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Ornithological Council and American Society of Mammalogists meet with NSF Officials

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As part of their ongoing effort to achieve better recognition of the taxon-specific animal care and use guidelines (Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research; Guidelines of the American Society of Mammalogists for the Use of Wild Mammals in Research) by the federal agencies that fund and oversee wildlife research, OC Executive Director Ellen Paul and ASM Animal Care and Use Committee Chair Bob Sikes met with John Wingfield !NSF Biological Sciences Director), Joann Roskoski (Deputy Assistant Director), and Charles Liarakos (Emerging Frontiers Program Director). In his research career as an ornithologist, Dr. Wingfield had himself experienced the challenges of presenting a research protocol to an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee that had as an official resource only the Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the National Academies of Sciences. Sikes and Paul provided a copy of the paper they had submitted to BioScience (now accepted and scheduled to be published in September 2012) that provides a sound historical and scientific basis for formal recognition by federal agencies and universities of the taxon-specific guidelines as an official reference standard to be used (in conjunction with the ILAR Guide) when assessing wildlife research protocols. Sikes and Paul stressed that the taxon-specific guidelines are fully consistent with the ILAR Guide, but that beyond general principles, that Guide offers little useful information pertinent to wildlife research. The OC and the ASM will continue to pursue this discussion with NSF and other federal agencies.

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