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Stop the Illegal Trade of Dogs and Cats Sold for Research Permanently

Stop the Illegal Trade of Dogs and Cats Sold for Research Permanently

Name: Pet Safety and Protection Act

Bill Number: HR 689 

Caged BeaglesDogs and cats used by research facilities can come from many sources. However, “random source” (or Class B licensed) animal dealers have a history of bad-faith dealings in the acquisition of their dogs and cats. This includes numerous failures to properly account for the source of their animals, which have, in the past, been acquired through theft or misrepresentation. In fact, Class B dealers are notorious for selling strays, animals stolen from backyards, and dogs and cats obtained through “free to a good home” offers to research and animal testing facilities.

The National Institutes of Health no longer allows its researchers to obtain dogs and cats from Class B dealers. Under this bill, all researchers would be effectively barred from obtaining animals from Class B dealers. This bill would also establish a penalty of $1,000 for each violation of this provision.

It is time to end a problem that was identified more than two decades ago. In 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Congress acknowledged the need for legislation by including a provision in its U.S. Department of Agriculture Appropriations Acts to prohibit the funding of licensing activities for Class B dealers selling dogs and cats to research. However, this prohibition only lasts so long as this language is included in the annual appropriations bill.

A permanent solution is needed, and passage of the Pet Protection and Safety Act will end the use of dogs and cats from Class B random source dealers for good.

Please ask your Representative to give their support to this measure and to pass a provision they approved as an appropriations item into law.


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Please end the illegal trade of animals used in research permanently

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to become a sponsor of the Pet Safety and Protection Act, HR 689, which would help stop theft and fraud in obtaining animals used for research. This bill would require research facilities to obtain animals only from licensed breeders who have raised the animals, directly from owners, from registered pounds or shelters, or from other licensed research facilities.

It has been well documented that "random source" animal dealers frequently obtain animals from individuals by fraudulently misrepresenting themselves as trying to find good homes for unwanted dogs or cats. By representing themselves as looking for a pet, these suppliers convince owners to release their animals, which are then sold for research. There have also been cases where animals have disappeared from their yards, only to turn up in research facilities that obtain their research subjects from random source dealers. These animals only have a chance of being discovered if they are microchipped and the research facility is conscientious enough to scan the animal before beginning any protocol. This bill would also establish a financial penalty for each violation of this provision.

The research community has largely stopped using random source cats and dogs, and the National Institutes of Health has directed federally funded researchers to stop using cats and dogs from random sources. Moreover, a provision included for USDA appropriations spending in 2019 and 2020 would prohibit the agency from allocating financial resources to licensing Class B dealers selling dogs and cats to research facilities.

Yet the problem of accountability for dogs and cats from random source dealers has not been resolved. A permanent solution is needed, instead of relying on appropriations bills to protect dogs and cats each year.

While the best solution is to replace the use of dogs and cats with non-animal test methods that are more predictive, reliable and humane, the illegal acquisition of these animals must stop.

Please give your full support to passage of a permanent solution to this well-documented problem and become a sponsor of this measure. Thank you for your consideration.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
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