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Virginia: Prohibit Breeding Dogs or Cats for Use in Research or Experimentation

Virginia: Prohibit on Breeding Dogs or Cats for Use in Research or Experimentation Postponed 

Name: Breeding of Dogs or Cats for Experimentation Prohibited

Bill Number: SB 669 


Update:  On February 4, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources voted to “continue to 2021” SB 669. It will not be considered this year in the Senate but may be considered during the next legislative session. No action is needed at this time.


Dogs and cats have a special place in the hearts of Virginia residents. This session, Senators Boysko and Stanley introduced legislation that would prohibit breeders of dogs and cats in the state from breeding animals for use in medical research or experimentation or with the intent of selling the animals to a manufacturer or contract testing facility to conduct animal research.

In 2018, Virginia became the first state to prohibit funding by the state for medically unnecessary research on dogs or cats if the research is classified as “category E” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Category E refers to a category of pain that causes pain or stress to an animal without providing any anesthesia or pain relief.

This bill shows a commitment to ending the constant flow of animals available for research, which has made research animals easy—and cheap—to obtain for any research proposal.

This bill is virtually the same as SB 311, introduced by Sen. Stanley earlier this year. Unlike SB 311, SB 669 contains an exemption if the testing is required under federal law or regulation. SB 311 was incorporated into SB 669 by the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, so only SB 669 will be under consideration by the Senate.

Virginia has been a leader in introducing progressive laws to help animals in research. By prohibiting breeding dogs and cats for experimentation and testing, this bill would prevent the suffering of countless generations of animals in the future.


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your state Senator and urge them to support this important legislation.
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Please end the cycle of harm caused by breeding dogs and cats for research

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask for your support of SB 669, legislation to prohibit the breeding of dogs and cats for the purpose of experimentation and testing, unless such use is mandated by federal law or regulations.

The sourcing of animals for research is now conducted primarily through large-scale breeders. By eliminating Virginia as a source for these purpose-bred animals, this bill would ensure that our state no longer plays a role in animal suffering by breeders who make dogs and cats easily available for research and testing, as if they are test tubes or surgical scissors to be manufactured, used and thrown away when their job is done. When animals are plentiful and easy to obtain, researchers have little incentive to look for more ethical ways to pursue their work.

Importantly, veterinary programs working with companion animals to benefit students and animals alike would not be impacted by this legislation.

Please give your support to legislation that recognizes dogs and cats are not disposable lab equipment and which helps curtail an industry that perpetuates the animals' suffering.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]