We don’t have the name of the animal shelter except that it is a “humane group” in the state of Louisiana. It appears that they were sending live animals to the LSU Veterinary School for testing and ultimately euthanasia but on their books they were recording these animals as “live outcomes”.
In other words the shelter was fudging the books in order to boost their no-kill rate. The animals were leaving the shelter alive but they were destined to be euthanised at the ‘testing facility’, in this case a veterinary school.
Because of this situation, a bill was sponsored by Jerome Zeringue, which places strict restrictions on how animal shelters strike up deals with testing facilities. And if the deceased shelter animals are sent to a testing facility of some sort the animal shelter has to have a sign in the lobby which says that animals euthanised at the shelter may be used for educational research purposes.
In short, it allows shelters to provide living animals for research but only under strict conditions with, I presume, the intention of stamping out this fudged situation. The bill has passed into law and been signed off by Gov John Bell Edwards placing limits on shelters in providing animals for research.
There is also a suggestion that some shelters in the state (or perhaps this was an isolated case) were deliberately taking in animals for the sole intention of passing them on for research purposes. If that’s the case it is a worrying situation. Is this a one-off or widespread? We don’t know.
I have always said that shelter animals are an asset in a strictly commercial sense. They should not be seen as that but they can be as is the case in this instance. No doubt this animal shelter was paid for providing animals for testing. This created a conflict of interest which severely undermined the purpose for their existence which was to shelter animals and rehome them.