New Jersey’s thriving biomedical research community applauds the Legislature for passing Assembly Bill 3274/Senate Bill 2826, the “Homes for Animal Heroes Act.” Under the legislation, which passed the General Assembly unanimously today, institutions throughout New Jersey must re-home cats and dogs used in vital research studies with loving families when the research is completed. Today’s vote in the Assembly follows the New Jersey Senate’s 34-0 passage of the Homes for Animal Heroes Act in February 2019.
Virtually every vaccine, treatment, cure, diagnostic and surgical procedure available today has relied on health studies with animals. “New Jersey’s biomedical research community, including our nationally-renowned research universities and partners within the state’s life sciences companies, are pleased to see the Legislature recognize the importance of ensuring permanent homes for retired research animals – our animal heroes,” said Tom Leach, executive director of the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research. “We thank Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle and the late Senator Anthony R. Bucco for their leadership in sponsoring this important legislation and working with all stakeholders to ensure we continue to find forever homes with the best interests of the animals in mind.”
“While the researchers who develop life-saving treatments and contribute to our knowledge are deserving of much gratitude, the research animals who make this work possible are critical to medical innovation today. They deserve our gratitude and should rightly be recognized alongside our scientists, doctors, and Nobel Prize winners,” said Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “There are loving families out there for these animals, and we should do all that we can to help them find that new home.”
“The passage of this legislation is a fitting tribute to the research animals in New Jersey, where countless medications and therapies were and continue to be developed,” said Dr. Cindy Buckmaster, Board member of the National Animal Interest Alliance and co-founder of the Homes for Animal Heroes program alongside fellow co-founder Patti Strand. “This legislation will best ensure that our dogs and cats quickly find loving, forever homes when they are no longer taking part in the biomedical research process we continue to demand for ourselves and our loved ones.”
The bill now goes to the Governor for his consideration and signature.