MichBio testified before the House Regulatory Reform Committee on HB 4881 and HB 4882, sponsored by Reps. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shore) and Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) respectively, would require research facilities to offer dogs or cats used in laboratory research up for adoption prior to euthanizing them. Additionally, facilities would be required to submit annual reports to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development detailing the total number of animals released and where they were sent. A facility’s failure to submit the reports or offer up animals to shelters prior to euthanization could result in fines that increase based on the number of animals involved.
MichBio is opposed to the bills (though it unequivocally supports their intent) because such adoption policies/programs already exist at academic research institutions and private companies. Moreover, adoption is not always an option – in many cases disposition is dictated by the federal Animal Welfare Act that governs “covered” animals. Besides, data regarding animals used in research and their disposition is already filed with federal authorities, rendering a state requirement to be duplicative and administratively burdensome. Additionally, the bills do not address issues like who could access any reported data nor its possible misinterpretation.