Senate Bill 669 Earns PETA Praise for Proposing Prohibition on Breeding for Experiments Not Required by Law and Selling Overseas for Testing
For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2020
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Richmond, Va. – A new bipartisan bill cosponsored by state senators Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) and Bill Stanley (R-Franklin) would protect dogs and cats from experiments not required by law in the U.S. If enacted, the bill would also spare animals the terror of being packed and confined during long international transport to be used in experiments, including in Japan and Taiwan, where animal protection laws and regulations are lax or nonexistent.
Senate Bill 669 would prohibit any person from breeding a dog or cat for the express purpose of producing offspring for use in research, experimentation, or testing that’s not required by federal law or regulation or for sale to a manufacturer, institution of higher learning, or contract testing facility inside or outside the U.S.
The bill—which was encouraged by PETA and has earned support from many other organizations—is expected to be heard by the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee on January 28. It comes in the wake of PETA’s release of disturbing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) video footage recorded at a facility in Cumberland that breeds beagles for experimentation. USDA inspectors found that sick and injured dogs were denied adequate veterinary care; that some dogs’ nails were so long, they curled under to touch the paw pad, were torn and bleeding, or were getting caught in the wire flooring; that dogs were held in unsafe enclosures; that waste dripped from upper-level enclosures into lower ones; that there were several inches of fecal buildup under enclosures; and that there were roaches, white and black mold, and insect larvae in the animal feed. As of the USDA’s last federal inspection (in August 2019), the facility was warehousing 2,558 puppies, 2,237 adult dogs, and 58 cats.
“This bill would reduce the number of dogs and cats bred in Virginia solely to be used as test tubes and then killed,” said PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA thanks Sen. Boysko and Sen. Stanley for championing this compassionate legislation, which stands to make Virginia a more humane state for animals.”
Dogs from the facility in Cumberland—currently owned by animal-testing giant Envigo—have been used in painful and deadly tests, including one in which the corneas of dogs’ left eyes were wounded to the point of ulceration and another in which puppies were injected with steroids, killed, and dissected. Neither of these experiments was required by law.
SB 669 has also garnered support from Humane Dominion, The Humane Society of the United States, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Virginia Animal Control Association, the Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters, and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies.