Rescue of 4,000 Beagles Prompts PETA Push: Empty ALL Laboratory Cages!
Four thousand beagles bred for the experimentation industry are being released from the Cumberland, Virginia, facility of soon-to-be-shuttered animal supplier Envigo, thanks to efforts by PETA and others—but now PETA is pointing out that although these dogs are getting a new lease on life, tens of thousands of others remain imprisoned in barren laboratory cages across the country, subjected to painful, invasive, and ultimately fruitless experiments before being killed. That’s why PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to take a cue from the Envigo facility’s pending closure, phase out all animal experiments, and adopt the group’s Research Modernization Deal, which offers a strategy for implementing modern, non-animal research methods—such as organs-on-chips and high-speed computers programmed with human data—that actually stand a chance of resulting in viable treatments and cures for humans.
“This isn’t only a feel-good story about rescued dogs—the beagles from Envigo represent the countless victims of the cruelty and pointlessness of all experiments on animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Every animal supplier and laboratory needs to be shut down, and NIH can start by dumping failed animal tests and funding scientifically superior, human-relevant studies.”
Prior to its imminent closure, the Envigo facility funneled dogs to laboratories, including the Medical University of South Carolina, Temple University and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where they endured horrific torment. In one test, experimenters cut incisions in beagles’ heads, drilled holes into their skulls, and injected a chemical solution into their brains. Some dogs were killed immediately, while others were kept alive for six weeks and then killed. In another study, beagle puppies were infected with staph bacteria, causing them to experience multi-organ failure, sepsis, severe shock, and death. In another study, experimenters damaged the bladders of puppies by using a pump to fill their bladders, inserted catheters into their rectums, cut into their abdomens to attach electrodes, and then severed their spinal cords.
Envigo will soon be out of the beagle-breeding, laboratory-supplying picture, but other notorious operations, such as Marshall Farms in New York—which houses a staggering 21,000 dogs—and Ridglan Farms in Wisconsin, continue to do robust business supplying trusting, gentle beagles and other dogs for use in experiments such as these.
About 110 million animals—each an individual who feels pain and fear—suffer and are killed every year in U.S. laboratories, yet 95% of new drugs that test safe and effective in animal studies go on to fail or cause harm in human clinical trials.