MARCH 16, 1950
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Wednesday—I heard the other day of a most interesting and constructive way in which television may be used in the instruction of children and young people. It concerns a motion picture film, which I understand is being made now and is to be shown for the first time in Washington, D.C., before a group interested in the prevention of cruelty to animals. This showing will be made during the week in May which is dedicated to teaching people to be kind to animals.
While we are on the subject of cruelty to animals, I should like to mention a bill which is shortly to come up in the New York State legislature in Albany. There may have been similar bills passed in other states, or they may be up for consideration, but I think a great many people everywhere are interested in this subject.
The New York State bill provides that in cities of over two million, everyone shall obtain a yearly license for a dog and pay $3 instead of the $2 they have paid up to now. In addition, before getting their license they shall submit evidence that within the past 12 months their dog or cat has been vaccinated for rabies.
The important part of the bill, however, is the arrangement made that if dogs or cats are not licensed and are picked up by the authorities and not claimed within 48 hours, they shall be destroyed. Exceptions would be made in cases where the animals are requisitioned by the Departments of Health of the State of New York or the City of New York for allocation to scientific laboratories which have been inspected and approved by the Department of Health for animal experimentation in accordance with Section 185 of the Penal Law as amended in 1947.
The New York Academy of Medicine urges that the new registration, which is designed to revise the privileges and responsibilities of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, include these provisions for the allocation for a part of the supply of stray dogs and cats to scientific laboratories.
The anti-vivisectionists have put on a campaign against the use of animals for these purposes.
I am very fond of dogs but when there is a need for scientific research which can be done only with the use of animals and which will benefit mankind, I think we must support allowing it to be done in the most humane manner possible by qualified, scientific people. In an early 1949 issue of a science magazine an article appears on this perennial controversy and I think this sentence is worth remembering: "The hard fact is that life can be studied only in living things."