December 4th, 2009 by admin
You may have heard horror stories about dogs and cats obtained by people responding to “free to good home” ads, or animals stolen from backyards, and then sold for experimentation. This is the work of Class B dealers, USDA-licensed dealers who are allowed to acquire “random source” dogs and cats for resale. Class B dealers also purchase animals from animal shelters, flea markets or auctions.
There may be as few as nine Class B dealers still in business. The vast majority of research institutions in the U.S. do not purchase animals from these disreputable dealers.
The University of Florida purchased random source dogs as recently as January 2008, but has since discontinued the practice. The University of South Florida, in Tampa, is now the only research institution in Florida that has failed to make a commitment never to purchase random source dogs and cats from Class B dealers.
You Can Help
Please contact USF and urge them to enact a policy prohibiting the purchase of dogs and cats for research or teaching from “Class B” dealers. Enacting such a policy is the only way to ensure that stolen or lost pets are not ending up in USF research labs.
Karen A. Holbrook, Ph.D., Vice President for Research & Innovation
University of South Florida
Phone: (813) 974-5570