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Animal research advocates demand cross-border transport

UK and US restrictions said to be hampering work on Covid-19

Advocates for the humane use of animals in research have called on the UK and US governments to ensure researchers working on the Covid-19 pandemic and other life-threatening and debilitating illnesses can access the animals they need for their work.

“In the UK and US, long-standing restrictions imposed by cross-border transport providers including air, sea and rail, have made it increasingly difficult for the biomedical community to move the research animals it needs,” the European Animal Research Association and US National Association for Biomedical Research said in a joint call on 26 March.

Given the Covid-19 emergency, EARA called on the UK government to “engage with the UK transport sector to end their research animal transport embargo”.

“Without the ability to move research models from one country or continent, to another, or from a breeder to a research institution, crucial scientific research seeking new treatments will be disrupted,” said EARA executive director Kirk Leech.

Research Professional News has contacted the UK government for comment.

NABR urged US vice-president Mike Pence and transportation secretary Elaine Chao to “take immediate action to eliminate policies which discriminate against the transportation of animals intended for research”.