Animals who are used for experiments come
from many different sources, ranging from city pounds to zoos and circuses
looking to get rid of unwanted animals to mass commercial breeders. The
animals' suffering begins even before they reach the vivisectors' hands when
they are ripped from their families and forced to live in bleak conditions at
mass breeding facilities and then transported to laboratories on long and
terrifying plane and truck trips.
Whether they are specifically bred for experiments, are abducted from
the wild, or were once someone's cherished companion, no animals want or
deserve to spend their lives locked inside a cage in a lonely laboratory.
Dogs and Cats
Many dogs and cats used in laboratory experiments come from companies that
breed animals specifically to be used and killed in laboratories. Others were
once trusting companions who simply got lost―or stolen―from their families.
Animal shelters in most states are allowed to turn over homeless dogs and cats
to facilities for experimentation, and in two states—Minnesota and
Oklahoma—shelters are required to turn over animals to laboratories upon
request This is commonly known as "pound seizure."
Seventeen states, including California,
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the District of Columbia forbid pound
seizure. Most other states have no law and leave it up to county or town
governments to decide. Dogs and cats are
sold to laboratories for as little as $15 and sometimes after being in shelters
for as short as a day, never even being given a chance to find a safe home and
Class A Dealers
Anyone selling animals to laboratories or selling more than 24 dogs or cats per
year at the wholesale level must be licensed. Class A dealers
maintain their own breeding colonies, such as puppy mills.
Class B Dealers
Anyone 18 or older who is willing to pay a fee can obtain a U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) Class B dealer license. While most Class B dealers sell
animals to pet stores, zoos, aquariums and other forms of exhibition, in states that allow pound seizure, Class B dealers
may buy animals from pounds and animal shelters"Bunchers" are also a
vital source of animals in the dealers' network. Using sedatives hidden in
meat, females in heat, and nets, they lure or trap dogs and cats. Some thieves
pose as animal control officers and comb neighborhoods in vans,
"confiscating" animals without tags. Many bunchers also purchase
litters from unsuspecting people who allow their animal companions to breed and
obtain animals from "Free to a Good Home" advertisements. These animals are often kept in squalid
conditions and given little food and water.
C.C. Baird, the largest and most notorious
Class B animal dealer in the United States, purchased animals from people using
false addresses and non-existent driver's license numbers. In March 2004, after
years of efforts by animal protection organizations, the USDA filed a 108-page
complaint listing hundreds of violations against C.C. Baird, his wife, Patsy,
and their daughters, Jeanette and Patricia. In January, 2005, a settlement was
reached in Baird's civil case. Baird's USDA license was permanently revoked and
Baird was slapped with a fine of $262,700, the largest fine ever imposed by the
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
of animals are sold to laboratories by Class B dealers each year. As of December 2009, there were 10 Class B
dealers who engage in this shameful practice.
Chimpanzees and other primates used in experiments in the U.S. are primarily
bred in laboratories, although many are also captured in the wild in places
like Asia, South America and Africa. Unwanted chimpanzees from zoos and
circuses are sometimes sold to laboratories. The Oregon National Primate Research Center brags that it maintains colonies of rhesus monkeys,
snow monkeys, vervets, and baboons who were taken from the wild or transferred
to the center from other facilities.
Rodents and Other Animals
Birds, frogs, pigs, sheep, cattle, and many naturally free-roaming animals
(e.g., prairie dogs and owls) are also common victims of experimentation. So
are mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits.
Most small animals used in laboratory
experiments are bred by callous companies that view animals as little more than
test tubes with whiskers. For example, Charles River Laboratories is one of the
world's largest suppliers of rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea
pigs, and other animals for laboratory experiments. The Jackson Laboratory
supplies approximately 2 million mice to major universities, medical schools,
and laboratories around the world every year.
You Can Help Stop This
Please support only charities
that do not torture animals in experiments.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.