Lawmakers are seeking more research protections for cows and other livestock.

Lawmakers are seeking more research protections for cows and other livestock.

David B. Gleason/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

U.S. lawmakers want more research protections for farm animals

The U.S. Congress has proposed new protections for farm animals used in scientific research. The move comes in response to an exposé published in The New York Times last month, which documented numerous cases of animal suffering and death at a Department of Agriculture facility that has been trying to create larger and more fecund farm animals for several decades. Lawmakers from both parties are backing a bill—called the AWARE Act—that would expand the scope of the Animal Welfare Act, which governs the humane treatment of laboratory animals. Farm animals are currently excluded from the act, unless they’re used in biomedical research or exhibition. The new law would require closer monitoring—and more inspections—of research involving cows, pigs, and other livestock.