Two bills were recently introduced that aims to ensure that all dogs and cats used by research facilities are obtained legally.
House Bill 3907 and Senate Bill 1834 would amend the Animal Welfare Act through the “Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2009.” Similar legislation was introduced in 2007, but no action was taken.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council recently sent out an alert urging people to read the bills and to contact the committee members with any inquiries.
The legislation, as outlined by PIJAC, states that a research facility or a Federal research facility, or any person selling, donating or offering a dog or cat to a research facility or a Federal research facility, may obtain a dog or cat for research or educational purposes from the following:
- a dealer licensed under section 3 that has bred and raised the dog or cat;
- a publicly owned and operated pound or shelter that a) is registered with the Secretary, b) in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and c) obtained the dog or cat from its legal owner, not a pound or shelter;
- a person that is donating the dog or cat and that bred and raised the dog or cat or owned the dog or cat for not less than one year immediately preceding the donation;
- a research facility licensed by the Secretary; and
- a Federal research facility licensed by the Secretary.
A $1,000 would be imposed for anyone found in violation of the proposed legislation.
HB 3907 currently sits in the House Committee on Agriculture and SB 1834 is in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Committee hearings have not been scheduled for either bill.