USDA, to Committee, January 2009). Dog auctions are primarily involved with the pet trade; however, if auctions were to move into the research animal trade, the USDA would consider them random source Class B dealers and deal with them accordingly.
In an ideal world, cost would not be a factor in decisions about research, particularly those concerning animals. Realistically, however, resources are limited and researchers are constrained by financial concerns. Thus cost is a potential consideration for the continued use of animals from Class B dealers, which may cost less than animals from Class A dealers. Depending on circumstances, the financial incentives to use animals from Class B dealers may or may not be substantial.
According to information obtained from two Class B and three Class A dealers, the purchase price of a young, 20-25 kg (44-55 lbs) dog is $325-$350 for a random source animal and $600-$900 for a purpose-bred dog. However, oftentimes dogs and cats from Class B dealers are not free of disease and may require prolonged quarantine, socialization, treatment, or removal from the study altogether to avoid potential health threats to other animals or to people in the research facility. The hidden costs to address these conditions may substantially increase the actual final cost by hundreds of dollars per animal. Additionally, the price of USDA/APHIS oversight of Class B dealers (discussed below) represents a substantial cost to the U.S. government and ultimately the American public that is not borne by NIH, the research institution, or the research investigator.
In certain cases the difference in cost between dogs from Class A and Class B dealers may be prohibitive. For example, the cost of using unconditioned dogs from Class B dealers for an acute procedure would be substantially less than for dogs from Class A dealers; but much of the acute work in which an unconditioned dog from a Class B dealer would be an appropriate model, such as in a surgical training class, is beyond the scope of this report.
For studies that require older animals, the purchase price of animals from Class A dealers increases with the age of the animal; for example, one Class A vendor charges a base price of $730 for a 6-month old beagle and an additional $4.10/day after the animal’s first 195 days. Thus, a skeletally mature beagle from a Class A dealer for orthopedic research would cost over $1400/dog, a purchase price that some would consider prohibitive (Class A vendor beagle price list provided to the Committee, January 2009).
One of the largest components to the cost of the animal, regardless of the source, is that of transporting the animal from the vendor to the research location. Surface transportation of groups of animals may cost thousands