefore encourage any readers with state representatives on the House Government Operations Committee to contact their representative in support of replacing the House language in H.757 about access to records surrounding the care and use of live animals in experiments with the Senate language from S.127.
Members include Rep. Patti Lewis of Berlin and Northfield and Rep. Linda Martin of Belvidere, Hyde Park, Johnson and Wolcott.
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