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September 20, 2012

The HSUS Applauds USDA Citations against Dog Dealer, Urges Agency to Permanently Revoke License

  • Seven class B random source dealers of dogs and cats remain in the United States. iStockphoto.com

The Humane Society of the United States applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent legal action against R&R Research, a Michigan-based Class B random source dealer of dogs and cats. Class B random source dealers purchase and collect animals from sources such as shelters, auctions, flea markets and private individuals, and sell them to laboratories for experimentation.

The formal complaint cites five violations of obtaining dogs and cats from unauthorized sources during 2008.

“Theft of pets by dog dealers is what drove passage of the original Animal Welfare Act in this country and R&R Research typifies these concerns,” said Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues for The Humane Society of the United States. “We are pleased to see that the USDA has taken serious action and urge revocation of R&R’s license permanently.”

The HSUS, in correspondence with the USDA in May 2010, urged the agency to revoke R&R’s license following four violations for obtaining random source dogs and cats illegally. The statute clearly states that if a dealer violates the AWA by acquiring animals from illegal sources more than three times, the USDA is authorized to revoke their license.

Once filed, the complaint can lead to a cease and desist order, assessing of civil penalties, and/or revoking or suspending the dealer’s license. Notably, inspection reports filed by the USDA separate from the complaint show that R&R Research has been cited six more times since 2008 for the same violation of illegally obtaining random source dogs and cats.

Facts:

  • To address the ongoing problems with Class B dealers, members of Congress have introduced the Pet Safety and Protection Act to prohibit research institutions from purchasing random source dogs and cats from Class B dealers.
  • In 2009, The National Academies Institute for Laboratory Animal Research released the report, "Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research," finding that Class B dog and cat dealers are not necessary for providing animals to research institutions.
  • The passage of the Animal Welfare Act more than 40 years ago was triggered by a police raid on a random source Class B dealer, revealing pet theft and horrific animal care and treatment.

Media Contact: Niki Ianni, 301.548.7793, nianni@humanesociety.org

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