GAO to NIH: Strength­en over­sight of an­i­mal wel­fare for over­seas con­tracts

The NIH pro­vid­ed bil­lions of dol­lars over a decade to for­eign com­pa­nies for re­search projects that use an­i­mals — and the US Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­i­ty Of­fice thinks the NIH needs to strength­en its over­sight of those sites to en­sure the an­i­mals’ wel­fare.

In a re­port re­leased Thurs­day based on an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­quest­ed by Con­gress, the GAO rec­om­mend­ed that the NIH con­duct site vis­its and re­quire third-par­ty ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the an­nu­al re­ports sub­mit­ted by the com­pa­nies in or­der to “pro­vide rea­son­able as­sur­ance that award re­cip­i­ents’ an­nu­al self-re­port­ed project in­for­ma­tion is re­li­able and ad­e­quate to en­sure the hu­mane care and use of lab­o­ra­to­ry an­i­mals.”

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