hear that coming from you, Dr. Bennett, and that support does appear to be a change.
DR. BENNETT: My position has not changed, Ms. Liss. I have always supported reasoned and well-founded regulations.
MS. LISS: Finally, you talked about the expense of people coming here and being involved in this kind of process. All I can point to is at countless AALAS annual meetings where there are extensive receptions in which all researchers are eating, drinking, and having a good time. Perhaps those monies could be applied to enriching the lives of animals in laboratories.
I would also like to commend USDA for all of the input they are incorporating into changes in their policies. As you have pointed out, former veterinary memoranda and policies were very secret and difficult to obtain, and there was typically no outside input. There has been a significant change, and my hat is off to USDA for a very open process, for accepting this input, and for allowing time for that scientific input.
DR. GLUCK (John Gluck, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics): It seems to me that you were arguing earlier that economic factors in research, the competition inherent in good science, and the virtues of the investigators are adequate motivators to ensure proper concern or treatment of animals.
DR. BENNETT: I am describing the real world. I am arguing that instead of motivating them, those factors comprise part of reality, and that part of reality makes our job as laboratory animal veterinarians sometimes a lot easier to do.
DR. GLUCK: I still think you are saying that these factors influence good conduct on the part of investigators. I am saying that these things have been in place before now.
DR. BENNETT: I think the things that influence the conduct of the investigators with whom we work today are different from when I first got involved in this field. People then had been brought up in a different era. Sensitivities toward the issues of animal pain and distress today are totally different than they were 15 or 20 years ago.
DR. GLUCK: I am simply saying that these factors have always been in place. It has been the addition of public interest and regulations that I think has helped move that motivation.
DR. BENNETT: I am not denying that premise. One of the results of public regulation was to require institutions to provide us, the laboratory animal veterinarians, with the resources we need to do our job.