A. Dogs and cats who are in university research facilities are used in a wide range of experimental and teaching laboratories, and the hundreds of animals who are part of the Identity Campaign represent this spectrum. In many cases, Beagle Freedom Project was able to acquire the experiment titles that the dogs and cats were assigned to at the time we made our records request. These titles revealed that these dogs and cats are being used for experimental drug trials, vision experiments, heart experiments, veterinary training programs, and other purposes. Some of the dogs and cats were being held as part of a colony until a future experimenter found a use for them. And in other cases, the research facility either could not or would not provide us with the experimental title for their animals, so at this time we know nothing about how those animals are being used.
We hope our Identity Campaign adopters’ records requests will help us fill in many specific details about how these dogs and cats are being used. And in all cases, for dogs and cats, it is our position that life in a barren laboratory is never an adequate substitute for life in a home with a loving family.
A. Beagle Freedom Project put together this list of dogs and cats by filing requests for documents pursuant to state open records laws. Unlike state universities, private companies are under no legal obligation to respond and provide us with the requested information. However, in the future, we do hope to acquire some of this information for dogs and cats used in private facilities through alternative means. Stay tuned for that.
A. This could be due to one of a few different reasons. First, if the university is a private institution, they are not required to provide us with any records in response to a request. Second, some states have more restrictive open access laws than others, and this makes it difficult for BFP to acquire the specific records needed for this campaign. And lastly, some universities have tried undemocratic legal maneuvers to refuse us the right to access these records, even when we believe state law appears to require transparency. We are currently reviewing our legal options in these cases.
To make sure the Identity Campaign stays current, at any given time, BFP has several pending open records requests with universities, so it could also be the case that your university will be represented in this campaign in the near future.
If you have a question about a specific university, you can contact us.
A. It varies. Under most state open records laws, government agencies are able to request a fee. These fees are intended to cover the costs associated with copying and locating the records you request. However, government agencies cannot capriciously charge exorbitantly high fees as a de facto barrier to access.
In the initial records request, we suggest that Identity Campaign adopters agree to pay up to $50 for the adopted animal’s records. If you feel the laboratory is trying to charge you unreasonably high costs to gain access to documents about your adopted dog or cat, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss options with you.
A. We are opposed to all animal experimentation both because we believe animals have a right to live free of painful exploitation and because there are more modern and effective alternatives to the use of animals in research. The Identity Campaign is focusing on dogs and cats exclusively for a couple of reasons. First, millions of Americans share their homes with these animals and so they are easy to identify with. When advocating for the freedom of these animals it is more plausible to envision finding them homes. Primates and other laboratory animals require special sanctuary care and cannot be released to the public. Secondly, the Animal Welfare Act does not cover mice, rats, and birds and so their use is often unquantifiable. It is the long-term goal of the Identity Campaign to shine a spotlight on all animal-based research by advocating and giving identities to these individual dogs and cats.
A. After you receive records for your adopted animal, we encourage you to forward them to us for review. Our team of research specialists is experienced in reviewing animal experimentation records and scientific documents. We will be able to interpret the information contained in your records and put it into laymen’s terms for you.
After we review the records, we may want to discuss various options with you including filing complaints with federal regulatory authorities if apparent violations are discovered, reaching out to the media to discuss our findings, and publicizing the records on our website and social media. We will not use the records you forward to us for any purpose without first discussing it with you.
Even though it is often financed with taxpayer funds and occurs at public universities, animal experimentation is an activity that is shrouded in secrecy. This is an invention of necessity for the experimenters. They know that if the public were to learn what happens behind the locked doors of laboratories that they would be overwhelmingly opposed to animal testing. The records obtained by the Identity Campaign will shine a light on this dark practice and empower regular people like you to tell the stories of the individual victims of animal experimentation. These stories will allow the public and policymakers to connect and empathize with these dogs and cats on an individual level. We are hopeful that this kind of powerful storytelling can lead to change.
A. While that would be the ideal scenario, the dogs and cats who are part of the Identity Campaign are still legally the “property” of the research facility. This means that in nearly all cases their final outcome is entirely within the discretion of the laboratory. We encourage our adopters to write the laboratory where their animal is being held and urge them to release the animal. Additionally, you can contact your legislators and ask them to support a “Beagle Freedom” bill in their state, which would legally require that facilities offer their dogs and cats up for adoption at the conclusion of the experiment.
A. At this time, due to legal and logistical issues, you must be a U.S. resident in order to participate in our Identity Campaign.
A. Please review our "What Else Can I Do" document.