The American Humane Socity is trying to pass a bill in the Senate that would require research facilities to find adoptive homes for dogs and cats after they have been used in animal testing.
Senate Bill 675 filed in Maryland by Republican Sen. Michael Hough wants animals placed in homes after they’re no longer needed as lab animals.
Specifically, the “Beagle Bill” would require labs to establish a list of animal rescue organizations that are willing to take a dog or cat from the research facility and offer the animal to the organizations identified in the list.
An attending veterinarian would be responsible for determining if an animal is suitable for adoption.
Beagles are the preferred breed used in testing because they having a trusting temperament and are comfortable around humans, according to Hough.
The bill has been introduced in the past two General Assembly sessions. A version passed the House of Delegates in 2016, but no measure has made it out of the Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.
Speakers from the Humane Society urged its crowd of supporters to call on their legislators to bring the bill forward to a vote.
Thirty Republican and Democratic senators in the 47-member Maryland Senate have signed on as co-sponsors this year.
Johns Hopkins Medicine has in the past opposed the bill on the grounds that further regulation would hinder scientific research. It said in a statement it will oppose the new bill.