Maryland Residents: Animals Exploited in Labs Need Your Help

The Rise for Animals Team, March 6, 2023

We need your help to protect nonhumans exploited in Maryland laboratories.

Last week, the Maryland Senate Committee on Education, Energy, and the Environment held a hearing for Senate Bill 495. This bill, as currently written, would:

  • Help reduce the number of nonhumans used for product safety testing by requiring that equivalent or superior non-animal methods be used when available and that research facilities justify and report animal use to the State Inspector;
  • Provide additional protections for dogs and cats used in research by prohibiting their use in non-federally-mandated product safety tests, prohibiting research facilities from acquiring them from animal shelters, prohibiting research facilities from devocalizing them, and requiring that research facilities consider adopting them out once retired from research; and
  • Increase research facility oversight by creating a state inspection policy.

We, and others, testified in favor of this bill, but so did powerful opponents.

Together with the National Anti-Vivisection Society, the American Anti-Vivisection Society, Cruelty Free International, and the Humane Society of the United States, we testified in favor of this bill and asked the Committee to move it forward.

But, we faced powerful opposition.

The attending veterinarian for Johns Hopkins University testified against this bill, arguing that Johns Hopkins takes such great care of its research animals that additional oversight is not necessary . . . though he could not seem to answer, in response to a Senator’s question, why his institution would strongly oppose additional inspections if all their work is as exemplary as he claimed.  

He also didn’t offer that, in 2021, Johns Hopkins received one of the only 58 official warnings issued by the USDA for significant noncompliance. This puts Johns Hopkins in the mere 0.5% of registered institutions that faced this type of action by the USDA that year. So, yes, their work is exemplary, but certainly not in the way they claim.

We need your help to educate our policymakers and keep Maryland SB0495 moving.

Maryland residents, please contact your Senators today and tell them you strongly support this bill in the interests of both humans and nonhumans, and, then, help spread the word!

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