The Right to Release is a movement created by Beagle Freedom Protect (USA) founder, Shannon Keith back in 2010. It first passed in 2014 in the state of Minnesota. Beagle Freedom Australia launched an adaptation of the same bill in Australia in 2013 and in 2016, we teamed up with other like-minded organisations to urge the Australian state governments to clear up the current laws and guidelines surrounding the use of animals in research and teaching, they currently allow healthy dogs, cats and other animals to be euthanised at the end of their ‘use’. This legislative push would enact laws to ensure research facilities MUST give dogs and cats used in laboratory testing a chance at a life after research. 

This is a simple, common-sense, and compassionate proposal to help rescue dogs and cats from tax-payer funded and privately-run research laboratories. The legislation would facilitate a relationship between laboratories that use dogs and cats for research purposes and registered non-profit animal rescue organisations so that when the animals are no longer needed they can be placed into community foster care through reputable rescue organisations.

 This law is needed! There is a deficiency of law right now and the opportunity for a post-laboratory life for these animals is completely dependent on the discretion of research workers to volunteer their time to try to find these animals homes. Not surprisingly, most choose not to do so. And when they do, it often leaves the animal at risk of ending up in the pound system if the institutions do not offer follow up care or training advice.

The Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 2013 addresses what is to happen to an animal when the testing ends, it is recommended in section 3.4.2 that “Opportunities to rehome animals should be considered wherever possible, especially when the impact of the project or activity on the wellbeing of the animal has been minimal” However, this is rarely happening due to the ambiguous wording. 

Opportunities to rehome animals MUST occur wherever possible. 

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For this to become a reality, our Governments need to hear from you! Add your name to the petition the corresponds to your state below.


The Right to Release (sometimes called, Right 2 Release, R2R or the Beagle Freedom Bill) is a global campaign which aims to give animals used in any type of research or teaching facilities, the right to be released for adoption at the end of their ‘use’ at the facility.


• This bill simply asks laboratories to contact animal rescue organisations willing to take on the responsibility of adopting out dogs and cats after the experiments have ended, rather than euthanising them.

• States which pass this bill demonstrate their high standard for research ethics and animal welfare.

• This life-saving bill finds common ground among people otherwise at odds over the controversial issue of animal testing.

• This bill protects research laboratories from liability and offers complete confidentiality if they so choose.


• This bill does not interfere with the research process or grant requests.

• This bill does not require research labs to assume any extra cost, provide transportation, veterinary care, or financial assistance – they can provide this at their discretion.

• This bill does not require any at capacity shelter or rescue group to assume responsibility for these animals; it only gives them the opportunity if they so choose.


Beagle Freedom Bill USA

The Right to Release / Beagle Freedom Bill  was started by our USA counterparts, The Beagle Freedom Project (est. 2010). The state of Minnesota was the first American state to pass and implement the bill in 2014. Since then, 8 more states have passed the bill; California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, and Rhode Island. There are currently bills tabled in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

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Freagles of India

In 2015, India became the first country to implement the legislation country wide, thanks to local groups of passionate animal advocates. Today they are successfully rehoming many beagles through the newly developed rescue group Freagles of India.

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Right to Release AU

Launched in 2013 in Australia, we have adapted the legislation from our US counterparts and applied it to Australian state laws. The bill was rejected in NSW, a rehoming guideline governing document was set up instead, following in the footsteps of the Vic Gov. As of March 2021 in Victoria, the bill looks set to be approved – stay tuned!

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Out of the Labs NZ

In New Zealand a similar campaign called Out of the Labs, run by group NZAVS and rescue group HUHANZ has has similar success with NZ government announcing their support for rehoming lab animals and prevent unnecessary euthanasia.

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