Name: Humane Retirement Act
Bill Number: HR 2850
Healthy dogs and cats deserve the opportunity to be adopted into loving homes instead of being immediately euthanized after being used for scientific, medical or educational research. Too often, animals used in research are routinely euthanized when a research or educational project is done, even though they may be otherwise healthy and suitable for adoption.
The Humane Retirement Act would amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a policy for the adoption of dogs and cats when research is over. The animal care committees of each research institution that receives Public Health Service funding (including funding for the National Institutes of Health) would have to review each dog and cat after completion of the research to determine whether they are suitable for adoption. If they are, then the animal care committee must make a reasonable effort to offer these animals for adoption.
While this legislation is just beginning on the federal level, eleven states (CA, CT, DE, IL, MD, NV, NY, OR, RI, MN and WA) have already enacted similar laws that address animals used in research that receive state and other public funding. The time is ripe to push for passage of a bill that addresses animals used in federally-funded research as well.
It is important that a provision is in place to humanely place, not euthanize animals. Thousands of mice and rats were euthanized when labs had to close and had limited staffing. We don’t know how many other animals were killed because of the pandemic, but we do know that many more are being used to try to cure it. Treating dogs and cats—and all animals—as living beings instead of “test tubes with whiskers” is a good start to more humane science.
Call to Actions:
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Please ensure that healthy research dogs and cats have a chance to live in loving homes
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to ask you to support HR 2850, which would require that suitable dogs and cats from Public Health Service research institutions (including the NIH) are offered for adoption to animal shelters, individuals or rescue organizations instead of being immediately euthanized. Too often, animals used in research are routinely euthanized when a research or educational project is done, even though they may be otherwise suitable. This bill requires that animal care committees of research facilities that receive funds from the Public Health Service make reasonable efforts to offer healthy dogs and cats for adoption after the completion of any testing. This bill imposes no civil liability on any employee or agent of an animal care committee for actions required under the proposed law. The notion of adopting out animals from research has gained a great deal of support in recent years. California, Rhode Island, Illinois, and eight other states have enacted laws that require institutions receiving state and other public funding to adopt out dogs and cats after testing with the hopes of moving the animals into a happy retirement after spending their lives in research. Animals are living creatures capable of suffering. It is time to acknowledge that animals used for research deserve the opportunity to a better life after being subjected to research or testing.I hope that you will give your full support to the passage of this measure by becoming a co-sponsor in order to provide cats and dogs used in federal research an opportunity to be adopted into loving homes. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]