Congress Must Act to Protect Former Pets from Research
The National Academies' Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, which advises the federal government and the public on issues related to the use of animals in research, recently released a report entitled "Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats in Research."
AAVS commends the National Academies for finding that random source animals from Class B dealers are not necessary for NIH related research.
AAVS encourages Congress to go further by eliminating the use of all random source animals in research.
Let your Senators and Representative know that random source Class B dealers should be outlawed and the practice of taking animals directly from pounds to use in research (pound seizure) should be banned.
Unfortunately, ILAR indicated that it may be acceptable for research and education facilities to obtain animals directly from shelters. This is a fact that should be of great concern for animal guardians and animal advocates alike.
Pound seizure has been outlawed in nearly one third of states, but three states (Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Utah) legally require publicly-funded shelters and pounds to provide dogs and cats for research, such as experimentation and terminal education exercises, and other states allow it.
Equally disturbing, the ILAR report emphasized that the pounds most likely to provide animals to research laboratories are those that are poorly funded, overcrowded with animals, and/or have weak adoption programs. However, pound seizure should not be considered a solution to the cat and dog overpopulation problem, and research laboratories should not prey upon weak shelters and pounds.
In recent years, there have been documented cases of pets, believed to be lost, who became the unfortunate victims of pound seizure. One such example is Cruella, a dog found in a small Michigan town by a local pound and then given to a random source Class B dealer. The dealer sold Cruella to the University of Florida, where she was killed after being used in seven education procedures over seven months. According to documents obtained by AAVS, Cruella was found wearing a purple collar, and a surgical procedure at the university found that she was spayed, indicating that she was once someone's pet. While it may be difficult to imagine animals who once lived in loving homes being confined within a laboratory cage, it is the harsh reality for thousands of cats and dogs, like Cruella, every year. We need your help to end this betrayal!
Please contact your federal legislators and urge them to support legislation that would prohibit the sale of random source animals for use in research, testing, and education. Tell them that former pets do not belong in research facilities.
Thanks for taking action!
Source: AAVS - American Anti-Vivisection Society
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