The Ornithological Council offered testimony during a virtual listening session held by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to gather information to assist in the development of regulations for birds not bred for use in research under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
The testimony offered by Laura Bies, Executive Director of the OC, noted that the additional regulations for birds not bred for research are not necessary, given the current level of regulations already in place for these birds and recommended that APHIS ensure that any additional burden on researchers is balanced by a commensurate increase in protection. Bies provided four recommendations for APHIS to consider as the rulemaking progresses:
- Exclude wild birds studies in the wild from regulation
- Exclude offspring of non-exempt birds that breed in captivity from regulation
- Consult with experts regarding housing and husbandry standards
- Exempt field surgery from regulation