The Food and Drug Administration will now allow healthy animals previously used in research to be put up for adoption. According to The Hill, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and some farm animals will now be included in the adoption policy.

The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs have similar policies in place. Previously to the adoption policy, many animals were euthanized.

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Sen. Susan Collins said in a statement to The Hill, “There is no reason why regulated research animals that are suitable for adoption or retirement should be killed by our federal agencies. I’m pleased that the FDA has joined the NIH and VA in enacting a lab animal retirement policy.”

The FDA reported that 1,929 animals were used in or bred for experiments in 2018. Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy for the White Coat Waste Project, a group working to stop taxpayer-funded animal experiments, said of the policy, ” Animals who are going to be adopted out are going to need to go to families or rescues and sanctuaries that are going to have the time and patience and expertise to help them adjust. The FDA should be a role model for other federal agencies that are experimenting on animals, but have not yet agreed to allow them to be released at the end of testing. ”

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture do not have policies for freeing animals after testing.

We encourage everyone seeking a pet to adopt, not shop! Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal.

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The government didn’t disclose where you can adopt FDA animals, but you can contact your local shelter or animal rescue center to find pets that need adopting in your area. Check out the Humane Society’s website for resources.

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