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Animal Welfare Act of 1966

            The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 is a law issued by the federal government that lays out guidelines for treatment of laboratory animals. It covers the minimum requirements for veterinary care, food/water, handling, treatment, shelter, etc. It also states that facilities that use animals for research must be inspected periodically, must keep records of what animals are used for what type of research, and what is done to them in the process of obtaining information. However, this law does not prohibit the use of animals for experimentation, however useless the experiment may be. In fact, the act specifically states, "the use of animals is instrumental in certain research and education for advancing knowledge of cures and treatment for diseases and injuries which afflict both humans and animals (Animal Welfare Act as Amended)." Not only does the act allow for experimentation, but it does not specify regulations for how the experiment is to be conducted. For example, administering anesthetics, or painkillers, is not necessary if the drugs may interfere with the experiment (Pringle 47). Also, while the act ensures the humane treatment of such animals as dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, and guinea pigs, it specifically excludes mice, rats, and birds, which make up nearly 90% of the animals used for experimentation (Pringle 47). Because of this, facilities that use these animals for experimentation are exempt from inspections and are not required to keep record of how many animals are used, nor what experiments are performed on them. Also, these facilities are not required to consider non-animal testing alternatives, as other animal-testing facilities are forced to do. The rules and regulations regarding living conditions also exclude farm animals (used for food) and cold-blooded animals (The Animal Welfare Act). .
             Many kinds of animals are used for experimentation in countless laboratories all over the United States.

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