"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the manner in which its animals are treated" (Mahatma Gandhi)
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Big or Small we love them all
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced that it will no longer allow researchers who use federal funds to obtain cats from Class B dealers beginning in October 2012, with similar measures to follow for dogs in 2015.
Can you picture your kitten with it's brain cut open and wires and tubes sticking out? Using animals for scientific study isn't needed.
Class B dealers are USDA licensed animal brokers who find and sell dogs and cats to schools and research institutions for a profit. Their methods of acquisition range from going to breeders or shelters, answering classified ads, and in some cases stealing pets who are left unattended. Class B dealers also buy animals from “bunchers” who collect animals from random sources.
Even though research facilities that receive federal funds will not be able to get animals from Class B dealers, these dealers can still continue to work with privately funded institutions.
In 2009, the National Academies released a report in response to a request from Congress that concluded that these dealers are not necessary. The report stated that “…testimony provided to the Committee by USDA officials made it clear that despite new enforcement guidelines and intensified inspection efforts, not all origins of animals are or can be traced. The USDA simply cannot assure that stolen or lost pets will not enter research laboratories via the Class B dealer system.”