Rep McDermed Files ‘Beagle Bill’

Springfield, IL…. State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has filed House Bill 4297, colloquially known in other states as the ‘Beagle Freedom Bill’.

According to the Beagle Freedom Project, beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage and are inexpensive to feed.

HB 4297 would create the Research Dogs and Cats Adoption Act. It would require state funded higher education institutions or research facilities associated with state higher education institutions to offer dogs and cats used in their research efforts to animal rescue organizations for adoption before considering euthanasia.

 “A good family friend of mine has a rescue beagle named Frances and she brought this issue to my attention.” Rep. McDermed said. “I want to help make sure these animals get the second chance they deserve. Many research labs already make the attempt to find homes for these animals, but it needs to be the practice throughout the state.”

A similar bill died in the last legislative session over concerns by the University of Illinois’ agriculture department. Rep. McDermed took the issues raised by U of I and compromised by making reasonable exceptions to the adoption mandate while maintaining the primary intent of helping these animals find good homes after a hard life.

Read more about the bill here