USA (Minnesota): Lab Beagles Feel Grass and Sunshine for the First Time.

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Video link:

http://www.takepart.com/video/2014/05/22/watch-these-lab-beagles-feel-grass-and-sunshine-first-time?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2014-05-23 

 

Lab Beagles Feel Grass and Sunshine for the First Time

Minnesota passes the first law to allow adoptions for dogs and cats that have been involved in scientific experiments.

Nine beagles that had been in cages all their lives experienced the outdoors for the first time early this month. Thanks to the Beagle Freedom Project, they weren’t the first, nor will they be the last.

The Los Angeles–based group, founded in 2010, has been pushing for regulations that would give dogs and cats bred and used for lab testing the chance to be adopted at the end of research studies. On Tuesday Minnesota became the first state to enact such a rule, which has been dubbed the Beagle Freedom Law.

“This law is simple, compassionate, and common sense,” BFP’s Kevin Chase wrote on the organization’s blog. “If a dog or cat is used in a taxpayer-funded research experiment and is healthy at its end, the lab must offer them up to public adoption through a rescue organization.”

According to the BFP, the United States employs 65,000 dogs for academic, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical testing. More than 95 percent of the canines are beagles because of their docile nature, and many don’t survive experimentation or are euthanized after the studies are completed. Some of those who are freed find adoptive homes with the help of animal advocacy groups like the BFP.

As the organization reminds potential adopters, taking care of freed lab animals poses special challenges. The beagles’ paws have become accustomed to steel wire floors, so even walking on grass may be strange for them. They’ve also only been given a diet formulated for lab animals, so feeding them regular food may be difficult. Understandably, they may also fear humans.

Still, as the beagles (nicknamed the “Lucky 9”) in the video above show, a little bit of sunshine and care go a long way. They were BFP’s first rescues in Nevada, with more to come. Sen. Mark Manendo has promised to introduce the Beagle Freedom Bill in the Nevada Legislature in 2015. Other states, such as California and New York, are considering similar legislation.