Just over a month after the Humane Society of the United States shared video of dogs being force-fed pesticides in a Michigan research lab, state legislators have taken action to provide more oversight.
House Bill 4496 would require research facilities to put cats or dogs, who are no longer being used for testing, up for adoption through a Michigan- based animal shelter. This comes after a video from an undercover investigation into Charles River Laboratories in Mattawan, Mich., showed dozens of beagles being used for chemical testing. According to the Humane Society, the beagles were set to be euthanized at the end of the study. Following the Humane Society's investigation, the company behind the testing, Corteva AgriScience, ended their year-long study and the beagles were put up for adoption.
The bi-partisan measure would also require laboratories to submit annual reports to the state providing the number of animals in the lab's possession and the number of animals tested. Data that is currently only submitted to the federal government.
"So, when we see that data it's older data," said Rep. Kevin Hertel (D - St. Clair Shores), the bill's sponsor. "The most recent data that I could get my hands on was from 2017."
"This will make sure we have a full picture across the state of the types of studies that are being done, and the types of animals those studies are being done on," Hertel said Thursday.
The bill would provide companies with immunity from civil liability under certain conditions as it pertains to the adopting out of animals, and any animals who have health or safety concerns may still be euthanized.
Namiko Ota-Noveskey, Director of Animal Care & Behavior at the Humane Society of West Michigan, said it's great to give these animals the opportunity for adoption, but said she hopes the measure will undergo careful consideration.
"I think it's important for us to have something in place that we can continue, not rush out to do something and find out we cannot sustain it," Ota-Noveskey said.
The bill was introduced April 24 and referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform. Hertel said it's already received a surge of support.
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