By Bob Katzen
The House and Senate approved and sent to Gov. Baker 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 Senate has repeatedly and steadfastly supported this legislation which is intended to give research animals an opportunity to be adopted after they have ended their service in research facilities,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Dogs and other animals involved in research are making tremendous sacrifices to save our lives and make us healthier. It is important to recognize our humane obligation to them because we have a moral imperative to give them the opportunity for better lives when their research involvement is done.”
“We are so thrilled to have this bill enacted after five years of consideration,” said Cara Zipoli of the Beagle Freedom Project. “We look forward to developing partnerships between our research and animal welfare communities to ensure as many dogs and cats find loving homes as possible.”