DOD database stifles disclosure on animal research

The Defense Department is not providing adequate public disclosure of information in its database for tracking past and ongoing biomedical experiments on animals, according to a General Accounting Office report.

According to the report, "DOD Animal Research: Improvements Needed in Quality of Biomedical Research Database," GAO found "instances in which the information in the DOD Biomedical Research Database was inaccurate, incomplete and inconsistent, resulting in inadequate public disclosure."

GAO also found one instance in which animals were used as part of a classified program to conduct offensive weapons testing, despite DOD's assurances to Congress that no animals were used for such purposes.

DOD established the BRD in 1995 and made it available to the public on the Internet after Congress expressed concern about the lack of disclosure regarding the department's animal use programs.

GAO's review found that the BRD does not provide required data on "the numbers and species of animals used for DOD projects [or] about the pain to which animals were subjected."

In DOD's official response to the report, Delores M. Etter, deputy undersecretary of Defense for science and technology, said the BRD is not capable of handling all the information requested by Congress. She said DOD will take steps to improve the quality of information in the BRD, but software and hardware upgrades are not being considered.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected