Right to release

Finding forever homes for research animals

Support the ‘Right to Release’ Beagle Freedom Australia's signature legislation, requires Research Facilities to offer dogs and cats for adoption after their 'use' in research, instead of euthanising them.

The Right to Release is a common-sense, and compassionate proposal to help save dogs and cats from tax-payer funded research laboratories. The legislation facilitates a relationship between laboratories and registered non-profit animal rescue organisations so that when the animals are no longer needed, they can be placed up for adoption. Ensuring that dogs and cats used for testing and experimentation get every opportunity to have a life after labs and get adopted into loving homes.

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 because the institutions do not offer follow up care, training or advice to the new families.

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.

What R2R Does

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. It demonstrates a high standard for research ethics and animal welfare.

What R2R Does

This life-saving bill finds common ground among people otherwise at odds over the controversial issue of animal testing. Protects research laboratories from liability and offers complete confidentiality if they so choose.

What R2R Does Not Do

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.

What R2R Does Not Do

It 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.

Sign the petition for your state

Right to release

Currently, healthy dogs, cats and other animals are allowed 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!

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About the Right to release

A global movement

The Right to Release (sometimes called, Right 2 Release, R2R or the Beagle Freedom Bill) is a global campaign. It 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.

The Right to Release is a movement created by the Beagle Freedom Protect (USA) founder, Shannon Keith in 2010. In 2013 Beagle Freedom Australia (BFA) adapted the same campaign here in Australia. In 2016, BFA 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.

Beagle Freedom Bill USA

In 2014, in the USA, Minnesota became the first state to pass and successfully implement the Beagle Freedom Bill. Since then, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, and Oregon have all passed similar laws. In 2019 Beagle Freedom Project is supporting similar bills in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.

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.

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.

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 Victoria. In 2022 Victoria looks set to be the first state to pass this legislation, keep an eye out of updates!

Iconic Australian musician Adalita lends her voice to our beagle freedom bill ‘the right to release’ giving ex-laboratory animals the chance at finding a forever home through a rescue group like ours.