January-February NewsBRIEF

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in January and February 2022Our work focuses on animal welfare issues, permits, research funding, and other policies that affect ornithologists and ornithological societies. We greatly appreciate your support. Please contact Laura Bies (laurabiesoc@gmail.com) with questions or concerns about this report or about any other matter of concern to your society or your society’s members. 

In this time period, the Ornithological Council:

1. Prepared an annual report summarizing our activities in 2021. 

2. Began to develop comments on the proposed rule that would regulate the use of birds not bred for research under the Animal Welfare Act. Comments are due April 25. Much of the proposed rule deals with standards for housing birds during research. If you have experience with this, and are willing to quickly review the proposed standards to inform the OC’s comments, please contact Laura Bies (laurabiesoc@gmail.com).

3. Participated in a quarterly meeting with Bird Banding Lab staff, to discuss issues of mutual interest.

4. Participated in a two-day virtual animal welfare workshopOC Executive Director Laura Bies was part of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s workshop planning committee for a free virtual workshop held February 9-10 on “Discussing and Understanding Animal Welfare Challenges in Research and Education on Wildlife, Non-Model Animal Species, and Biodiversity.”  PDFs of the various speakers’ presentations are now available here and video recordings of the sessions will be posted soon. 

5. Continued to work with a new National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine committee. Dr. William Bowerman, current Vice Chair of the Ornithological Council, was appointed as one of 13 members of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s new Standing Committee for the Care and Use of Animals in Research. 

6. Continued work on our update of the Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research. We are currently in the process of reviewing the literature for new papers published since the 2010 publication of the current edition. New reference lists for each chapter are being made available on BIRDNET.org once completed, and once all chapter updates have been completed, a new PDF of the Guidelines with the new references will be compiled and posted online. 

7. Provided direct individual assistance to ornithologists who belong to OC societies regarding how to obtain the permits necessary to complete their research. During January and Februarydirect assistance was provided to one individual. In addition, given current delays in permitting time, OC staff corresponded with a number of ornithologists via email and the Ornithology Exchange regarding those delays, and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

8. Posted articles and updates on the Ornithology Exchange regarding:

USDA releases proposed animal welfare regulation for birds

Williams confirmed as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USDA increases avian influenza surveillance

USFWS reopens Red-cockaded Woodpecker proposal

Canadian Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada reassesses the status of bird species

All these updates, and more, are always available on the ‘News From the OC’ forum on Ornithological Exchange.