Cats and dogs that survive what one lawmaker calls “tortuous” research testing will now have a chance at enjoying a pet’s life under a new law.
A measure signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Tuesday will require state-funded universities in New York to make cats and dogs used in experiments eligible for adoption as pets after their service to science ends. Only dogs and cats healthy enough for adoption will be eligible. Until now, the cats and dogs have often been euthanized.
The Research Animal Retirement Act sponsored by Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) and Assemb. Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) has been in the works for two years.
“I urge all New Yorkers thinking about adopting a dog or cat to consider these beautiful research animals who have given us so much,” Boyle said.
“Research animals will finally have a chance at a second life,” Rosenthal said. “Research animals live their lives being poked and prodded by humans, purposefully made sick to keep us well, and they are deprived of the affection and human kindness that many dogs enjoy.
“After this long and often tortuous service, they are usually euthanized, ending a miserable existence,” Rosenthal said.
Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said federal law, “regulates the care and use of research animals while they are in the laboratory but does not offer any protection once the research project ends. We’re pleased that New York State has made this important move to promote the adoption of dogs and cats formerly used for research. This law will bring untold happiness to these animals and the families who adopt them.”