Skip to comments.Tales of the Red Tape #26: Taxpayers Finance Rat Condos (Read Them All!)
Posted on 12/03/2012 10:46:31 AM PST by IbJensen
Millions of American homeowners face foreclosure, but at least one sort of housing crisis has been remedied: No longer will research rats suffer the indignities of crowded cages.
That is to say that the federal government has ordered labs to provide precisely measured living quarters for all rodents used in federally funded research. Thus, a female rat and her offspring must be housed (for their short, genetically altered lives) in lodgings that feature no less than 124 square inches of floor space and 7 inches of head room. By comparison, a mama mouse and her litter merit a mere 51-inch area. (Space taken up by food bowls, water containers, litter boxes, and toys doesnt count.)
The new requirements appear in the latest edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (page 57), published by the National Research Council. No such requirements have appeared in previous editions.
Researchers are alarmed, to say the least. According to the National Association for Biomedical Research, the new standards will increase lab costs by hundreds of millions of dollarschunks of it from taxpayersthereby detracting from research projects. Scientists also say theres no evidence that luxury cage space will have any positive effect on Rattus norvegicus.
Alas, the opposition doesnt faze the folks at the National Research Council, who warn that departures from the Guide for reasons of convenience, cost, or other non-animal welfare considerations are not acceptable.
I think the only way to fit a member of congress into the allocated space would be through cremation. Hmmmm.
dang brain is acting up today, my booze levels must be low