Midyear Meeting

Incentivize alternatives to animal research, ABA House says

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The ABA House of Delegates on Monday at the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, adopted a resolution urging Congress and federal agencies to promote the development and use of methods that aim to replace, reduce and refine the use of animal models in research and testing. (Image from Shutterstock)

The ABA House of Delegates on Monday at the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, adopted a resolution urging Congress and federal agencies to promote the development and use of methods that aim to replace, reduce and refine the use of animal models in research and testing.

Resolution 502 also focuses on removing barriers to and creating incentives for the use of nonanimal model research and testing methods in regulatory and federally sponsored research.

Paul Locke, an attorney and scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, speaking in support of the resolution, said that nonanimal replacement alternatives are exciting and “developing rapidly.”

Locke, a nondelegate given privileges to speak before the House, said it was important that, through the resolution, nonanimal developments “be promoted and accelerated,” as a way of encouraging a move away from animal testing.

Follow along with the ABA Journal’s coverage of the 2024 ABA Midyear Meeting here.

Opponents of animal research say it is unethical and that animals are mistreated during research. In addition, the benefits of research on animals to society are overstated, opponents say. Proponents say that using animals for research benefits humanity.

Researchers have been developing a variety of alternatives to animal testing, such as testing cells and tissues in test tubes or cell cultures, using computational and mathematical models an using noninvasive diagnostic imaging, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Resolution 502 was sponsored by the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, the International Law Section and the Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. The report accompanying the resolution says that encouraging “the replacement of animal-based research and testing with scientifically suitable, cost-effective and humane nonanimal methods promotes just laws and the public good.”

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