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NIH Won't Fund Random-source Dog Studies

The US National Institutes of Health will no longer fund research that relies on so-called random-source dogs, ScienceInsider says.

There are two types of dealers that sell animals to research laboratories, ScienceInsider adds: class A dealers, which are typically large organizations that sell animals they raised themselves, and class B dealers, which are smaller and often obtain animals from pounds, breeders, and other sources. Both classes of dealers have been regulated by the Department of Agriculture since the 1960s, but class B dealers have long been accused of selling stolen and abused pets.

A 2009 National Academy of Sciences report had found that cats and dogs acquired from class B dealers weren't necessary for the research enterprise and that continuing the arrangement could in fact damage its reputation in the eyes of the public.

Regulations enacted in the 1970s have limited the number of class B dealers and this new NIH policy will likely bring that down even further, and possible to zero, ScienceInsider says.

A ban on funding random-source cats studies was enacted in 2012.