By Bob Katzen

The Senate approved a bill that would require research labs to make every effort to offer healthy animals up for adoption by registered non-profit animal rescue organizations rather than euthanizing them when the research is done.

According to supporters, more than 60,000 dogs—almost all beagles—and nearly 20,000 cats, are used each year for animal experimentation in the United States to advance scientific research and to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other household products. Currently, many research labs choose to automatically euthanize these cats and dogs once their experiments are over. The House has already approved a different version of the bill and the Senate version now goes to the House for consideration.

“I am proud the Massachusetts Senate passed legislation prioritizing the protection of animals across our commonwealth,” said Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem), Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee. “The Beagle Bill will give research dogs and cats a second chance at life and bring Massachusetts in line with other states across our nation. We owe so much of human advancement to the service and sacrifice of these animals, and they deserve to be loved and cherished after a job well done.”

House sponsor Rep. Michelle DuBois (D-Brockton) said the bill will save dogs and cats from needlessly dying when their time in the testing lab comes to an end. “This national effort was brought to my attention by a constituent … [and] provides a framework to provide an alternate ending in a loving home through places like the MSPCA,” DuBois said.

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