Brisbane City Council Punts on Animal Research Ordinance Until After November Election

The City of Brisbane, California, considered and then deferred a decision on an ordinance that would modify the city’s existing rules on animal research.

Media accounts of the Brisbane animal research proposal are muddy, but Brisbane apparently does not have any sort of ordinance regarding animal research — a company would simply have to get a building permit and comply with zoning and other ordinances. The city was apparently contacted by a company that is interested in building a campus-like animal research facility within the city’s limits, however, and that company suggested that the city update its general development plan to make that explicit.

After much debate and the resignation of a council member that led to a 2-2 vote on the proposal in July, the Brisbane City Council currently has three options. According to a summary produced by the City Attorney,

Ordinance 501 was considered for adoption at the regular Council meeting on September 19, 2005 and the matter was continued to provide staff an opportunity to draft alternative language pertaining to the use of live animals for research and development. The proposed draft now contains 3 separate options concerning this subject. They are as follows:

Option 1: All animal research is a conditional use:

This is the language contained in the proposal Ordinance. It would require that any research and development involving the use of live animals be classified as a conditional use for which a use permit would be required. The activity would need to comply with the performance standards in Subsections 17.20.050.F and 17.21.050.F.

Option 2: All animal research is a permitted use:

This option would restore the existing regulations from the M-1 district which allow any form of research and development (including use of live animals) as a permitted use. The performance standards in Subsections 17.20.050.F and 17.21.050.F would be deleted.

This option would allow any other type of animal research, such as research involving the use of rats, mice or guinea pigs, to be conducted as a permitted use.

Council member Lee Panza told the Bay City News, “We couldn’t decide whether [animal testing] should be outright banned, completely open or have some type of restriction.”

The council will take up the issue again after the November 8 election when there will be a full council of 5 seated and at least two new members.


Brisbane City Council tables animal-testing issue. Bay City News, October 5, 2005.

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