TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein which would require that certain cats and dogs no longer being used for research purposes to be offered to animal rescue organizations for adoption passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today.
“While dogs and cats are not common test subjects, they can provide invaluable insight. Dogs have been studied in connection with Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Most of the top 25 prescribed drugs in the US were developed with the help of studies in dogs, along with other laboratory animals and eventually human volunteers. These animals deserve a second chance at life after serving this important purpose.”
The bill, S-2826, would require institutions of higher education and related research facilities to offer cats and dogs no longer being used to animal rescue organizations for adoption prior to euthanizing the animal.
The bill would not apply to animals that are required to be euthanized for health or safety reasons.
Any institution or facility required under the bill to offer test animals for adoption would be able to enter into an ongoing agreement with an animal rescue organization. Institutions and facilities that provide an animal to a rescue organization would be immune from any civil liability resulting from the transfer of the animal, as long as they acted in good faith, believing the animal to be in appropriate health and physical condition for ownership.
Minnesota, Illinois, California, Connecticut, Nevada, and New York have all passed similar laws regarding dogs and cats used for research.
With today’s 4-0 vote, the bill cleared committee and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.