I have heard recently from various groups in our community that there are increasing calls to action from animal rights activists. Everyone has the right to voice their opinions and to work for causes they believe in. Unfortunately, when the call to action involves intimidation, threats and violence it turns from voicing opinions to inciting acts of terrorism. Threatening the safety of scientists and students both at their home and at their institutions is terrorism and, plainly put, is intolerable.
NIH supports the judicious and ethical use of animals in research to develop life-saving treatments for many diseases affecting the public health. All animals used in federally-funded research are protected by laws, regulations and policies to ensure the smallest possible number of subjects and the greatest commitment to their humane care and use. Fulfilling these protections is a collaborative effort between NIH, federally-supported scientific investigators, and research institutions. I know that those of you who are federally-supported scientists and institutions, are committed to upholding the laws, regulations and policies that ensure the appropriate care and use of animals in your studies.
Being prepared for the unexpected, whether it is from natural disasters or human-directed events, can help mitigate deleterious effects to both your animals and yourself. We have a variety of resources that you can use as you build your preparedness program. I hope you will take the time to prepare a plan but will never have the need to use it.