The FDA's dogs, cats, rabbits, and more are looking for their forever homes.
Rather than euthanize all lab animals after testing on them, the Food and Drug Administration is now allowing sanctuaries and shelters to adopt the critters, according to documents viewed by The Hill.
FDA spokeswoman Monique Richards confirmed the change in a statement to The Hill, writing that the agency "has an internal policy for the placement of research animals after study completion that has not been made public."
The Hill reports that the change to the FDA's animal retirement policy went into effect in November 2019 and affects several species, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and some farm animals.
"There is no reason why regulated research animals that are suitable for adoption or retirement should be killed by our federal agencies,” Senator Susan Collins told The Hill in response to the news. "I’m pleased that the FDA has joined the [National Institutes of Health] and [Department of Veterans Affairs] in enacting a lab animal retirement policy."
Animal testing is extremely controversial, and not just from an ethical perspective. The results of animal tests often don't translate to humans, meaning the practice is also unreliable.
Thankfully, alternatives to animal testing are emerging, and several federal agencies are working to reduce animal testing.
Still, it might take some time before we can eliminate the practice altogether. Until then, allowing the animals to enjoy their lives after the lab seems far more ethical than euthanizing them.
READ MORE: New FDA policy allows lab animals to be adopted after experiments [The Hill]
More on lab animals: Animal Testing Isn’t Working, but Better Alternatives Are on the Way