Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Animal Welfare Bill

August 24, 1966

I am delighted to see my friends from the Congress and others here this morning to witness the signing of the bill that the Congress has passed to end the business of stealing dogs and cats for sale to research facilities and to provide for humane handling and treatment of animals by dealers and research facilities.

As Dr. Schweitzer has reminded us: "The quality of a culture is measured by its reverence for all life."

Progress, particularly in science and medicine, does require the use of animals for research and this bill does not interfere with that. But science and research do not compel us to tolerate the kind of inhumanity which has been involved in the business of supplying stolen animals to laboratories or which is sometimes involved in the careless and callous handling of animals in some of our laboratories.

This bill will put an end to these abuses. At the same time the bill does not authorize any sort of interference with actual research or experimentation. They just must go on.

But I am sure that all of us are very glad that the Congress has wisely seen fit to make provision for decent and humane standards in the procurement and handling of the animals that are necessarily involved.

I thank those of you who are here for coming for this ceremony. I appreciate the efforts that you have made to make this event possible, and I have no doubt but what with the passing of the years, the wisdom of your action will be thoroughly demonstrated.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:50 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

As enacted, the animal welfare bill (H.R. 13881) is Public Law 89-544 (80 Stat. 350).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks Upon Signing the Animal Welfare Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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