Resolution on the Value of Mammalian Research and the Humane Treatment of Research Animals

WHEREAS, the scientific study of mammals provides valuable insights into the biology of all mammals including ourselves, and produces basic biological, agricultural, and medical knowledge of significant benefit to humans and other mammals; and

WHEREAS, basic mammalian research provides information required for the proper care of mammals, and for the conservation of mammals in their natural habitat; and

WHEREAS, mammalogists recognize that proper and humane treatment of research animals is a scientific and ethical obligation; and

WHEREAS, The American Society of Mammalogists has a longstanding record of commitment to the responsible and humane study of mammals, and to the conservation of mammalian species and their associated ecosystems, and has established guidelines for the responsible and humane use of mammals in field and laboratory studies; and

WHEREAS, despite the observance of these guidelines, there has recently been an alarming increase in the number of violent attacks against researchers who work with mammals; and

WHEREAS, these attacks include not only acts of destruction, theft, and vandalism, but also personal threats against the lives of individual researchers and their families; and

WHEREAS, there is an active, widespread and damaging public campaign of misinformation regarding the nature of scientific research with mammals; and

WHEREAS, these actions are a serious threat to the future of basic and applied biological and medical research, and impede development of critical knowledge identifying unique populations and endangered species, and the conservation of their habitats; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Society of Mammalogists, meeting at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, Maryland, 9-13 June 1990, continues to strongly support the humane and responsible use of mammals and other organisms in basic, medical, agricultural, and other applied scientific research, and the observance of guidelines and regulations relating to the use of animals in research; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Society strongly condemns the threats of violence and intimidation which have been directed towards researchers, and encourages mammalogists, research institutions, funding agencies, law enforcement officials, legislators, and other concerned citizens to take decisive action to end these threats, and to take every opportunity to inform the public of the true nature of biological research.