California Congressman Tony Cárdenas recently introduced H.R. 8001, the Companion Animal Release from Experiments (CARE) Act. The CARE Act requires research facilities that use dogs, cats, and rabbits for research purposes and receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and implement adoption policies for such animals when no longer used for research.
“It’s simple: if a research facility uses pets for research, then they must work to find them homes,” Congressman Cárdenas said in a statement. “We experiment on over 200,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits each year. The least we can do is give these living beings a chance at life in a loving home. My bill requires research facilities funded by the NIH to develop adoption policies for those animals. This is part of a larger effort to move away from animal-based testing and research wherever possible and toward more humane and sound scientific research.”
The CARE Act also requires facilities to maintain records of the animals used for research and to make those numbers and their adoptions available on their websites.
“The Companion Animal Release from Experiments Act builds on what eleven states have already done by requiring post-research adoption policies for dogs, cats, and rabbits used in tax-payer funded extramural research across the entire United States,” stated Monica Engebretson, North America Head of Public Affairs for Cruelty-Free International. “The bill also provides for a high-level of public accountability and transparency about the adoption programs and their success. Shelters and rescue organizations across the United States place thousands of dogs, cats, and rabbits into loving homes each year and many are eager to do the same for laboratory survivors. We thank Representative Cardenas for introducing this important bill and for his humane leadership.”
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington have enacted laws governing the post-research placement for dogs and cats used in publicly funded research institutions. A national requirement is needed to ensure that research institutions that receive taxpayer funding establish adoption policies for companion animals that are no longer used for research, including finding such animals a home and implementing transparent policies concerning the success of such requirement.
Last month, Congressman Cárdenas introduced the Greyhound Protection Act, legislation to phase out live greyhound racing. That bill also bans the use of live animals for training of greyhounds, a practice that was discovered recently to still be used in some states.
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