Monday, January 13, 2020
The start of the new year offers a promising legislative development that will give laboratory animals a real chance at new life. I am pleased to inform you that my bill, an “Act Protecting Research Animals”, otherwise known as the "Beagle Bill" which provides the opportunity for adoption for dogs and other animals used in medical research experiments, has been given approval by a key committee.
This bill will facilitate new relationships between research laboratories and non-profit animal rescue organizations. This in turn gives these creatures a chance of life after the lab with a Massachusetts family. More than 60,000 dogs and nearly 20,000 cats are used for animal experimentation in the US.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates that new drugs must first involve trials using animals. Product developers also often include testing with animals. The majority of animal testing facilities rely on dogs – the greatest proportion of which are beagles. Renown for being docile and easy-going, the beagle has become a central component of research laboratory testing. These same qualities also make them excellent candidate to become household pets. Prior to this new legislative committee approval we offered the committee new language from an accord reached between the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Representative Carolyn Dykema, Representative Michelle DuBois, representatives from the two societies and I testified in support of the bill and our proposed changes. The committee has now approved all of our requests and I look forward to having the bill before the Senate and House for legislative approval in the future.