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Date:  May 29, 2009 

Contacts:  Jennifer Walsh, Media Relations Officer

Alison Burnette, Media Relations Assistant

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail <>




Dealers That Purchase And Resell Animals Not Necessary for NIH-Funded Research


WASHINGTON -- It is not necessary for researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health to acquire "random source" dogs and cats -- which come from the general animal population -- from Class B dealers that purchase and resell animals, says a new report from the National Research Council.  Alternative sources are available to meet NIH-funded research needs, including direct acquisition from pounds and shelters, donation programs, cooperative pre-clinical trials, Class A dealers that breed animals on their premises, NIH-supported resource and research development, and existing NIH-supported and privately owned colonies. 


More than 1,000 Class B dealers exist, which include pet distributors, but only 11 can acquire and sell live dogs and cats classified as random source for research.  Yet, not all 11 dealers provide live animals for NIH research, and random source animals can be obtained from other resources besides Class B dealers.  However, the demand for and use of random source animals in research has declined over the past 30 years.  The declining trend suggests that the Class B dealer system may eventually become unavailable.


The report says under some circumstances, random source dogs and cats may be desirable or necessary for NIH-funded research, because they provide a genetically diverse study group; are models for research on naturally occurring diseases such as cancer, infectious diseases, and age-related diseases; and can exhibit characteristics that may not be available in animals bred specifically for research. 


The report was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.  The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter.  Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards.  The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion.  For more information, visit  A committee roster follows.


Copies of Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at  Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above). 

[ This news release and report are available at ]



Division on Earth and Life Studies

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research


Committee on Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats for Research


Stephen W. Barthold* (chair)

Professor of Medical Pathology, and


Center for the Comparative Medicine

Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

University of California



Donald C. Bosler

Associate Professor

Department of Physiological Sciences

College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Florida



Kelly D. Garcia

Clinical Veterinarian

Biological Resources Laboratory

University of Illinois



Joseph R. Haywood

Professor and Chair

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Michigan State University

East Lansing


Stuart E. Leland



Wyeth Research

Princeton, N.J.


Lila Miller

Vice President of Veterinary Outreach

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

New York City


Randall J. Nelson

Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Health Sciences Center

University of Tennessee



James Serpell

Marie A. Moore Professor of Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare

Department of Clinical Medicine

School of Veterinary Medicine

University of Pennsylvania



Michael R. Talcott


Veterinary Surgical Services

Division of Comparative Medicine, and

Research Assistant Professor of Surgery

School of Medicine

Washington University

St. Louis, Mo.


Robert A. Whitney

U.S. Public Health Services (retired)

Steilacoom, Wash.




Christine Henderson

Study Director



* Member, Institute of Medicine