Pet Safety and Protection Act – ‘Buck’s Bill’
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that every year middlemen known as “Class B” animal dealers round up about 18,000 dogs and cats through flea markets and free-to-good-home ads, and then sell them to laboratories and university research labs.
In the process, it says lost pets are rounded up, too.
This act will restict “Class B” dealers from selling dogs of an unknown source, ie. stays and lost pets, to labs. Under their bill, labs would still be able to obtain research animals from breeders, pet owners who donate them, or shelters as long as the animal in question is not a stray. The bill is still pending before both the House and Senate agriculture committees.
There are only 15 random source Class â€œBâ€ dog and cat dealers left that sell animals to research facilities. The states with Class B dealers that provide animals to labs are Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, according to the Humane Society.
The proposed ban is dubbed “Buck’s Bill” in honor of Buck, a black hound dog seized in 2003 in Oklahoma from a dealer. Buck, who had heartworm disease and other ailments, died of internal hemorrhaging months after his rescue, while in foster care.
Mary Hanley, the executive vice president of the National Association for Biomedical Research, said she sees no reason for the law change. There may have been past abuses, she said, but it’s not the current reality. Labs are required to keep documentation on where their research animals came from.
“Research facilities take great care,” Hanley said. “They don’t want dogs that they don’t know where they came from. They take great care so that they do know.”
Wilson-Sanders said laws are strict now but more regulation may be necessary.
“Buck was four years ago, but it could still happen,” Wilson-Sanders said. “If it is going to help assure the public that researchers are doing everything they can to prevent pet death, it’s worth having the bill.”
Pennsylvania Reps. Phil English and Mike Doyle also believe in having the bill.
“Lost or stolen animals may be getting in the queue for experimentation” without their owners’ knowledge despite laws designed to prevent that, said English, a Republican who sponsored a House bill with Doyle, a Democrat. (from MSNBC.com)
AKA â€œBuckâ€™s Billâ€
The Pet Safety and Protection Act is in Congress
The Pet Safety and Protection Act (S. 714 & H.R. 1280) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Akaka (D-HI) and in the House by Representatives English (D-PA) and Doyle (D-PA). When passed, the Act will amend the Animal Welfare Act to ensure that all animals used in research are obtained legally by prohibiting USDA licensed Class â€œBâ€ Dealers (like C.C. Baird) from supplying cats and dogs to research facilities.
Class â€œBâ€ dealers are licensed to purchase and sell animals to research. They are only supposed to obtain animals for re-sale from other â€œBâ€ dealers, pounds and shelters and from persons who have bred and raised the animals themselves.
However, â€œBâ€ dealers routinely violate the law by acquiring animals from fraudulent sources and abusing and neglecting them. These animals are often stolen pets, strays or animals obtained under false pretenses and deception such as â€œfree to good homeâ€ ads. It is virtually impossible to know the true history of an animal acquired by a Class â€œBâ€ dealer. Each time a Class â€œBâ€ dealer sells an animal to a research lab, a strong possibility exists that it is a lost or stolen family pet.
There are only 15 random source Class â€œBâ€ dog and cat dealers left that sell animals to research facilities. Please help to get rid of these remaining Class â€œBâ€ dealers and ensure that animals purchased by research facilities are obtained legally.
This bill is also known as â€œBuckâ€™s Bill.â€ In 2003, â€œBuck” was one of the many animals rescued during a raid of the nation’s most notorious Class “B” dealer, C.C. Baird. Extremely ill on the day of his rescue, Buck struggled with Stage 3 heartworm disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and parasitic pneumonia. His heart was paper-thin due to the heartworm. After his rescue, he was in such bad shape that he stayed at the vet clinic for seven months. When he was well enough, he went to a foster home where he lived until he died a few months later from internal hemorrhaging. All who knew Buck fell in love with him. â€œBuckâ€™s Billâ€ serves to honor Buck and all the dogs and cats that die due to inadequate care and abuse at the hands of Class â€œBâ€ dealers.
Your Help is Needed to Pass the Buckâ€™s Bill!
The Act has never been so close to passing as a result of the attention garnered from “Dealing Dogs” – the HBO documentary of LCAâ€™s undercover investigation and bust of Class â€œBâ€ dealer, C.C. Baird.
We urge you to do all of the following to help ensure the Act gets passed:
Contact your two U.S. Senators by phone, e-mail, fax and mail
â€“ URGE them to co-sponsor The Pet Safety and Protection Act. Call 1-888-VOTESMART or click here for senator contact information.
Contact your U.S. Representative by phone, e-mail, fax and mail
– URGE him/her to co-sponsor the Pet Safety and Protection Act. Call 1-888-VOTESMART or click here for representative contact information.
Sign our Petition
Download a copy of LCAâ€™s Pet Safety and Protection Act petition HERE. Collect signatures from residents of your state and mail the petitions back to LCA: 8033 Sunset Blvd. #835, Los Angeles, CA 90046.
Sample letter/phone call: Please make your calls and letters short and polite. Here is a sample:
â€œMy name is (your name) and Iâ€™m (calling/writing) from (your city and state). As a constituent of (Senator/Repâ€™s name), I urge (Senator/Repâ€™s name) to co-sponsor The Pet Safety and Protection Act (S. 714/H.R. 1280). The bill calls for animal research facilities to obtain their animals legally, and not from Class â€œBâ€ dealers. Class â€œBâ€ dealers routinely violate the Animal Welfare Act by fraudulently obtaining animals and abusing and neglecting them. It is imperative that this act be passed. Thank you.â€
Take just a moment and do your part!!
Make a difference… one day it could be your lost furbaby!
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