Dangerous bill would hide what happens to animals in labs

Mike Ryan, April 22, 2019

This bill will have bleak consequences for animals used in testing and those trying to protect them. Read why we must fight to keep this damaging legislation from becoming law.

In order to stop animal abuse in medical experiments, the first step is to know about the abuse.

That right is under attack in California.

We use the open records law known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to learn what happens during animal experiments. Most states have similar open records laws, and California’s law has always been a critically important tool used to hold animal experimenters accountable for violating the Animal Welfare Act, among other things.

That’s why we’re fighting AB700, a bill put forth by California Assemblymember Laura Friedman. If enacted into law, AB700 would put animal experimenters above the law by exempting their experiments, methods, and communications from the open records law entirely.

If AB700 is enacted into law, California will have lowered its standards for transparency in biomedical research at educational institutions to the substandard level set by states such as Mississippi, Indiana, and Louisiana, who have passed similar laws to AB700. In many respects, AB700 is more extreme than the laws that passed in those states.

Remember—as a taxpayer, you paid for this research. Both federal taxes and taxes paid by California residents are used to fund animal experiments at universities throughout California. And there’s no good reason why those universities should change the rules to make themselves exempt from basic transparency.

The number of people and groups working to stop this bill from becoming law is growing fast. We’re proud to have partnered with the following groups who signed onto this letter, which is now being sent to Assemblymember Friedman: In Defense of Animals, Mercy for Animals, Social Compassion in Legislation, the Greenbaum Foundation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Advancing Law for Animals, Kindred Spirits Care Farm, Progress for Science, and the Animal Alliance Network.

While it’s too late for you to have your voice heard on this issue you can still help animals suffering in labs by visiting our animals advocacy page. Thank you!