Meet the dog behind the NSW animal testing bill

Meet Buddy, the dog behind the Animal Justice Party’s “Buddy’s Law.”

Did you know cats and dogs are used in medical experiments in Australia? This was something I didn’t know until yesterday when I spoke to Buddy’s owner, Patrice Pandeleos.

Buddy is one of the few surviving animals from medical experiments in Australia, with only around 30 cats and dogs released from experimentation last year. There are thousands of them used in the medical field.

“I took Buddy to Parliament yesterday to meet and greet many different politicians and he shook hands with everyone from Labor to the Shooters’ and Fishermen’s and Farmers’ Party and everyone in between. I think they were quite shocked that he was a normal, easy-going dog,” Pandeleos told Gizmodo Australia.

“[Buddy] was used for research for the first eight years of its life… Hardly anyone knows what happened to it because when you get a dog or animal that is used for research in one of the places that tests them , they give them to organizations that are not allowed to say what happened to them or where they came from.

“I was the first home he ever had. So when I first got him, he didn’t know what a tennis ball was, he didn’t know what a toy was. , he couldn’t climb stairs. When I took him for a walk, he would dive, you know, to the floor if someone made any sudden movements.

Patrice Pandeleos, Buddy and Minister Emma Hurst. Image: Patrice Pandeleos

After a few months of adoption, Buddy began to return to normal life and get used to things. Pandeleos now describes him as happy and outgoing. From the start of Buddy’s adoption, however, Pandeleos became an advocate for animal testing awareness. Minister Emma Hurst, a member of the Animal Justice Party in the New South Wales Parliament, began drafting Buddy’s Law.

Buddy’s Law has two components: the first gives animals the right to be freed from experimentation and the second removes funding for taxpayer-funded animal experiments.

“Any animal that could be housed would basically get a second chance,” Pandeleos added.

“I recognize that sometimes it’s necessary to do this, but I think what I’m 100% sure of is that, you know, animals who donate their bodies in the name of science should be given a second chance. I don’t think it’s about ending all testing, although personally I would love to see that happen, but I think it’s about giving these animals a normal life and not not just throw them away when the search is complete.

Pandeleos said once an animal completes a batch of testing, the animal must be rehomed, adding that animals are usually put through test after test before finally being euthanized.

Minister Hurst’s legislation regarding the “right to release” animals used in medical experiments was passed by the NSW Upper House on Tuesday, stressing that animals used in research should be released “after the end of research or after three years, whichever comes first. Now MP Alex Greenwich will take it to the Lower House.

And, yes, there are animal experiments funded by taxpayers. Buddy’s Law still has its work cut out for it.

“The government refuses to say exactly how much money is being given to this industry, and there is no transparency about what kinds of experiments taxpayers are funding. I don’t want my tax dollars used for cruel and unnecessary animal testing, and I’m sure you don’t either,” reads the page on Minister Hurst’s website.

I hope this law will pass. No animal deserves to live a life of cruelty. You can read more about Buddy’s Law on Minister Hurst’s website.

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