Congress is considering legislation that would amend the current animal welfare act to ensure that all dogs and cats used in research facilities are obtained legally.
The legislation, commonly known as the 2007 Pet Safety and Protection Act, was introduced in the Senate on Feb. 28 by Sen. Daniel Akata, D-HI and in the House on March 1 by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA).
The legislation would protect dogs and cats from unscrupulous dealers who obtain unclaimed animals from animal shelters, newspaper ads or through illegal means.
The 2007 Pet Safety and Protection Act would:
- Prohibit “random source” Class B animal dealers and unlicensed individuals from selling dogs and cats to laboratories.
- Prevent stray dogs and cats, which could be lost pets, from being sold to laboratories.
- Permit breeders (Class A dealers) to supply animals to laboratories.
- Permit research facilities that breed animals to supply them to other research facilities.
- Permit registered public pounds that receive animals turned in by their owners to provide these animals to research facilities.
- Permit individuals to donate their own animals to laboratories for research purposes.
The new regulations would take effect 90 days after signed into law. Anyone found to be breaking the law would be subject to a $1,000 fine per violation. A vote on the legislation has not yet been scheduled for either chamber of Congress.