Wildlife Wednesdays: Lab Animals Can Be Adopted! | weatherology°
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By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Feb 7th 2022

Wildlife Wednesdays: Lab Animals Can Be Adopted!

A policy change by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing for animals, that continue to be tested on by some companies, to be adopted! Before, it was very common for animals such as dogs, cats, and rabbits, that are tested on in laboratories, to be euthanized right after their participation in experiments. The new policy change allows these animals to be adopted, transferred, or put in retirement and sent to shelters and sanctuaries. 

The policy change took place at the end of last year, but had not been disclosed by the FDA. Monique Richards, a spokeswoman for the FDA, confirmed this policy change. She also mentioned, "this is not a procedural change, but a newly approved internal standard guideline developed to provide overarching support to enhance and promote harmonization of FDA animal research activities." She adds that the policy has not been made public, but that the guideline “expressly states the eligibility criteria for adoption, retirement, and transfer. The animal program management, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and attending veterinarians in each FDA animal program use their professional expertise to decide on eligibility and placement.” 

The FDA as a whole has supported this policy change. This comes after similar policy changes with the National Institute of Health, who took similar measures in August 2019 and now allows for the adoption of these animals no longer needed for research. Under their policy, the animals must be in good health and looked over by veterinarians. They are then sent to non-profit organizations to be adopted. 

Legislation designed to overhaul federal regulations for the adoption of these lab-experimented animals currently sits in both the House and Senate. Many organizations support the measures for ending overall testing on animals worldwide, and even some states have banned any products that have been tested on animals.