Class B Dealers: Animals Sold for Experiments

The Physicians Committee

Class B Dealers: Animals Sold for Experiments

When families have to give up their animals for adoption, they hope that their former companions will go to a loving home—not to medical experiments.

The majority of the dogs used in the experiments are from R&R Research, a Michigan Class B dealer with a history of Animal Welfare Act violations. R&R Research is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and has been cited eight times for obtaining animals illegally since 2007. Senior USDA officials have requested that R&R Research’s license be revoked, but the company remains in business today.

Michigan residents have taken the issue of Class B dealers to their county and state legislators with varying success. In 2009, Montcalm County District 3 Commissioner Ron Retzloff expressed concern over R&R Research before a vote on Class B dealers, saying, “I don’t feel it’s right to continue to do business with a place that has violations…Basically, it’s saying we condone the violations because we continue to do business with [R&R].” The commissioners later voted to end pound seizure in Montcalm County.

Unfortunately, Class B dealers can still purchase dogs from Gratiot County and Mecosta County shelters in Michigan. Local activists have worked tirelessly to foster and adopt all of the shelter animals to prevent any more from ending up in experiments, but a few inevitably end up in experiments. When the Gratiot County Animal Shelter is empty, R&R turns to another local Class B dealer, D&M Resources, for Mecosta County shelter dogs.

Michigan state legislators have failed to reintroduce a bill that would ban pound seizure and put Class B dealers like R&R out of business, and R&R’s contract with Gratiot County is not set to expire for years. PCRM is working to put this unscrupulous company out of business another way—by ending the experiments that use R&R dogs.