*Class B Dealers are licensed to "acquire" dogs and cats for research facilities. Dealers get paid for this "service." Unfortunately, not all dealers are properly licensed and some focus on easy to get "free-to-good-home" animals, lost pets, and pets that are allowed to wander about (i.e., "random-source" animals.
Here are some helpful links about Class B Dealers and your at-risk pets (especially those that are allowed outdoors and are unattended).
Where to Begin
Most everyone has an opinion on the issue of testing on animals, but the heart of the matter is:
Labels can be very misleading! Just because the label reads "Product Not Tested on Animals," doesn't mean that the individual chemicals used in the development of the product weren't tested on animals. It simply may mean that the "final product" wasn't tested on animals. Same goes for the label "No Animal Testing." When was there "no animal testing:" during or after development? So what do those labels really mean? Unfortunately, not as much as you would think.
There is no government standard for labeling or, for the majority of the cosmetic and/or household product industry, no self-imposed labeling standard. It's mostly a case of buyer beware and be educated! Unless you see the picture of the "Leaping Bunny" logo on the product, you'll have to call the manufacturer to know for sure! Even then, you may not get exactly the answer you're looking for. Note: some manufacturers are now beginning to use a similar "leaping bunny" graphic on their products, but, if you look closely, it is NOT the AAVS leaping bunny which means it is not AAVS approved (read more below about AAVS).
Until such time research labs stop testing on animals and we stop using animals for dissection in classrooms, we can support animals by living a cruelty-free life as possible. It's easy--start little by little and purchase from companies that no longer use animals in testing their products, go vegetarian or vegan, buy organic products from local farmers and co-ops, or wear alternatives to leather, fur, or other animal byproducts. However, living cruelty-free means we must learn to read (and interpret) labels and search out the truth. This is sometimes easier said than done.
All kinds of animals have been and (unfortunately) still are subjected to inhumane treatment whether it's unintentional neglect or purposeful abuse. One of the worst offenses just may be animals used in research. Humans have conducted research on animals for centuries in the name of furthering science for the "greater good" of mankind. While we have undoubtedly learned much, we must continue to ask:
Rabbit repeatedly subjected to chemical eye drops.
It's not only painful, it's blinding!
Draize Eye Test
Atrocities against animals other than in research occur every day not only in the US, but in every country across the globe. While we personally may not be able to single-handedly stop all the cruelty, we can make small strides in our lives that will make a difference--especially to retailers! Remember: you VOTE with your MONEY and make each vote count. If you purchase cruelty-free products, there will eventually be more available. Businesses want to make a profit, so they'll follow the money every time.
We can at least educate ourselves about the products we use in our daily lives and live cruelty-free as much as possible. Avoid products tested on or made from animals; and of course, the ultimate animal-loving gesture would be to go vegetarian or vegan.
However, if you do eat meat, please take time to know the farm it came from and how the animals are treated both while they are living and when they are killed--humaneness is paramount! Each animal that is killed gave it's life for our benefit...the least we can do is respect that life by not purchasing meats from animals that are inhumanely kept and killed. Check local farms which are often family owned and operated. Be sure to ask about their treatment of their animals. Just because their animals are raised "naturally," doesn't necessarily mean their humanely treated.
Here are some organizations that are working for global change.
The Humane Society of the United States also works to end animal suffering. For more information go to their "campaigns" site.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is also dedicated to helping animals of all kinds. For more information, go to www.aspca.org.
The American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) prepares a list of cruelty-free products (companies that do not use any animal testing from beginning to end from product development to your store shelf).
Go to www.aavs.org and click on "Free Compassionate Shopping Guide." Look for products at your retailer which carry the "Leaping Bunny" logo--your assurance of TOTALLY cruelty-free products.
Cat Animal Test