Final destination: Laboratory
Adopted dogs go to experimental laboratory??
There’s a growing accusation from abroad, especially from Greece and increasingly by Italy, which say that dogs, which are adopted from local shelters and brought to Germany, allegedly end up in German laboratories.
In Greece this even lead to a law, which massively hinders the adoption of dogs through animal rights organisations.
In Italy the animal rights organisation called ENPA wrote an open letter to the political decision makers, asking for a law which prohibits the adoption of animals to foreign countries.
“Pfotenhilfe Europe” has been making an effort to investigate the matter. Because it would be a slap in the face for every animal rights activist, if these accusations were true.
The following people were contacted and were asked to respond:
- the Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Environment
- The Animal Protection Delegate of the Green Party (GRÜNEN/BÜNDNIS 90) of the German Bundestag
- The Government of Upper Bavaria
- The Government of Lower Franconia
- The Animal Protection Delegate of the Universities of Munich and Würzburg
The response of Mrs. Undine Kurth, member of the German Bundestag, from the parliamentary party GRÜNEN/BÜNDNIS 90 and speaker of Nature and Animal Protection, in August 2009:
“Thanks a lot for your request of representation on the argument of Animal Protection and the mentioned rumours, saying that imported dogs from Greece and Italy are sold to experimental laboratories by Animal Protection Organisations.
I gladly help you with your query and have tried to get the requested information, especially because I’m generally against animal experiments and would like to promote more protection in that field.
The mentioned rumours and accusations have been around for years, even to my knowledge it’s quite unlikely that dogs (and cats) imported from Italy and Greece are sold to experimental laboratories.
§ 9paragraph 2 Nr. 7of the Animal Protection Law defines:
“Vertebrates, excluding horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, hens, pigeons, turkey, ducks, gooses and fish can only be used for animal testing if they are reared especially for that purpose.
The competent authority can, as far as it is compatible with the Animal Protection Law, allow exceptions, when reared animals aren’t available or the purpose of the experiment requires animals from a different source."
I know from the administration, which controls the animal experiments that exceptions are never made on pets and therefore are never permitted.
Dogs, which are approved for experiments, have to be reared for that purpose. The provenience and breeder has to be known for every animal that is used for experiments, the animals have to be tattooed correspondingly.
According to § , 1 the "act on pets and their identification” the following records have to be made on each dog used for experiments:
(1)According to §11a paragraph 1 of the animal Protection Law, for the registration in the premises a log book has to be used.
Each inventory change has to be immediately and permanently recorded after the following pattern:
Provenience, disposition, entrance, identification, discharged by mother dog or purchased, species, number, special characteristics, name and address of the vender, declaration of purchase, leaving date, name and address of purchaser.
(2) Apes, dogs and cats have to be registered separately.
The imposed conditions are strict to prevent abuse. Unfortunately there are always “black sheep” so fake documents therefore cannot be completely dismissed.
Given my information and in the light of the above mentioned restrictions on the import and use of animals for experiments, this is quite unlikely to happen.
The other officials who have been contacted, responded under reference to § 9 paragraph 2 Nr. 7 of the Animal Protection Law:
- Animal Tests – like all scientific experiments – have to be accomplished under standardised and reproducible circumstances, in order to achieve a valid result.
- The animal experiment facilities have to keep an exact account of the provenience and disposition of the used animals, in order to make sure that checkups can be made retrospectively.
- The Animal Protection Law offers exceptions, if reared animals aren’t available.
- The exception is only applicable, when reared animals aren’t available or the purpose of the experiment. Regulatory authorities do regular checkups.
Stray dogs and cats with unknown provenience and therefore unknown status of health and vaccines, generally are not qualified for animal testing, because they aren’t adequate for hygienic and genetic reasons.
On the one hand, their state of health is unknown, there would be a high risk of introducing diseases to the laboratories and on the other hand uniform “material” is needed to keep variances as low as possible.
No serious scientist would want an animal with an unknown provenience and entire different vita. Furthermore, it is much more practical to breed cats and dogs, than having to catch them. However if an exception is made, an application on conferral of admission has to be made following Abs. 2 Satz 3 Nr. 7 Satz 2 animal protection law, or § 43 Abs. 8 Nr. 3 environment law.
This concerns only natural extraction, therefore animals that aren’t cultured (like apes, birds, bats, but not dogs and cats) or not available in sufficient numbers.
No governmental department would allow the use of animals from animal protection projects within the scope of exceptional testing.
Special approval on dogs and cats is only granted, if therapy studies on patients are undertaken, which fall under the category of animal testing.
In this case the provenience of the animal is always known and the owner is informed.
Especially In the concern of treatment studies, which can’t be classified as clinical examination, these therapy studies have to be considered as animal tests. Concerned are only real patients, whose owners have to be informed that their dogs/cats take part in a study, which often is the last chance of treatment (not yet licensed drugs etc).
Summary and statement of Pfotenhilfe Europa:
According to the response of highly official places, German Universities, German ministries and governmental offices, which are responsible for the authorisation of animal experiments ore executing such, it is at present not possible, to use imported animals, brought by animal rights activists from abroad to Germany, as test animals.