NIH Phasing Out Class B Dealers, Pets Still Need Our Help

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that it will no longer allow researchers who use federal funds to obtain cats from Class B dealers beginning in October 2012, with similar measures to follow for dogs in 2015.

Class B dealers are USDA licensed animal brokers who find and sell dogs and cats to schools and research institutions for a profit. Their methods of acquisition range from going to breeders or shelters, answering classified ads, and in some cases stealing pets who are left unattended. Class B dealers also buy animals from “bunchers” who collect animals from random sources.

Even though research facilities that receive federal funds will not be able to get animals from Class B dealers, these dealers can still continue to work with privately funded institutions.

In 2009, the National Academies released a report in response to a request from Congress that concluded that these dealers are not necessary. The report stated that “…testimony provided to the Committee by USDA officials made it clear that despite new enforcement guidelines and intensified inspection efforts, not all origins of animals are or can be traced. The USDA simply cannot assure that stolen or lost pets will not enter research laboratories via the Class B dealer system.”

In 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) also released a report citing public concern over the use of lost and stolen pets in research. The report highlighted numerous problems with these dealers and reiterated the National Academies findings regarding the inability of the USDA and APHIS, which oversees inspections, to properly regulate them, or accurately trace all of the animals who they sell. Additionally, the USDA estimates that it spends approximately $300,000 annually on Class B dealer oversight, but its not really sure because APHIS doesn’t “have a mechanism in place to determine these costs.” It’s apparently hard to keep track of what you’re not keeping track of in the first place.


Sign the petition asking Congress to pass the Pet Safety and Protection Act, which will shut down Class B dealers for good. While it won’t help all animals used in research, it will help ensure that some pets get a second chance.

Related Stories:

Class B Dealer Violates the AWA Eight Times, Still Operating

How Many Animal Welfare Violations Does it Take to Get a Class B Dealer Shut Down?

Give Pets a Second Chance: Get Rid of Class B Dealers

Photo credit: stephskardal


Ellie M
Ellie M12 months ago


William C
William Cabout a year ago


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you for caring.

Olivera Kec
Olivera Kec5 years ago

The comment was in the right places :)))

Winn Adams
Winn Adams5 years ago

Petition Signed already.

N Towle
Nan Towle5 years ago

The NIH needs to stop dragging its feet and stop using Class B dealers that are supplying sentient, innocent, defenseless, companion animals for use in hideous, cruel laboratory torture use immediately!
They are supporting those who would abuse animals for financial gain as well as being equality guilty of trading in the egregious cruelty, misery, suffering, pain, fear and horrid deaths of sentient beings. Any "results" that they yield are not true as animals responses are different than humans would yield. These unconscionable and despicable practices need to stop immediately, NOT by 2015! This is not acceptable. There are stellar, modern, state of the art medical research facilities, universities and hospitals right now using models that do not need to torture animals to yield best results. This is telling me that the NIH is too bloated and clumsy and falling behind.

Stop the "business as usual" and take this opportunity to lead. Stop using animals immediately.

antonia maestre
antonia maestre6 years ago

‎"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"
- St. Francis of Assisi

Myriam S.
Myriam Schneider6 years ago

Thanks Patty very nice from you.

Patty L.
Patty L6 years ago

Agreed! Why to 2015 for dogs? Do they not deserve the same amount of considerations? Let them test on some of the people responsible for these inhumane lab practices or prehaps those deciding to extend the date to stop testing on dogs to 2015. Bet that would get a much quicker response!

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky6 years ago

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ---St. Francis of Assisi..."