Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 65. Comprehensive Animal Care
6/22/2024

Article 13. Animal Research.

§ 3.2-6591. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Alternative test method" means a test method that (i) provides information of equivalent or better scientific quality and relevance than animal test methods, (ii) has been identified by a validation body and adopted by the relevant federal agency or program within an agency responsible for regulating the specific product or activity for which the test is being conducted, and (iii) does not use animals, or, when there is no test method available that does not use animals, uses the fewest animals possible and reduces the level of suffering or stress, to the greatest extent possible, of an animal used for testing. "Alternative test method" includes computational toxicology and bioinformatics, high-throughput screening methods, testing of categories of chemical substances, tiered testing methods, in vitro studies, and systems biology and new or revised methods.

"Animal" means any live vertebrate nonhuman animal.

"Animal test method" means a process or procedure that uses animals to obtain information on the characteristics of a chemical or agent or the biological effect of exposure to a chemical or agent under specified conditions.

"Animal testing facility" means any facility, including a private entity, state agency, or institution of higher education, that confines and uses dogs or cats for research, education, testing, or other scientific or medical purposes.

"Contract testing facility" means any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal relationship that tests chemicals, ingredients, product formulations, or products on behalf of another entity.

"Manufacturer" means any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity that produces chemicals, ingredients, product formulations, or products.

"Validation body" means an organization that seeks to facilitate development, validation, and regulatory acceptance of new and revised regulatory test methods that reduce, refine, or replace the use of animals in testing, such as the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods or other similar organizations.

2018, c. 672; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 340.

§ 3.2-6592. Manufacturers and contract testing facilities required to use alternative test methods when available.

A. No manufacturer or contract testing facility shall use an animal test method when an alternative test method is available.

B. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of a test method that does not use animals.

C. This section shall not apply to any manufacturer or contract test facility using an animal test method for the purpose of medical research related to the causes, diagnosis, treatment, control, or prevention of physical or mental diseases and impairments of humans and animals, or related to the development of devices or drugs, as those terms are defined in 21 U.S.C. § 321, biomedical products, or any other products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, except for any product regulated under Subchapter VI of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.). Such medical research does not include the testing of an ingredient that (i) was formerly used in a drug; (ii) was tested for use in a drug using commonly accepted animal testing methods to characterize the ingredient and to substantiate its safety for human use; and (iii) is proposed for use in a product other than a biomedical product, medical device, or drug.

2018, c. 672.

§ 3.2-6592.1. Breeding cats and dogs for experimental purposes.

Any person or entity that breeds dogs or cats, including dogs or cats regulated under federal law as research animals, for sale or transfer to an animal testing facility shall be required to keep accurate records of each dog or cat purchased, acquired, owned, held, or otherwise in the person or entity's possession or control, and each dog or cat transported, euthanized, sold, or otherwise disposed of, for five years from the date of the acquisition, transfer, or disposition of the dog or cat. Records shall include:

1. The name and address of the person from whom the dog or cat was purchased or otherwise acquired, and such person's license or registration number if licensed or registered under the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.);

2. The date on which the dog or cat was acquired;

3. The name and address of the person or entity to whom the dog or cat was sold, given, or transferred and such person or entity's license or registration number if licensed or registered under the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.);

4. The official U.S. Department of Agriculture tag number or tattoo assigned to the dog or cat under the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.);

5. A description of the dog or cat, which shall include (i) the species and breed or type, (ii) the sex, (iii) the date of birth or approximate age, and (iv) the color and any distinctive markings;

6. The date and number of any offspring born of any animal while in the possession or under the control of the person or entity;

7. All medical care and vaccinations provided to the animal;

8. The date and method of disposition of the dog or cat, including sale, death and cause thereof if not euthanasia, euthanasia, adoption, or transfer;

9. The number of dogs or cats in the person or entity's possession for which the person or entity no longer has a need; and

10. The number of dogs or cats in the person or entity's possession for which the person or entity no longer has a need that have been offered for transfer to a releasing agency for eventual adoption or for adoption through private placement in accordance with § 3.2-6593.1.

Records shall be made available upon request to the Department, animal control officers, and law-enforcement officers at mutually agreeable times. The person or entity subject to the requirements of this section shall quarterly submit a summary of such records to the State Veterinarian in a format prescribed by him.

2022, c. 93.

§ 3.2-6593. Enforcement; civil action; penalty.

The Attorney General may bring a civil action in the appropriate circuit court for injunctive relief to enforce the provisions of this article. Any person who violates any provision of this article may, upon such finding by an appropriate circuit court, be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 and any court costs and attorney fees. Such civil penalties shall be paid into the state treasury.

2018, c. 672.

§ 3.2-6593.1. Animal testing facilities; adoption of dogs and cats.

Any breeder or animal testing facility that no longer has need for a dog or cat in its possession that does not pose a health or safety risk to the public or welfare of the animal shall (i) offer for release such dog or cat to a releasing agency for eventual adoption or for adoption through a private placement or (ii) in the case of a testing facility operated by an agency or institution of higher education, develop its own adoption program, provided that such program maintains records that comply with § 3.2-6557. Such breeder or animal testing facility shall keep such offer for release open for a reasonable length of time, up to three weeks, prior to euthanizing such dog or cat. A breeder or animal testing facility may enter into an agreement with a releasing agency for the implementation of the provisions of this section. A breeder or animal testing facility shall not be liable for any harm caused by or any defect suffered by any dog or cat adopted pursuant to this section.

For purposes of this section, "breeder" means a breeder who breeds dogs and cats for sale or transfer to an animal testing facility.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 340; 2022, c. 91.

§ 3.2-6593.2. Animal testing facilities; public notification.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Animal" means any live vertebrate nonhuman species except fish.

"Animal testing facility" means any facility of a state agency or institution of higher education that confines and uses animals for research, education, testing, or other experimental, scientific, or medical purposes. "Animal testing facility" does not include any agricultural operation, as that term is defined in § 3.2-300, or any agricultural education event.

"Animal test method" means a process or procedure that uses animals for research, education, testing, or experimental, scientific, or biomedical purposes.

"Animal Welfare Act" means the federal Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.).

"APHIS" means the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

"Contract testing facility" means any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal relationship that conducts research, education, testing, or experimental, scientific, or biomedical studies on behalf of another entity.

"Critical noncompliance" means an instance of noncompliance that resulted in a serious or adverse effect on the health and well-being of one or more animals, as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

"Federal facility" means any building or infrastructure used or to be used by the federal government, including any building or infrastructure located on lands owned by the federal government.

"Inspection report" means any report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to an animal testing facility.

B. Any animal testing facility, contract testing facility, or manufacturer that uses an animal test method shall display a link to its annual report (APHIS Form 7023), as submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Animal Welfare Act, on the homepage or landing page of the facility's or manufacturer's website on or before December 1 for the preceding federal fiscal year.

C. Any animal testing facility shall, within 30 days of receiving an inspection report, make such inspection report publicly available along with any other relevant U.S. Department of Agriculture incident reports and relevant documents generated from internal reviews by either (i) displaying a link to access such information on the homepage or landing page of the animal testing facility's website or (ii) if such animal testing facility does not have a website, issuing a press release or other similar publication.

D. If an animal testing facility operated by an institution of higher education in the Commonwealth receives a citation for critical noncompliance under the Animal Welfare Act or regulations adopted thereunder, such animal testing facility shall notify the leadership of such institution of higher education, including the president, dean, and board of visitors or board of trustees.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any federal facility or privately owned licensed veterinary practice.

2023, cc. 532, 533.