The Beagle has long been Britain’s favorite dog, but it’s its adorable attributes that make it one of the go-to breeds for lab experiments.
Thousands of puppies are still raised on factory farms to be tested each year, mostly to measure the effects of various toxins, from pesticides to pharmaceuticals.
In February this year, it was revealed that beagle puppies – nicknamed ‘Coke Hounds’ – had even been injected with cocaine in US tests.
But why is the beagle the preferred breed for laboratory experiments in the UK and the US?
Those campaigning to end cruelty say it’s sadly down to the docile, loving nature of the breed and the unwavering trust of humans. The characteristics that make beagles wonderful pets are the same ones that make them ideal for laboratory experiments.
Seems a hard price to pay for being such a good dog.
Science policy manager at People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, Dr Julia Baines told the Daily Star they are simply used as “disposable test tubes with legs”.
“Dogs’ status as man’s best friend does not protect them from experiments because they are docile, affectionate, small and easy to handle,” she said.
She said it is these precise characteristics that “allow humans to easily swallow drugs, pesticides and other toxic substances.”
Marshall BioResources is a global supplier of animals for testing and has breeding farms in Cambridgeshire and East Yorkshire.
Several animals are announced on the site including the “Antibody Profile Defined/Specific Pathogen Free (APD/SPF) Marshall Beagle”.
He states that they are “the cleanest beagles available, making them the best canine model for developing new commercial veterinary drugs and vaccines for companion animals.”
“These dogs exhibit everything one would expect of a typical Marshall Beagle, including the same calm, gentle temperament,” he adds.
In 2020, 4,270 procedures were performed on 2,738 beagles.
“Government figures show that many thousands of these active, playful and curious individuals are subjected to archaic experiments in which they are treated like disposable test tubes with legs and deprived of any opportunity to meet their psychological and physical needs,” a said Dr. Baines. .
“Cutting-edge research methods such as organs on chips, high-speed computers that use human data, and human cell cultures do not use animals and are now readily available, as the agreement shows. modernizing PETA’s research.
“We must make it illegal to produce beagle puppies confined for years in laboratory cages, deliberately having heart attacks and infected with diseases that we can study in humans, then killed and cut into pieces.
“And since the results of animal experiments do not translate across species, both beagles and humans are harmed by allowing such medieval horrors to continue.”
In America, a secret investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed the horrific tortures to which some beagles are regularly subjected.
Footage from Inotiv Inc’s testing lab in Mount Vernon, Indiana showed animals restrained and force-fed by medical researchers.
Distressing video showed workers putting a feeding tube into a puppy’s mouth and feeding it medicine before releasing it back into the kennel where it collapsed.
A statement from the investigation report noted: “The investigator observed dogs continuing to be dosed with the substances even when they were vomiting, shaking, and had high fevers and labored breathing.”
In February this year, it was reported that beagle puppies had been injected with cocaine in US tests.
Six-month-old beagle puppies were fitted with vests that injected them with drugs, as well as an experimental drug that was given to them. The dogs were “dosed with cocaine over and over and over for months,” the White Coast Waste Project said in its account of the experiment.
The documents said the puppies were then either returned to the animal colony from which the NIH purchased dogs, “for future use,” or “euthanized.”
The NIH and NIDA clarified that the tests in the toxicology studies were “in a preclinical model to test the safety of a new drug for the treatment of cocaine use disorder before transferring it to a human study.” .
Many celebrities support an end to beagle testing, including comedian Ricky Gervais and singer Will Young who handcuffed himself to the gates of the Marshall BioResources breeding facility in Cambridgeshire in November last year.
He joined the protesters known as Camp Beagle, demanding the release of the puppies raised for testing.
The Daily Star has contacted Marshall BioResources and is awaiting a response.
A statement on the website says the company is committed to maintaining high animal welfare standards.
“We greatly respect and appreciate the role our animals continue to play in the development of life-saving discoveries, medicines and treatments for humans and animals. Therefore, we believe that our animals deserve the best possible treatment and care that we can. can provide.”