Michigan's Cats and Dogs in Labs Have a Chance at Adoption

Natassia Tuhovak, July 19, 2021

Michigan bills H.B. 4881 and 4882 are giving cats and dogs used in experiments a chance at a new life

The Michigan legislature is voting soon on two bills that involve labs giving cats and dogs no longer used for experiments up for adoption at animal shelters or rescues. 

H.B. 4881, like other post-research adoption (PRA) efforts, requires labs to consider putting cats and dogs up for adoption once they are no longer used in experiments. H.B. 4882, however, takes it a step further—making labs provide information to the government on how many cats and dogs are used in experiments and how many of these animals are given to animal shelters. 

If a lab fails to provide this information, it can be fined for each violation committed.  

Normally, once animals are no longer needed for an experiment, labs put the animals down, even if they are healthy. Michigan wants to change this cruel practice because it recognizes that animals deserve a life outside of experiments.

Rep. Kevin Hertel (D) introduced H.B. 4881 in May of 2021. So far, a total of 13 states have passed similar legislation. Even Congress is considering a PRA bill on the federal level! If the Michigan legislature passes H.B. 4881, Michigan will become the 14th state to follow this important trend.

If enacted, H.B. 4882 will be the first legislation of its kind to require tracking of post-research adoptions.

Michigan is leading the charge in holding labs accountable for these adoptions and, if enacted, this bill would set a precedent for other states to follow.

According to the most recent data, Michigan has 754 dogs and 157 cats in labs for experiments, on hold for experiments, or held for breeding. Michigan can help save some of these 911 innocent lives from ending too soon with the passage of H.B. 4881–4882. 

All animals deserve a life filled with love and respect.

We hope H.B. 4881–4882 passes so that cats and dogs, suffering from a life of painful, terrifying experiments, can experience the feeling of freedom for the first time. 

Not only do cats and dogs benefit from this bill—humans do as well.

Allowing the public to adopt lab animals can decrease lab costs related to euthanasia and can increase taxpayer dollars being put back into the economy. It takes around $8 to $35 dollars, per animal, for a lab to dispose of a corpse of an animal they killed for “science.”. If these bills are enacted, this cost would no longer exist and the future financial care would be transferred to families who open their homes and hearts to these companion animals. 

This important shift in funding can allow shelters and rescues to hire more staff, pet stores to have increased sales, vets to get more clients, and families to share a special bond with their companion animal. 

A hearing on this forward-leaning legislation will take place later this year.

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