Class B dealers are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to buy animals from "random sources"(meaning animals not bred or raised on the dealers' property) and sell them to animal research facilities for biomedical research, testing, and educational purposes. Such random sources for dogs and cats include auctions, flea markets, or animal shelters. Class B dealers also buy animals from "bunchers," another group of people who collect animals from random sources. Unlike dealers, bunchers are not regulated, which creates additional problems with enforcement. Class B dealers and bunchers have been known to acquire lost, stray, and "free to a good home," dogs and cats, and even pets from their owners' backyards. In addition to concerns about the sources of animals that enter the Class B dealer network, there are also questions about the treatment of the animals while they are being held at dealer facilities awaiting sale for research. Numerous documented cases of mistreatment and neglect, as well as animal welfare violations, have occurred at Class B facilities. However, many dealers with Animal Welfare Act violations have not lost their licenses or faced serious sanction. By its own admission, the USDA lacks the necessary resources to track the interstate activities of Class B dealers. As of 2006, only 15 Class B dealers sell dogs and cats to research institutions in the United States. The Humane Society of the United States would like to see the elimination of Class B Dealers altogether. This would not end the use of dogs and cats in research, but would at least ensure that animals slated for research would not suffer ill-treatment in the Class B dealer pipeline. The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) went undercover to a class B dealer called Martin Creek Kennels, and exposed the horrors that these dogs were put through. HBO showed it and it is called "Dealing Dogs." I watched this with tears streaming down my face, and finally, I actually became sick to my stomach, and threw up. The undercover investigator, "Brian", had to watch this day in and day out. But, by doing what he does, he uncovered the horrors and the kennel was finally shut down. So, when you see dogs at a flea market, step up and tell the people with the puppies that they are wrong. I have done so on many occasions at the Milton Flea Market. Although it is not illegal to sell dogs at a flea market, the people selling them are not reputable breeders. They just want to make a dollar.
Support "Buck's Bill" (the Pet Safety and Protection Act). There are 15 Class B dealers left who round up dogs and cats from various "random sources" and sell them to research facilities. The Humane Society of the United States firmly believes that it is time to stop funneling dogs and cats—often times stolen family pets—into research facilities. The Pet Safety and Protection Act, otherwise know as, "Buck's Bill," will prohibit the sale of "random source" (Random source animals are those dogs and cats that are either obtained from auction sales or from any person who did not breed and raise the dogs and cats) dogs and cats for experimentation, preventing the theft of pets for research and the abusive treatment of these animals in the hands of Class B dealers. The House and Senate both recently accepted amendments to their respective Farm Bills to prevent stolen pets from being sold into research. While this is a great step forward, we need to make sure this legislation becomes law. "Buck's Bill" is named in honor of Buck, a black hound dog seized in 2003 in Oklahoma from a Class B dealer. Buck, who had heartworm disease and other ailments, died months after his rescue, while in foster care. TAKE ACTION!
Make a brief polite phone call to your two U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to co-sponsor S. 714/H.R. 1280, the Pet Safety and Protection Act. You can reach your federal legislators through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Here is all the info on both Senators and Representative Rahall:Capitol Address: Rep. Nick Rahall
U.S. House of Representatives
2307 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 205150001
Ph: (202) 225-3452District Address:
301 Prince Street
Beckley, WV 258014515
Ph: (304) 252-5000Capitol Address: Senator John (Jay) Rockefeller
531 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 205100001
Ph: (202) 224-6472District Address:
Martinsburg Federal Building
217 West King Street, Suite 307
Martinsburg, WV 254013286
Ph: (304) 262-9285Capitol Address: Senator Robert Byrd
311 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 205100001
Ph: (202) 224-3954District Address:
300 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 253012503
Ph: (304) 342-5855
Labels: abuse, animal cruelty, animal testing, legislation