Change of policy protects pet dogs from class B dealers

Class B Dealers are in the business of providing what are called ‘Random Source’ dogs and cats to research laboratories and educational facilities such as universities for live animal surgical practice and other demonstrations. The ‘random sources’ from which Class B Dealers obtain dogs and cats include animal shelters, breeding facilities, answering “Home Wanted” ads under false pretenses, and, allegedly, outright theft.

On October 1, 2014, in a move to sharply curtail their unsavory activities, the national institute of health (NIH) stopped all funding of research on dogs procured from pounds, breeders and other so called “random sources”. (see http://news.sciencemag.org/policy.2014/10/nih-ends-funding-experiments-using-random-source-dogs) The funding of experiments using random source cats ceased in 2012. This action came in response to a 2009 National Academy of Sciences report that concluded, amongst other things, that use of random source dogs and cats was unnecessary, and damaging to the public image of medical research. It has been long alleged by animal welfare organizations that these dealers steal and fence stolen pets, obtain pets under false pretenses by claiming to be adopting them, and generally confine them to miserable conditions without veterinary care. For example, the notorious C.C. Baird of Martin Creek Kennels in Arkansas, was able to do business while being investigated for hundreds of violations of the Animal Welfare Act for over ten years before surrendering his license and accepting a fine in 2005 (AWI quarterly , winter 2005, V54 #1) Cats and Dogs used for NIH funded research now have to be supplied by class A dealers, which are usually well regulated corporations that sell purpose -bred animals for research. The new policy will possibly eliminate the heartbreak of pet dogs and cats being stolen and abused by Class B Dealers before being sold into research, but it will still be possible for researchers or educators who don’t rely on government money to use Class B Dealers. The Animal Welfare Institution has been campaigning since 1996 to pass the Pet Safety and Protection Act, which would effectively outlaw the use of all random source dogs and cats in the United States. Please communicate you support for this bill to you elected representatives.

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