Premier Ford, please ban the use of pet dogs and cats in research

TORONTO, May 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- “No Pets in Research”, a coalition led by Animal Alliance of Canada, is calling upon Premier Ford and his government to amend Ontario’s Animals for Research Act and ban the use of pet dogs and cats in research.

The numbers of dogs and cats, former pets, being supplied to researchers is alarming. According to numbers provided by the government, in the five years between 2012 and 2016, more than 12,000 dogs, and in excess of 11,500 cats went to research in Ontario.

“Ontario is the only province that legislates that researchers must be given access to these animals and as a result, a large number of lost companion dogs and cats wind up in Ontario research facilities instead of in adoptive homes,” said Liz White, Director, Animal Alliance of Canada. “According to the Act, researchers must pay $6 for an impounded dog and $2 for an impounded cat, providing a cheap source of research subjects.”

The Act also requires pound keepers to fulfill research requests even when the animals are injured or ill. “This is how it works,” explains White. “A dog is hit by a car and is brought to the nearest pound for care. The dog is seriously injured and will not recover. However, before the dog can be humanely euthanized, the pound keeper must have satisfied all requests from operators of research facilities.”

“Most Ontarians do not know that this could happen to their animal companions,” White continued. “And yet if pets go missing it is almost impossible to find out what happened to them. It's a system of secrecy that protects the researchers not the animals.”

“I have spent over three years submitting numerous Freedom of Information requests to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, which is responsible for the Act, and cannot find out which pounds give their animals to research and which research facilities are requesting these animals,” said White.

“Taxpayer-funded pounds and shelters should not exist to supply a cheap source of animals for research. Sending former family friends to research is a practice that must be ended immediately.”

Liz White, Director
Animal Alliance of Canada
c) 416-809-4371