On April 24, 2018, Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland, signed the Beagle Freedom Bill – a measure that legally compels research laboratories to release dogs and cats who are no longer needed in testing, allowing them to be adopted into loving homes! Maryland is the seventh U.S. state to pass this legislation, saving the lives of countless animals. The bill comes at the perfect time as it was passed during World Week for Animals in Labs, which brings attention to the issues of animal testing and cruelty.
Thanks to the Humane Adoption Act (SB 675), generally known as the Beagle Freedom Bill after the dog breed used most commonly in laboratories, dogs and cats no longer needed for tests will have to be released to rescue groups like the Rescue + Freedom Project – which also sponsored the legislation.
Up until now, animals in this situation were often killed by the facilities, even though their fate could have easily been so very different.
The rescued animals will be put up for adoption and finally get the chance to have homes and normal, happy lives.
The campaign to pass the law was met with overwhelming support from the public as well as from policymakers. The petition supporting the bill was signed by over 100,000 people concerned about the lab animals and the legislation was championed by Delegate Ben Kramer and Senator Michael Hough.
“I am pleased, that after several years of seeking the passage of common sense legislation, Maryland is joining the handful of other compassionate states that have placed in statute a mandate to allow companion animals that have been utilized for experimentation in research labs to be adopted, rather than simply killed, at the end of the experiments,” said Delegate Ben Kramer.
“[T]his policy addresses a real deficiency of law and we are so proud to be able to secure homes for animals that have endured so much suffering,” said Shannon Keith, President of Rescue + Freedom Project. “No longer will these dogs and cats be killed once research is over.”
The Beagle Freedom Bill will take effect on October 11, 2018, and it will change the lives of many innocent animals used in Maryland laboratories. We hope that more states will soon join in the commitment to give dogs and cats used in testing the second chance they so much deserve!
All image source: Rescue + Freedom Project