University of Illinois Lock Horns With Lawmaker Seeking Information About Its Animal Research Program!By Vinay Patel, UniversityHerald Reporter
What originally looked like an unanxious animal rescue bill has fueled a dispute between the University of Illinois and a law maker who claims the state's second oldest public university is purposely restraining facts about its animal research program.
Citing a measure dubbed, "the beagle bill," Sen. Linda Holmes urged universities to offer cats and dogs that are in healthy condition to rescue organizations once they're no longer required for testing. The self-proclaimed animal lover and an ex Humane Society volunteer appeals that since research felines and canines cost a lot of money, taxpayers should be given the opportunity to adopt them.
Among the breeds of dogs used for experiments, Beagles are the most common. An adoption effort initiated by the Beagle Freedom Project, a group that has strongly pushed for similar legislation in California, Nevada, Connecticut, and Minnesota works to avoid research animals from being euthanized automatically, ChicagoTribune reported.
However, the legislation has been suspended in the wake of universities spearheaded by the U. of I. claiming they do have adoption policies in place. As such, a few lawmakers even questioned if Holmes' bill was actually a resolution to a non-existing problem.
According to Holmes, the Democrat from Aurora, the University of Illinois is against the measure simply because it holds a grudge against the Beagle Freedom Project and doesn't want to drive attention on animal testing at its amenities, The State Journal-Register reported.
The University of Illinois, however deny any sort of abuse of the school's research animals.
According to spokeswoman Robin Kaler, university's research animals are used for the purpose of testing ingredients used in pet food. While most animals are adopted, very few are euthanized to help researchers with further analysis by collecting internal tissue. As per the data published by the school, 24 university-owned research dogs were adopted, while five were euthanized, and one dog still remains on campus.
Following rejection of the original version of the bill, Holmes made quite a few alterations in it. In April, she recommended that universities should publicly post animals available for adoption on the internet.
But the University of Illinois doesn't quite see the need for this as most of its animals have already been adopted.
The changes sparked contradicting theories from lawmakers who saw no need to trample upon the experts, while others who were in favor of enforcing new regulations.