Dr. Donna Arnett Serves on National Academy of Sciences Committee Examining Use of Dogs in Biomedical Research

July 21, 2020


Dr. Donna K. Arnett, dean and professor of Epidemiology at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee that has authored a new consensus report with guidance for the use of dogs in biomedical research by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


For many years, laboratory dogs have served as important animal models for biomedical research that has advanced human health. Conducted at the request of the VA, the report Necessity, Use, and Care of Laboratory Dogs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs assesses whether laboratory dogs are or will continue to be necessary for biomedical research related to the VA’s mission.


The report concludes that using laboratory dogs in research at the VA is scientifically necessary for only a few areas of current biomedical research. The report further recommends that the VA adopt an expanded set of criteria for determining when it is scientifically necessary to use laboratory dogs in VA biomedical research; that the VA promote the development and use of alternatives to laboratory dogs; and highlights opportunities for the VA to enhance the welfare of laboratory dogs that are being used in biomedical research areas for which they have been deemed necessary.