Last week Minnesota made history when Governor Mark Dayton signed the first law in the nation that will give dogs and cats who are used in labs the opportunity to be adopted into forever homes when the research is complete.
Even though we value dogs, and many of us consider them members of our family, thousands are still experimented on and killed every year in the name of science. According to the Beagle Freedom Project, an estimated 65,000 dogs are currently being used in the U.S. to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, household products and other academic curiosities. Of those dogs, 95 percent are beagles, whose sweet and docile natures makes them good test subjects.
Sadly, after they’re done being “used” in experiments, it’s considered the norm to kill them. Now, thanks to the tireless efforts of compassionate lawmakers and the Beagle Freedom Project, healthy dogs and cats used in research in Minnesota will get the chance to get out and meet a different kind of human – the kind they don’t have to fear. They’ll get names instead of numbers and have an opportunity to get pampered and enjoy the simple pleasures in life with new families as they learn how to become dogs, overcome the trauma of their past and adapt to a new world on the outside of a lab.
Under Minnesota’s Beagle Freedom law, which was sponsored by Senator Scott Dibble and Rep. John Lesch, publicly funded research and higher education facilities will now be required to first offer dogs or cats used in research to animal rescues before euthanizing them.
The Beagle Freedom Project, which worked to support the bill, stated:
This law is simple, compassionate, and common-sense. If a dog or cat is used in a tax-payer funded research experiment and is healthy at its end the lab must offer them up to public adoption through a rescue organization like Beagle Freedom Project. No federal or state laws offer any protection to these animals when the research is over and the standard operating procedure for most labs was to summarily euthanize them… Until today.
Until the world is perfect and animals aren’t used in research to begin with, this law is an epic victory for the ones who are currently being used and more like it will hopefully be passed in other states soon.
New York lawmakers are currently considering a similar bill (S7475), and this April California lawmakers moved their own Beagle Freedom Bill (AB 2431) forward, which is now in the Appropriations Committee waiting for a vote.
Please sign and share the Beagle Freedom Project’s petition urging California lawmakers to pass its Beagle Freedom Bill, which will require research facilities to make animals available for adoption.
If you’re interested in fostering or adopting a former lab animal, or want to know more about current efforts to save lab animals, visit the Beagle Freedom Project.
Watch nine beagles who were recently rescued from a lab in Nevada by the Beagle Freedom Project react to freedom and the feel grass under their feet for the first time.
Photo credit: Thinkstock