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Michigan required to create, enforce humane animal experimentation rules, Nessel said

The state health department should develop rules for humane animal experimentation and require facilities using experimentation to register with the state and comply with those rules, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a formal opinion released Monday.

“Ultimately, the most appropriate manner in which to develop the required standards and implement the required registration is a matter left to DHHS,” Nessel wrote.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it was reviewing Nessel’s opinion.

State Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, had requested the opinion in late March on the argument that the state had neglected a law regulating animal experimentation for about 40 years. The request was prompted in part by controversial cardiovascular research on dogs at the Louis M. Elliman Clinical Research Building at Wayne State University.

“Despite having authority to regulate the use of animals in experiments for more than 40 years, the state has ignored its statutory mandate to oversee animal research facilities,” Koleszar said in the letter.

He and state Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, also asked the National Institutes of Health to cut off funding for the facility.

Koleszar said Nessel’s Monday opinion encouraged him.

“This is going to lead to better oversight and treatment of animals,” Koleszar said. “And at the end of the day, that is exactly what we were hoping for.”

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