Kupchick champions Beagle Freedom Project legislation

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) along with the Beagle Freedom Project of Connecticut testified in front of the legislature’ s Environment committee today asking that animals, mostly Beagles to be given the opportunity to be adopted instead of being euthanized.

The legislation, HB 5707 An Act Requiring Certain Higher Education Facilities that Conduct Research Using Cats or Dogs to Offer Such Cats or Dogs to Animal Rescue Organizations Prior to Euthanizing Any Such Cat or Dog and Providing for the Proper Sheltering Of Dogs will require a research facility to offer these animals up for adoption to an animal adoption or animal rescue organization.

Currently there is a deficiency in the law on what should be done with animals when they are no longer used for research. Right now whether or not dogs and cats in Connecticut laboratories can be adopted at the end of an experiment depends on the discretion and volunteer time of lab workers. Most labs summarily kill all research animals even if healthy. The bill would facilitate a relationship between Connecticut laboratories and rescue organizations so these survivors can have a chance at a life after the lab.

“This bill simply gives innocent animals a second chance instead of being indiscriminately killed when the research institution no longer has use for them. This bill would help ensure the safety and well-being of animals used for research,” said Rep. Kupchick, who owns two rescue beagles herself.

“Beagles are commonly used because they are the most docile, people-friendly type of dogs,” said Melissa Peters, who runs the Connecticut branch of “The Beagle Freedom Project.” With research facilities, we take them, we don’t ask any questions, and we find homes for them.”

The Beagle Freedom Project is a national effort to make tax-payer funded research labs put beagles up for adoption after their years of testing, instead of just putting them down.

Kevin Chase, who is Vice President of the Beagle Freedom Project in oral testimony before the Environment committee said, “This bill is simple, but important. It does not meddle in the research process. It only provides a common-sense policy solution for which none exists so far. It recognizes that after all these dogs and cats endure for our drugs, products, and curiosities that they deserve a second chance at a life.”

Additionally, there were three beagles, Ben, Maggie and Libby rescued from the ‘Beagle Freedom Project’ that were adopted on hand to support the bill.

According to the Beagle Freedom Project, similar legislation is pending in four other states and was passed into law in Minnesota in 2014.

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