Bill would bring an end to “Class B” dealers
The Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2011 was introduced by Reps. Mike Doyle, D-Pa. and Chris Smith, R-N.J.
The legislation would amend the Animal Welfare Act to make it illegal for Class B Dealers to sell random source dogs and cats to research institutions.
“Rounding up pets and funneling them into laboratories has been demonstrated time and again to result in substantial animal suffering,” said Andrew Rowan, Ph.D, chief scientific officer for The Humane Society of the United States. “This dwindling practice has no place in 21st century society and results in bad science. We commend Representatives Doyle and Smith for working to prevent America’s beloved family pets from ending up in research labs.”
Class B dealers are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to sell animals to research facilities.
Unlike Class A dealers, who breed animals for research, Class B dealers purchase or acquire the animals from “random sources,” such as auctions, flea markets or “bunchers” – unlicensed individuals who acquire dogs and cats by theft, misrepresentation or other questionable means, such as rounding up strays and responding to ads for animals that are “free to a good home.”
It is impossible for the USDA to enforce regulations regarding the true source of each animal sold by Class B dealers, the HSUS says.
The vast majority of research laboratories have stopped using Class B dealers, and only eight of them are currently operating — five of whom are under investigation by the USDA, the HSUS says.
Earlier this year, the operators of the last Class B random source dealer in Pennsylvania — an outfit doing business as Chestnut Grove Kennel — were indicted on federal charges for the “alleged unlawful procurement of hundreds of random sourced dogs” and “the subsequent resale of those dogs to medical research facilities.” If convicted, they face a jail sentence of up to 50 years and a fine of up to $1 million.
“Class B dealers have racked up an atrocious record of illegal activity and cruelty to animals,” said Rep. Doyle. “Allowing this failed program to continue is simply unacceptable. That’s why we’re re-introducing the Pet Safety and Protection Act — to shut down the Class B dealer disaster once and for all.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aavs, animal welfare act, animals, auctions, bunchers, cats, chris smith, class a, class b, dealers, dogs, experiments, flea markets, free to good home, hsus, humane society of the united states, legislation, lost dogs, mike doyle, pet safety and protection act, pets, proposed, randon source, strays, usda