envigo beagles part of meet and greet on capitol hill to advance care act
Politics

Envigo beagles part of meet-and-greet on Capitol Hill to advance CARE Act

envigo beagles
envigo beagles

Beagles rescued from the Envigo breeding and research facility in Virginia visited Capitol Hill yesterday to help give even more laboratory survivors a second chance to live with loving families and find their forever homes.

The meet-and-greet at the Rayburn House Office Building was hosted by Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), sponsor of the Companion Animal Release from Experiments Act, which would ensure that dogs, cats and rabbits, are put up for adoption rather than killed when no longer needed for experiments in laboratories that receive taxpayer funding from the National Institutes of Health.

“It’s simple: if a federally funded research facility uses pets for research, then they must work to find them homes,” said Cárdenas. “Today’s event was proof that animals experimented on can have a second chance at a life in a loving home. Every single beagle on Capitol Hill was there with their forever family.

“We can save even more lives and get more animals adopted by passing the Companion Animal Release from Experiments Act. My bill requires research facilities funded by the NIH to develop adoption policies for those animals. This is part of a larger effort to move away from animal-based testing and research wherever possible and toward more humane and sound scientific research.”

Monica Engebretson, Cruelty Free International’s North America head of public affairs, said “organizations across the U.S. are ready to help laboratory survivors find happy endings.”

More than 60,000 dogs are used in experiments in the United States every year – along with more than 18,000 cats, and 140,000 rabbits – with many suffering and dying in cruel, unreliable tests.

“Our rescue of these amazing beagles told us all what we already know – that dogs do not belong in massive breeding facilities or research labs where they are devoid of human love, the ability to sniff the fresh air and walk in grass,” said Sue Bell, executive director of Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. “They belong in homes as family members. These dogs took to their families quickly and are now living the lives every dog deserves. The CARE Act is vital to giving animals in research what is so easy to give – families!”

One of the most common uses of dogs in laboratories is as a “second species” in tests for human drugs. Following tests on rodents, drug companies are expected by regulators to also test on another species of animal. Dogs, in particular beagles, are the most used, in part because they are trusting, eager to please and easy to handle. Even when dogs (and other animals) survive an experiment, they are often killed and discarded if they are considered no longer useful to the laboratory.

The CARE Act was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in October 2021 and is currently open for lawmakers to cosponsor.

 

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.