LANSING — State Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) introduced House Bill 4496 today that would mandate companies who perform animal testing to release cats and dogs to animal shelters once the testing is completed. The bill was prompted by an investigation into and subsequent release of beagles from a major Michigan lab.

“Far too often, labs are euthanizing cats and dogs instead of giving them an opportunity for life after testing — even if they pose no threat to human health,” said Rep. Hertel. “This most recent story brought this disturbing practice to light for many of us, but the speed with which these beagles were adopted is proof that plenty of people are happy to give research animals permanent homes. It’s time we make this a common practice in Michigan.”

The bill has provisions which would limit the release to cats and dogs who do not pose a threat to human health, and it requires that the shelters be located in the state of Michigan so accurate records of releases and adoptions can be kept.