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The Rescue + Freedom Project (R+FP), an animal welfare group, has just announced its latest campaign. Cut the Cruelty will expose pet suppliers with ties to animal testing and work with major retailers to discontinue their partnerships with these suppliers. The campaign has already reached an agreement with overstock.com, which will no longer do business with Marshall Pet Products.

R+FP Founder and President, Shannon Keith, explained that many pet supply companies are also associated with animal experimentation. Marshall Pet Products, for example, sells pet toys and treats, but it is also connected with Marshall Farms Ltd. (dba Marshall BioResources), the largest US supplier of beagles used in laboratory experiments. Keith initiated this campaign to educate consumers and retailers about the duality behind these companies.

Keith first reached out to overstock.com, which has sold Marshall products for years. When informed about the nature of the call, Keith said, “Overstock’s President, Saum Noursalehi, took our call personally and didn’t hesitate to make the right decision.” The company is the first to agree to pull Marshall products from its digital shelves, though the non-profit is working with other companies as well. “We are convinced companies that care about animals will shun Marshall Pet Products and their abusive business model,” Keith affirmed.

Policy Director of R+FP, Matt Rossell, also commented, “Overstock’s compassionate decision will save lives and persuade other retailers to make humane choices.”

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On the consumer side, R+FP is making cruelty-free shopping more transparent with its Cruelty-Cutter app. Launched in 2014, the free mobile tool includes an “ever-growing database containing information about many thousands of products.” Shoppers simply scan a product barcode to check if the company has been associated with animal testing. R+FP promises, “Living cruelty-free has never been easier!”

Keith also provided tips on how everyone can practice a more compassionate lifestyle. “Every time you choose a vegetarian or vegan meal you are helping save a life. Animal lovers can also leave fur, leather and wool out of their wardrobe and avoid animal exploitive entertainment like SeaWorld, circuses with animals, or horse/dog racing.”

R+FP is the nonprofit behind the Beagle Freedom Bill, which mandates that dogs and cats used in research be put up for adoption when the research has ended. This ensures these animals find loving, forever homes. The organization is on a mission to end animal testing by taking political action and educating constituents about the facts behind the industry. “Over 60,000 dogs are used every year to test cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and household products,” Keith said. However, she noted that there is hope, thanks to advancements in technology.

“Alternatives already exist for many of these animal tests, which are more accurate, faster and cheaper than animal experiments.”


Image Credit: Rescue + Freedom Project