NEWS AND OPINION: In a change of policy, animals that the FDA has used for testing in laboratories and which were formally euthanised after the experiments can now be released for adoption through animal shelters. The policy quietly took effect last November, reports The Hill website.
This is obviously great news but for many people it is very late in arriving. If these animals were adoptable for decades as must have been the case then why were they euthanised in the first place? The actions of the FDA in this regard over a long period of time were unjustifiable and cruel. The new policy is an admission of that fact.
The Hill website also reports that other government agencies such as the Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture haven’t as yet set policies to releasing animals after testing. It is hoped that the FDA’s policy will become a role model for other federal agencies to follow suit.
In addition to the FDA, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) and VA (United States Department of Veterans Affairs) have done this already. Sen Susan Collins is delighted because she has introduced a bill, the Animal Freedom from Testing, Experiments and Research Act in 2019. It has eight co-sponsors and is bipartisan. It is currently in committee. The legislation would require federal laboratories to place certain animals in rescue centres after experimentation. It appears that the FDA has moved ahead of this act and pre-empted the need for it.
The FDA reported in 2018 that 1,929 Animal Welfare Council-regulated animals were experimented upon and that 27% of them experienced pain or distress. Nonetheless these animals can be adopted and can thrive in the right home. It is suggested that they may be traumatised to a certain extent and therefore a sensitive and educated cat guardian would be the ideal adopter.
It goes without saying that the animals tested include domestic cats. There a big argument nowadays to totally ban all animal experiments. In other words to go radically much further than legislation which insists that animals are adopted after experimentation. You can use computer models and artificial tissue to test drugs nowadays. More importantly, it is often stated that results from animal testing do not transfer that well into the effects that the drugs have on humans. Animal testing isn’t that useful and when you set that against the inherent immorality of it and the pain and distress that it causes to animals, it cannot be justified.
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