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Minnesota Passes Historic Lab Cat, Dog Adoption Law

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Minnesota became the first state in the country to pass a law aimed at helping dogs and cats involved in laboratory testing get adopted after the research is completed.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the Beagle Freedom Law as part of a larger bill, the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill. The Beagle Freedom Law was written by Democratic Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-61). It was sponsored by the Beagle Freedom Project, a Los Angeles group dedicated to the cause.

We are overjoyed that Governor Dayton signed this bill into law ensuring that countless dogs and cats have a chance to go to forever homes when their research experience is over, said Shannon Keith, founder and president of the Beagle Freedom Project.

The landmark Minnesota bill, which is the first state to enact the law, facilitates a relationship between taxpayer funded laboratories and educational institutions that use dogs and cats for research and registered nonprofit animal rescues. A key part of the bill is that when the animals are no longer needed, they can be placed up for adoption.

Across the U.S, there are nearly 65,000 dogs being used to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and household products with little to no hope of getting out alive. Keith said that 96 percent of dogs used in research laboratories are beagles, one of the top five most popular family dog breeds in America. Beagles are the breed of choice for the same personality traits that make them great family additions: they are docile, people-pleasing, forgiving and easy to care for.

Until now, none of the laws covering laboratory animals addressed the opportunity of adopting them post-research.


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