McDermed's Bill Seeks Transparency for Research Dogs and Cats

Springfield, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has filed legislation to ensure that there is better accountability and transparency at public research facilities that use dogs or cats. House Bill 6580 creates the Higher Education Research of Dogs or Cats Reporting Requirement Act. It requires higher education research facilities that receive public funds to submit an annual report to the Governor and General Assembly beginning in 2017. Any facilities that don’t provide a report by March 1 of each year will receive a daily penalty; fines that will be deposited into the General Revenue fund.

“Recently in attempting to pass legislation to help make sure these dogs and cats get a second chance at life after being used in research, I hit roadblocks getting important information from public facilities and that’s unacceptable,” Rep. McDermed said. “This bill reflects my commitment to transparency in all aspects of government and the use of taxpayer funds.”

The report will include information on the rationale of the use of dogs and cats for research purposes and descriptions of the humane treatment practices being used. Public research facilities must also submit financial information relating to the research projects, including the identities of any external funding sources.

“With this bill I also want to make sure that in the noble pursuit of progress we are treating these animals as humanely as possible,” Rep McDermed continued.

House Bill 6580 has been filed and is awaiting committee assignment.