New York state has passed a new law this week that gives a second chance to dogs and cats that were subjects in research lab testing. Prior to the law, the animals in research labs were euthanized when the tests were concluded.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “This is a humane law that, for these animals, provides the opportunity for a new lease on life.”
The Governor stated “dogs and cats are like members of the family” in his statement. The sentiment is felt in many families in New York.
The law requires that all animals must be tested by a veterinarian to ensure that the animal is suitable for adoption after testing. Animals that meet this criterion will be required to be put up for adoption in animal shelters and rescue groups.
Four other states have enacted similar laws: California, Connecticut, Minnesota and Nevada. Illinois has a similar law that is pending approval at this time.
The New York law gained traction thanks to the sponsorship of Republican Senator Phil Boyle and Democrat Linda Rosenthal. The Beagle Freedom Project also sponsored the new law. The group works to assist animals that are in research labs across the state.
Beagles are the most commonly tested animals in laboratories. Many beagles are bred to be test subjects. A docile nature and small size make beagles the ideal test subject. This breed is primarily used in research labs run by the pharmaceutical industry.
“Most of them have never been outside,” states the Beagle Freedom Project. “They are very fearful.” The dogs, used as test subjects, required special care due to the trauma they endured when in the lab. Dog ears are often tattooed as an identifier so that researchers can distinguish one dog from another.
Dogs and cats are mentioned in the law, but other animals are not mentioned.