A bipartisan group of Senators July 30 introduced the Animal Freedom from Testing, Experimentation and Research (AFTER) Act. This bill aims to encourage the adoption of laboratory animals that are no longer needed for research.
The bill, introduced by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act and require federal agencies to establish policies for adoption or non-laboratory placement of research animals that are deemed “suitable for release” and no longer needed in federal laboratories.
The new standard would apply to animals housed in “any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States operating as a Federal research facility.” The bill identifies animal rescue organizations, animal sanctuaries, animal shelters, and individuals as options for relocations. According to Sen. Collins’ press release, the bill “will ensure that every federal agency that uses animals for research has policies in place to facilitate the relocation of retired, healthy lab animals to private homes, animal rescues, or reputable sanctuaries.”
Representatives Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) June 21 introduced a House companion bill (H.R. 2897), which currently has 33 bipartisan cosponsors.