Categories: Animal Testing

Australian animal testing facilities prefer to euthanise their animals rather than release them for adoption

“These animals have sacrificed so much to make the world a better place and they’re just discarded.” – Patrice Pandeleos, who was fortunate enough to adopt from a rescue organisation a dog who was born and used at a testing facility, Max.

Cat in testing facility. NOTE: this photo is here to illustrate the page. It is not, as far as I know, a cat from an Australian animal testing facility. The photo is in the public domain and it is horrific.

Bizarrely, in Australia, I am told by News.com.au that animal testing facilities in Australia prefer to euthanise their animals once they have served their purpose rather than release them to rescue centres where they can be adopted. We are not told why. I have to speculate and say that the reason is that these businesses want to keep their work under wraps. They want the whole thing kept quiet to give the impression that they don’t exist. If they allow their cats and dogs and other animals to be released for adoption it may lead to more publicity which would be unwelcome for them. Even animal rescue organisation which rarely adopt out cats and dogs used at testing facilities don’t publicise their work for these animals.

It is unsurprising, therefore, that many Australians have no idea that animal testing takes place on the Australian continent. Take New South Wales (NSW) for instance. An animal advocate and pressure group, Animal Justice Party NSW, is pushing the state’s government to make it mandatory for research animals to be offered up for adoption instead of being euthanised.

They want to change the law and a bill is being introduced to provide a right to release of animals used in testing facilities after they are deemed to be of no use any longer to the facility.

One of the government members in New South Wales, Emma Hurst, said that it was almost impossible to get any dogs and cats out of these testing facilities.

“These animals aren’t being released from research. There are guidelines for rehoming within the industry but no one is actually doing it.”

If the NSW legislation goes through it will be the first state in Australia to impose a right to release for animals from testing facilities and it may pave the way for other states to follow.

Max, is a dog who was born and raised in an animal testing facility. He was lucky to be adopted, one of the very few to achieve that distinction. When toys were placed in front of him, by Patrice Pandeleos, at his new home he was petrified, ran away and hid. He has, though, turned out to be a beautiful and friendly dog. However, he spent nine years in a facility and dogs of his size typically live to 12-years-of-age.

In 2017, statistics from the NSW Department of Primary Industries tell us that 15 cats and 194 dogs were used in testing for biological products. In addition 87 cats are 134 dogs were used to test products to ensure that they met the requirements of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Comment: as I said, it is bizarre that the animals aren’t released when they’re of no use to a testing facility. What harm to release them? They have served, arguably, their country. It is cruel to end their lives with euthanasia. Often they’ve lived their whole lives in what must be a barren environment. Surely decency and humanity must be shown at the end of their lives? This is another example of the callous, cruel approach to animal testing which, as far as I am concerned, should be entirely banned on the planet. We have no right to do it animals.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Countries with the BEST record and consideration toward animals, that recognize: animal sentience, suffering, have anti-cruelty laws that meet OIE standards and have support at the UN are:

    New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland,
    with France, Germany, USA, UK, Denmark, and Austria being pretty close.

    Countries that don't, the WORST are Russia, eastern Europe, most of Africa, and Bolivia in South America.

    • Thanks Albert. I am not sure about New Zealand because they have an attitude that somewhat reflects that of Australia but less so.

  • Australians, probably mostly men, have a history of cruelty and insensitivity toward cats. I'd "prefer" that they be conspicuously held accountable (enjoy less favorable consideration) in the global community until they get their act together along those lines.

    Countries with the most favorable animal rights laws:
    Austria - A. Grade
    Switzerland - A. In comparison with other countries.
    Chile - B.
    Germany - B.

    • I think of Aussies who like to kill feral cats as ignorant and uneducated hunters who enjoy killing.

  • These assholes should not be testing on animals in the first fucking place!! Animals are not going to be using makeup or cleaners or any other shit. Use humans if you want to see if something works. There are enough criminals in the system to use. They are just sitting there wasting tax payers dollars anyways! Plus, no one will miss them if they fucking die! Population control and all that works for me.

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