Does this referendum apply to all animals? No. It only applies to dogs and cats.
Does this referendum apply to all experiments on dogs and cats? No. It only applies to painful or distressing experimentation on dogs and cats. So, for example, dogs can sniff cancer cells in human urine – fantastic. It doesn’t cause the dog pain or distress to sniff urine, and we support this type of research.
Will this referendum affect my ability to enroll my pet dog in clinical trials? No. It only applies to Research Dogs/Cats, that is, dogs and cats bred specifically for research. It does not apply to pet dogs and cats. In fact, Dane4Dogs strongly supports therapeutic research for pet dogs and cats because these animals live in loving homes with families that care for them; this is a great way to test new drugs and therapies on dogs, and it is how many research institutions like UW-Madison perform cancer research today.
Will new drugs or medical progress be negatively affected if I vote yes? No. In fact, medical research has already started to shift away from animal models and towards newer technology like organs-on-a-chip and personalized medicine. In the cases where these technologies are not available, researchers can work with the community to use pet dogs in clinical trials.
So what is the purpose of the referendum? The purpose is to take the first step towards shutting down Ridglan Farms, the industrial-scale puppy mill in our backyard.
Will this referendum shut down Ridglan Farms? Not yet. As much as we would like one vote to shut down a multi-million dollar industry, that’s not how politics works. We will need to continue passing similar referendums across Dane County, until the shift in public opinion is well documented and legislators at the county and state level hear our message that Wisconsin voters do not support research puppy mills.