In a victory for animal rights, the Mecosta County Animal Shelter has stopped practicing pound seizure. Pound seizure means that if pets aren’t adopted in a certain amount of time, shelters must turn over these animals to laboratories that request them.
Recent attention to the Wayne State University scientific and medical research programs’ use of pound animals has created petitions and brought pressure on the school by animal rights groups and Michigan animal advocates.
The wheels were set into motion when the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint against the Mecosta Animal Shelter operators with the USDA. In turn, the USDA opened an investigation into the shelter, which transferred more than 140 dogs to research facilities in 2010. In addition, activists have been spreading the news on why pound seizure is cruel and unnecessary in scientific research. Animals used in these laboratories are often subjected to cruel, painful experiments and some die as a result.
The pressure on the shelter operators was too much and in January, they announced to county commissioners that they would retire at the end of their current contract. The commissioners stated that the shelter will no longer participate in pound seizure and it will be prohibited in future contracts and in equally good news, the carbon monoxide gassing of animals will no longer be allowed.
This is great news for animal rights and the scientific community as general public needs to know that animals have no place in scientific research. Hopefully other shelters will follow suit and tell these laboratories that innocent animals will not be made available and used as a tool in research any longer.