by Photo courtesy of the San Diego Humane Society

The San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) urged California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign a bill that ends unnecessary toxicological testing on dogs and cats. 

Senate Bill 879, also known as the Prohibiting Extranious Testing (PET) Act, will ban toxicity testing on cats and dogs, like the hundreds which arrived in San Diego in recent months. The Humane Society of the United States(HSUS) relinquished about 4,000 beagles from Envigo RMS, a company that breeds and sells animals for research, from its Cumberland, VA facility. 

According to the SDHS, Envigo tested several products on the beagles, including pesticides, chemical substances, and food additives. The PET Act, authored by Sen. Scott W Wiener, D-San Francisco, is sponsored by the HSUS, which was approached by the U.S. Department of Justice to remove the beagles after a lawsuit filed by the DoJ in May detailed violations of the Animal Welfare Act. 

“Dogs who undergo toxicity testing suffer terribly and are kept in steel cages, often alone,” said San Diego Humane Society president and CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman. “Advances in technology are offering alternative methods that are more affordable, more predictive, and clearly less harmful to animals.”

On July 24, the Helen Woodward Animal Center took 43 beagles into their care for adoption. About a month later, on Aug. 31, the San Diego Humane Society received 108 beagles. The organization has placed 58 of the beagles with local rescue partners. The other 50 beagles remain with San Diego Humane Society, where they are in foster homes until they can be spayed or neutered and made available for adoption.

“Had they not been removed, most of them were headed for a life of suffering in laboratories where they may have been force-fed drugs, pesticides, or other substances, and then observed for harmful effects such as heart failure, signs of cancer, or even death,” the nonprofit wrote in a statement. 

Members of the community can learn more about the beagles, or make a donation to SDHS, at sdhumane. org/beagles<>. 

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