Large Carriers Cave to Animal Rights Groups, Placing New Burdens on Preclinical Research
Posted 21 September 2012 | By
Conducting preclinical research is likely to become even more difficult under new policies announced by major cargo carriers, reports Scientific American.
FedEx and UPS, two of the world's largest shipment and logistics companies, have announced respective agreements with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to prevent the shipment of mammals for use in preclinical testing.
The move is likely to place additional burdens on clinical researchers, who rely on animal testing-and almost always on mammals-to conduct advanced safety and efficacy testing of products before allowing them to be used by humans.
Reuters reported in March 2012 that similar restrictions in the UK could potentially imperil research, quoting one research executive as saying, "Threats to the carriage of these animals will slow down the progress of essential and life-saving biomedical research."
The potential silver lining for researchers, explains Scientific American, is that neither UPS nor FedEx carry large numbers of animals. Still, the move could place pressure on additional carriers to do likewise-part of a long trend of PETA and similar animal-rights activists placing pressure on individual companies to disrupt the supply chains used to transport animals.
The group has also been increasingly involved in regulatory matters, working with officials with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to generate and assess alternate vaccine testing methods that don't require the use of animals.
Scientific American - FedEx and UPS Commit to Not Ship Research Mammals
Regulatory Focus - Animal Import Troubles Squeeze UK Clinical Research
Regulatory Focus - Regulatory Bodies to Assess Alternate Vaccine Testing Methods