To: USDA Regulatory Officials
As the son of a professional medical researcher who did extensive research using lab animals, I am familiar with the good that such research can provide. However, my father also taught me that it was important for those in his profession to treat their subjects humanely.
I strongly urge USDA to adopt this regulation as written, without amendments, immediately. This proposed regulation would require animal researchers, licensed animal exhibitors, and licensed breeders of dogs to maintain medical records for each individual animal under their care.
The law already requires researchers, exhibitors and breeders to maintain a "program of adequate veterinary care." However, the law does not specifically require the keeping of medical records documenting any medical condition and treatment provided to the animal, including necessary vaccinations and health exams. This is essential in order to ensure compliance with the requirement that a program of veterinary care be established for each animal. The proposed regulation also would require that a copy of the records accompany the animal whenever the animal is sold or transferred. This record-keeping requirement will provide the new owner or custodian the animal's medical history, as well as important information to properly care for the animal in the future.
The proposed regulation is not an unreasonable requirement to impose on these regulated entities. In addition, it will greatly assist USDA inspectors in their duties to enforce the Animal Welfare Act and bring any violators into compliance. Finally, it will go far in providing the public with more confidence in the USDA and its more rigorous and effective enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, a law that is intended to protect and provide for the health and well being of animals in these regulated activities.
I would appreciate learning of your decision in the near future. Thank you.