Latest Issue of Science News


Of Rats, Mice, and Birds

Fireworks erupt over an extension of rules to protect lab animals

When Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act in 1966, it charged the U.S. Department of Agriculture with safeguarding domestic warm-blooded animals from neglect and abuse. The stated intention of the law was to protect any creatures raised to be pets, put on exhibition, or used in research.

Some 95 percent of the animals that fit that description, however, were soon excluded from the act. The exempted group comprises an estimated 23 million rats, mice, and birds.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.