International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


The Animal Welfare Act is the only federal statute designed to protect animals used in laboratory research. This law requires research facilities to register with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and meet minimum housing standards, care, and treatment standards for most warm-blooded animals. The Act is administered by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the USDA. Research institutions are required to file annual reports. However, the reports are frequently deficient. The authors argue that the USDA should issue clear definitions for what is meant by “pain” and “distress. ” They should also provide further explanation regarding what is meant by “routine procedures” and request additional information from those institutions reporting that they do not use pain-relieving drugs.