Advocacy group urging Ontario government to forbid the practice of using former pets for research

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Published May 6, 2021 at 12:45 am

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An animal activist group is calling on the province to forbid the practice of using certain animals for research.

The Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC) is urging the Ontario government to amend the Animals for Research Act, to ban the use of cats and dogs for research.

According to the AAC, more than 12,000 dogs and 11,500 cats—former pets—have been provided to the government for research between 2012 and 2016.

“Ontario is the only province that legislates that researchers must be given access to these animals and as a result, a large number of lost companion dogs and cats wind up in Ontario research facilities instead of in adoptive homes,” Liz White, director of the AAC, said in a news release.

“According to the Act, researchers must pay $6 for an impounded dog and $2 for an impounded cat, providing a cheap source of research subjects,” she continued.

Additionally, the Act requires shelters to fulfill research requests, even if the animal is injured or sick.

“For example, if a dog is hit by a car and is brought to the nearest pound for care, even if it seriously injured and will not recover, before it can be humanely euthanized, the pound keeper must have satisfied all requests from operators of research facilities,” White added.

“Taxpayer-funded pounds and shelters should not exist to supply a cheap source of animals for research. Sending former family friends to research is a practice that must be ended immediately,” she said.

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