Right to Release
The Petition of certain citizens of the State of ACT draws to the attention of the Legislative Council, that companion animals such as cats and dogs have a very strong intrinsic value for the majority of Australians. Exact statistics are unavailable for the state of ACT, but many of the animals used are euthanised at the completion of research with an intravenous barbiturate overdose. In ACT, there is a deficiency in law as no standard or policy exists within the Act that covers this area of research animal welfare. While the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes encourages rehoming, and despite support and approval for rehoming, such practices are not always taking place, presumably because the practice is not mandated. As a result, hundreds of healthy dogs and cats are being killed for no reason when a solution exists.
The petitioners therefore request that the Legislative Council call on the Government to instate a Bill that ensures a state wide system take the place of the current voluntary practice which is failing to provide rehoming opportunities for all of these animals. Such a Bill would open up the lines of communication between research facilities and rescue and rehoming centres to give cats and dogs used in research the potential opportunity to be rehomed. If surrender cannot be arranged with any rescue organisations due to space or other concerns, the research facility can choose to rehome privately.