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Beagle Freedom Project

Recently, at a ceremony in the Capitol, I was honored to recognize Shannon Keith, President and Founder of the Beagle Freedom Project, along with volunteer Melina Shirley, to recognize their tireless efforts to save the lives of countless dogs, cats and other animals in laboratories. This extraordinary organization is the world’s leading advocate for rescuing and rehoming animals used in experimental research.

Because of their gentle dispositions and submissive natures, nearly 96% of dogs used in research are beagles. In the U.S., more than 60,000 dogs and nearly 20,000 cats are being used for animal experimentation to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, household products and for other scientific curiosities. Unfortunately, many spend their entire lives in cages.

Since 2010, the Beagle Freedom Project has worked to end this abuse through education, advocacy and legislation. Their advocacy is vital, resulting in legislation such as Lennon’s Law, which phased out “Closed Colony” blood banks. These are places that keep dogs in cages for months or years at a time, in order to bleed them for blood and blood components. Just this year, on Valentine’s Day, these efforts bore fruit when a major animal testing laboratory was shut down in Oklahoma.

As a dog owner and animal lover, I have long been interested in protecting/rescuing animals that have been used for research. Obviously, once these animals are no longer needed for this purpose, they should be released for adoption to loving homes whenever possible.

That’s why I co-authored the California Beagle Freedom Bill, sponsored by the Beagle Freedom Project, which ensured dogs and cats used for testing and experimentation get every opportunity to have a life after labs through adoption into loving homes. It’s hard to believe this legislation took two sessions to pass before becoming law in 2016.

To learn more about the Beagle Freedom Project, go to https://bfp.org/.

To view my presentation to the Beagle Freedom Project on the Assembly floor, go to https://vimeo.com/968224111/6827eb927b?share=copy.

 

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