We’re Asking USDA to Take Simple Steps to Ensure Dogs & Cats Used in Laboratories Find Forever Homes

To countless families, dogs and cats are treasured companions. But to many laboratories, they are the subject of distressing and painful experimentation—and then killed.

In 2017 alone, over 78,000 dogs and cats suffered in laboratory experiments in the United States.

Since 2014, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island have enacted laws requiring research facilities to adopt out dogs and cats following their use in laboratory experimentation. Similar laws are pending in eight additional states.

Although states may pass their own animal welfare laws, all research facilities using animals are subject to centralized, federal regulation. That means, for compliance purposes, a disconnect may occur if state and federal law are not coordinated on some level.

Notably, federal law requires local committees called Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) to review and approve proposed experimentation on animals. Among other responsibilities, IACUCs are charged to ensure compliance with humane treatment and handling of animals in research facilities. Because of this, compliance with local post-research adoption laws is not only relevant, but critical to an IACUC’s purpose.

But IACUCs are not expressly required to consider local post-research adoption laws in the experiment-planning phase, or during subsequent review.

We believe proper planning saves lives. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the New England Anti-Vivisection Society to make post-research adoption of dogs and cats as timely and easy as possible.

Together, we've petitioned USDA to issue new federal regulations that require IACUCs to consider applicability of and compliance with state adoption laws before approving experiments on any dogs or cats.

Read our Petition for Rulemaking in full here.

If you’d like to see our work for animals continue, consider supporting Advancing Law for Animals today.