Bills would incentivize adoption of, require annual reports on dogs and cats used in animal testing
LANSING, Mich. (March 8, 2023) — Sens. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) and Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) recently introduced Senate Bills 148 and 149,
collectively known as “Teddy’s Law,” in honor of a beagle who was rescued from euthanasia at a Michigan laboratory in 2018. These bills would require that dogs and cats used in animal testing be put up for adoption following their time in the lab and require labs performing animal testing to submit annual reports to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).
Senate Bill 149, sponsored by Sen. Hertel, provides the requirement for dogs and cats used in testing to be adopted out through a registered animal shelter. It also holds both shelters and research facilities harmless, provided they have acted in good faith with the act.
“For the past four years, we have been working to get justice for dogs and cats used in animal testing,” said Sen. Hertel. “This bill is a win for all animal lovers, regardless of party, and I look forward to helping ensure animals used in testing are able to find their forever homes.”
Senate Bill 148, sponsored by Sen. Polehanki, provides the reporting requirements for facilities to send to MDARD annually. It also specifies the fines able to be levied by MDARD for failure to comply, which scale with both the number of animals being used in testing and previous violations of the act.
“Last year, people from across the country were horrified when we learned about the conditions that 4,000 beagles were facing before they were rescued from a facility in Virginia,” said Sen. Polehanki. “After the outpouring of concern and support that was expressed for the welfare of these animals, it is clear that Michiganders want to see impactful change. These animals have been through so much and they are more than deserving of a safe and loving home.”
At least 13 states, including Minnesota, Illinois, and Virginia, have passed similar legislation. Additionally, there are several research facilities across the United States that have instituted successful adoption programs for dogs, cats, and other animals.
Senate Bills 148 and 149 were referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture.