This the debate in the House of Representatives for the initial adoption of the Animal Welfare Act in 1966. For discussion of Act see, Overview
April 28, 1966 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD— HOUSE
TRANSPORTATION, SALE AND HANDLING
OF DOGS AND CATS FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rule, I call up House Resolution 821 and ask for its immediate consideration.
The Clerk read the resolution as follows:
H. Res. 821
Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to move that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 18881) to authorize the secretary of Agriculture to regulate the transportation, sale, and handling of dogs, cats, and other animals intended to be used for purposes of research or experimentation, and for other purposes. After general debate, which shall be confined to the bill, and shall continue not to exceed two hours, to be equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Agriculture, the bill shall be read for amendment under the five-minute rule. At the conclusion of the consideration of the bill for amendment, the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may be adopted, and the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit.
The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Florida is recognized for 1 hour.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 minutes to the able gentleman from California (Mr. Smith), pending which I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 821 provides an open rule with 2 hours of general debate
for consideration of H.R. 13881, a bill to regulate the transportation, sale, and handling of dogs
and cats intended to be used for purposes of research or experimentation, and for other purposes.
The purposes of H.R. 13881 are to protect the owners of dogs and cats from the theft of such pets, to prevent the use or sale of stolen animals for purposes of research or experimentation, and to establish humane standards for the treatment of these animals while they are on the way to medical research facilities. It specifically authorizes the Secretary of agriculture to regulate the transportation, purchase, sale, and handling in commerce of dogs and cats which are destined for use in research or experimentation.
Research facilities and laboratories last year used thousands of dogs and cats for which they paid many millions of dollars. This demand has given rise to a large network of dealers who often times secure dogs and cats by simply combing the streets and picking up any animal they can catch. These dogs and cats are usually stripped of all identification and often moved across State lines to escape the jurisdiction of local and State laws.
Under H.r. 13881 The Secretary of Agriculture would issue licenses to both dealers and research facilities. The dealers would be required to keep records of their handling, transportation, purchase, and sale of dogs and cats. The research facilities would keep records of their purchase, sale, and transportation of dogs and cats acquired by them. The Secretary would specify humane methods of identification for the dogs and cats. The Secretary would prescribe humane standards to govern the transportation and handling of dogs and cats by the dealers but not by the research facilities.
In other words, the basic bill which the rule would authorize consideration of relates only to the sale, purchase and transportation of dogs and cats but does not provide whatsoever for any supervision or treatment of the animals while they are in the hands of the research facilities. That is, I hope a subject which will be dealt with by later legislation. It is not dealt with by the legislation which would be authorized bo be considered by this rule by this House.
Mr. HALEY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentlemen yield?
Mr. PEPPER. I yield to my able colleague from Florida (Mr. Haley).
Mr. HALEY. Many Members of Congress have been interested in this kind of legislation for some time. It is my understanding that probably the committee bill combines many of the thoughts in numerous bills submitted by Members of Congress.
Mr. PEPPER. My able colleague is correct.
Mr. HALEY. May I also say to my distinguished colleague from Florida, I believe this legislation is long overdue. This is something Congress should immediately pass.
Mr. PEPPER. I thank my able colleague for his support of this legislation.
It would be unlawful for a dealer or research facility to operate without a license, and a research facility could purchase dogs and cats only from a licensed dealer. Persons who do not meet the specifications of a dealer under this bill could voluntarily obtain a license if they showed the Secretary that their operation met the standards he prescribed.
Violations of the act could result in a $500-per-day penalty, suspension or revocation of a dealer’s license, the issuance of a cease and desist order, or a possible withdrawal of Federal aid to a research facility if the Federal agency administering the aid felt such withdrawal would not be contrary to the public interest.
Any person or research facility who objects to orders issued by the Secretary would have the right to file a petition of review of the order in the appropriate U.S. court of appeals.
Mr. Speaker, we have seen many heart-rendering instances where pets have been picked up by unscrupulous dealers who are subject to no supervision or scrutiny of law and sold into channels of research. Meanwhile, while they are awaiting transportation to these facilities they are treated in the most barbaric and inhumane manner. This legislation, as my able colleague from Florida (Mr. Haley) said, is long past due. The legislation which this rule will make in order for the House to consider is a composite of many bills on this subject, one of which is in my bill. I hope that the rule will be adopted. This legislation is making progress in the right direction, although I do not think it goes as far as it should; but certainly it represents substantial progress in the right direction. I hope the rule will be adopted and H.r. 18331 will be enacted by the House.
Mr. Speaker, I now yield to my able colleague from the Committee on rules, the gentleman from California (Mr. Smith).
Mr. SMITH of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may use.
Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 821 will provide 2 hours of debate under an open rule for the consideration of H.R. 13881, transportation, sale, and handling of dogs and cats for research purposes.
Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from florida has explained the bill very ably, and rather than take additional time, I will insert my remarks in explanation of the bill and concur in his remarks.
