Update: On Saturday, March 27, Utah’s governor signed the bill into law, formally amending the state’s pound-seizure law. This means that animal shelters are no longer required to turn over animals for use in cruel experiments. Hooray!
Thanks in large part to e-mails, letters, and phone calls from thousands of compassionate supporters, Utah legislators voted by an overwhelming majority to amend a state law so that government-run animal shelters will not be forced to sell dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments upon request. Once the governor signs the bill, Utah will no longer carry the shame of being one of only three states in the country that still requires animal shelters to engage in this cruel practice. The new law also lengthens the required holding period for animals in shelters and requires shelters to make greater efforts to find the guardians of lost animals.
These positive changes come on the heels of a recent PETA undercover investigation inside laboratories at the University of Utah. The shocking investigation revealed that each year, more than 100 homeless cats and dogs from government-run animal shelters in Utah are sold to the university for use in invasive, painful, and deadly experiments. In one instance, the university bought a pregnant cat from a local animal shelter and injected chemicals into her kitten’s brains, causing fluid to build up inside their heads. All the kittens died.
With this new law, companion animals in Utah—and the people who care for them—can rest a little easier.