Support the Humane Retirement Act
On May 20, a bill was introduced in Congress that would help dogs and cats no longer needed in government research find loving families and start life anew. The Humane Retirement Act (H.R. 2850) would establish an adoption policy for dogs and cats used in research conducted at and funded by Public Health Service (PHS) agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.
Although there is no formal policy establishing the private adoption of research animals, bill sponsor Representative Kathleen Rice, believes that “There’s no reason why research animals shouldn’t have access to a loving home once they’re retired. Many research institutions already do this.”
The Humane Retirement Act would make the animal care committees at PHS facilities responsible for assessing the health and temperament dogs and cats to determine if they are “suitable for adoption,” as well as make “a reasonable effort” to provide the animals an opportunity to be adopted.
While not entirely ideal, this bill could help give dogs and cats retired from research what they’ve always been so deserving of: a loving home and family. Please support the Humane Retirement Act!
In the News
A global leader in genomic research, the UK based Sanger Institute recently announced it will be closing its animal lab facility. Noting a reduced reliance on mice, Sanger pointed to its increased use of “alternative technologies” as a reason for the closure. This move is quite notable, especially considering that mice are one of the most used animals in research involving genetic engineering. READ MORE »
USDA released what it calls a “blueprint” for genetic research on animals used for food over the next 10 years. As explained in a 2016 issue of the AV Magazine, this research agency has a terrible track record, conducting research merely to increase production and profits for the agriculture industry. In this case, ‘improving animal welfare’ seems to mean breeding animals that can tolerate shameful conditions in intensive agriculture. READ MORE »
On May 3, several alternative models that can mimic human organs and tissue were rocketed to the International Space Station. These bio-chips will be used to study human disease occurring on Earth, such as osteoarthritis and respiratory infections. Scientists will rely on microgravity, which has been shown to speed up the aging process in astronauts, in the hope that conditions in space will also accelerate disease progression. READ MORE »
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