The purposes of the bill are:
First, to protect dog and cat owners from theft;
Second, to prevent the use of sale of stolen animals for research purposes; and
Third, to establish humane standards for treatment of research animals.
The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to regulate the transportation, purchase, sale, and handling of dogs and cats which are to be used for research and experimentation. Only dogs and cats are covered by the bill.
The increasing need for research animals has caused some suppliers to secure dogs and cats by picking them up on streets. The bill will require suppliers to keep records concerning dogs and cats supplied to research facilities. Humane methods of handling and transporting dogs and cats will be prescribed by the Secretary of agriculture to apply to such dealers, but not to the research facilities. Dealers and research facilities must be licensed by the Secretary. Purchases of dogs and cats may be made only from licensed dealers.
Violations of the act or the Secretary’s regulations can result in a $500 per day fine, suspension or revocation of a license, an injunction, or withdrawal of Federal aid to a research facility. Appeals from any order of the Secretary can be made to the U.S. court of appeals.
The estimated cost of the program is $1,030,000 for the first year. Thereafter, the cost will be met by license fees as far as practicable.
The Department of Agriculture supports the bill; the Bureau of the Budget opposes it. There are no minority views.
I know of no opposition to the rule.
Mr. Speaker, I would now like to yield 1 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Springer).
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Speaker, I know a number of us introduced bills for the humane treatment of animals last year. The distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Pepper) was one of those who introduced a bill, as did my colleague on my committee, the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Rogers). We had hearings on that legislation. However, since that time our committee has not been able to get further hearings on the bill. The distinguished gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poage) introduced this bill, which, as far as it goes, I think is excellent. It does take care of animals up to the door of the laboratory. It does not do anything beyond the door of the laboratory.
May I say for the great research facilities of this country that 90 percent of them prescribe humane treatment of animals, and those people are all right. I think there is nothing we will find wrong with that great majority of the research laboratories of this country.
As an example, Mr. Speaker, during the Christmas vacation of 1965, I visited a laboratory in Decatur, Ill., one of the large research companies located there. This was a new building, completed this last year. At that laboratory the animals were treated humanely.
Mr. Speaker, as the president of that company explained to me, unsatisfactory animals or unhealthy animals would be of no help to them.
Mr. Speaker, this is the kind of treatment all animals should receive.
Mr. Speaker, in about 10 percent of the research in the United States the humane treatment of animals is not followed. It is my opinion that it is to that 10 percent at which the legislation which the distinguished gentleman from Florida (Mr. Pepper) and I introduced last year was designed to reach.
But, Mr. Speaker, I do recommend the Poage bill. I believe it represents good legislation as far as it goes. I am sorry that this appears to be the only legislation that we will get this year.
Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to recommend the legislation to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle– perhaps at a later date we can improve on the Poage bill.
TRANSPORTATION, SALE, AND HANDLING
OF DOGS AND CATS
FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Speaker, I move the previous question.
The previous question was ordered.
The SPEAKER. The question is on the resolution.
The resolution was agreed to.
A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
Mr. POAGE. Mr. Speaker, I move that the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 13881) to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the transportation, sale, and handling of dogs, cats, and other animals intended to be used for purposes of research or experimentation, and for other purposes.
The SPEAKER. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Texas.
The motion was agreed to.
IN THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for consideration of the bill H.r. 13881, with Mr. Duncan of Oregon in the chair.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
By unanimous consent, the first reading of the bill was dispensed with.
The CHAIRMAN. Under the rule, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poage) will be recognized for 1 hour.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poage).
Mr. POAGE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, for some time there has been a widespread feeling throughout this country that we needed to make at least two reforms in the movement of dogs and cats that are used in laboratory research work. In the first place, I think every right feeling person agrees that there should be more humane treatment of those animals in their handling and in the laboratories.
In the second place, every right thinking person believes we should take steps so far as it is within our jurisdiction to do so to prevent the ever-spreading sell of pets by unscrupulous dealers in animals to supply the ever-increasing needs of our laboratories.
This bill attempts to deal with both of these problems. It attempts to secure full and better protection from thieves and to try to get better treatment of the animals in the laboratories whether they are stolen or whether the animals are legitimately produced and furnished to such laboratories.
Now go back in history for just a moment. The demand for dogs and cats, as the demand for other laboratory animals, has greatly increased in recent years. I think that is a good sign. It is a sign that our science is on the move. It is a sign that scientists throughout the country are making ever-increasing efforts to alleviate human suffering and here we come to one of the paradoxes– one of the crosscurrents– that we must face in trying to deal with this problem. We all want to protect our animals as much as we can from all of the unnecessary suffering and cruelty.
There are many who would want to go so far as to deny to our scientists the opportunity to have the necessary and much needed animals on which to make experiments that might lead to the prevention of human suffering. Sometimes you have to make this hard choice– and it is a choice between the suffering of animals and the suffering of mankind as a whole. To me the choice has to be made in favor of the human beings. This bill makes that choice in favor of human beings rather than in favor of animals.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. POAGE. I yield to my friend from Florida.