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animal experimentation

Project to review animal experimentation

Laboratory animals: scientific entities respond to the CPI report

Eduardo CesarLaboratory animals: scientific entities respond to the CPI reportEduardo Cesar

Three entities that represent the scientific community–the Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science (SBPC), the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and the Brazilian Federation of Experimental Biology Societies (FESBE)–have joined forces to prevent the Brazilian Congress from changing Law No. 11.794, known as the Arouca Law, which in 2008 regulated the use of animals for scientific purposes in Brazil. This possibility was mentioned in the final report of the Congressional Investigation Commission (CPI) on the mistreatment of animals. Among other recommendations, the report included the text of a draft law the Commission will submit that proposes changes in the operation and organization chart of the National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (Concea), the collegial institution responsible for establishing animal experimentation standards in Brazil and replacing animals used for scientific purposes with alternatives when they exist. The report was approved in December 2015, but it may be amended when the vote is taken on the individual provisions. The reason for the changes is that there are some researchers who work with animals and are also members of Concea. In the words of the report, this could create a conflict of interest, since “Concea members process membership and approval applications that it receives.” The project proposes establishing a new appeal unit within the council. “This will burden and destabilize Concea’s operations and the process of regulating the use of animals for scientific purposes,” says a letter to the CPI from the presidents of the three entities—Helena Nader (SBPC), Jacob Palis (ABC) and Dalton Valentim (FESBE)—to the CPI, in which they ask to have the project removed from the final report.