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4/11/2018 Deputy Speaker Lima’s Research Animal Retirement Act passes House
STATE HOUSE – Deputy Speaker Charlene M. Lima’s (D-Dist. 14, Cranston, Providence) legislation (2018 H-7414), the Research Animal Retirement Act, was passed by the House of Representatives tonight.

Presently most laws on a Federal or State level only cover the research’s animal treatment while being used for research.  There is very little law affecting what happens to the research animal after the research ends.

“My law will provide Rhode Island with guidelines providing for the adoption of these research animals, dogs and cats, rather than just euthanizing them when no longer needed.  These research animals have endured a lifetime of suffering in order to help us humans lead a healthier and longer life.  The least we can do is to provide them with a mechanism for adoption as a small thank you for their suffering in the name of science,” said Deputy Speaker Lima.

A recent Federal Drug Administration filing states that 51 dogs and 50 cats were used in Rhode Island research experiments since 2015.

Similar legislation has been passed in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Nevada and New York and is presently pending in several other states. 

“As abhorrent as I find the use of animals for medical research, my legislation will simply put in place a way for any research facility using animals to make a good faith effort in contacting local animal rescue organizations before euthanizing these brave creatures,” added Deputy Speaker Lima.

Deputy Speaker Lima added that many of these research facilities receive federal and state funding and many possess tax exempt status.  She believes that since public money is used to conduct these experiments on innocent animals, the facilities should partner with local animal rescue and adoption agencies in order to find homes for retired research animals.

“For dogs and cats to undergo years of sometimes painful experimentation and confinement in order to make the important breakthroughs in human medical science and then be eliminated as we would discard our garbage is unconscionable.  The least these animals deserve is a chance at a happy and peaceful end of their lives.  My legislation will give them that chance and it’s appropriate that this bill passed today, National Pet Day, as this legislation will bring a whole new generation of pets into loving homes,” concluded Deputy Speaker Lima.

The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903