When people ask me what I love about having a Beagle—and there are many, many reasons—but overwhelmingly it would have to be their gentle, people pleasing, and trusting nature. Devastatingly, this is also the reason that they are regularly used in laboratories for testing. They are easy to keep and remain calm even when hurt. A Beagle’s insatiable appetite and love of food also means they are cheap and easy to feed. Whilst other animals are also used in laboratories, Beagles make up the majority of these and have done for decades. Sadly, they are often bred specifically for this purpose and breeders make good money selling them to labs.
You may be surprised to know that in 2019, animals are still be used for laboratory experiments. That is because the companies conducting the testing do not want us to know about it. It is not in these companies interests for the public to know that their products have been subject to cruel and painful testing on animals. It certainly is not a feature that marketers include in their advertising campaigns!
I only recently discovered how frequently Beagles are used for the purpose of laboratory testing after owning one and coming into contact with the amazing team at Beagle Freedom Australia. I naively thought that animal testing was long gone and something so archaic and cruel that it couldn’t possibly still be happening. Along with the Beagle Freedom Project (now the Rescue Freedom Project) in the States and other international and local rescue groups, these volunteers work tirelessly to free, rehabilitate and re-home Beagles (and other dogs) kept in captivity for the purpose of testing household products, cosmetics, and medical treatments.
According to the Rescue Freedom Project (formerly known as the Beagle Freedom Project), 96% of the dogs used in laboratory testing are Beagles. Once a dog is no longer required or fit for purpose, they are all too frequently euthanized, even when healthy. The Rescue Freedom Project argues strongly that there are many alternatives to this, and works to promote a bill that requires laboratories to re-home the dogs instead. Legislation such as this in the States and here in Australia promotes a simple, common sense approach that would facilitate relationships between the laboratories and registered rescue groups that would then assist in providing these beautiful animals with a second chance at life.
KNOWING YOUR BEAUTY CUPBOARD
Many people would be surprised to know just how many of their household products and cosmetics are tested on animals; trust me, I was as well! After researching which companies test on animals, I was alarmed not only at the volume, but how many products I owned made by these brands. Many of them are large household names, however there are many alternatives and the list continues to grow as companies take a more ethical and environmental approach to production.
Thanks to a number of useful online resources, I promptly culled a number of products from my home and found some fantastic alternatives. There are even apps you can have on your phone so you can scan and check a product when you are at the supermarket.
LIFE AFTER THE LAB
Many of the dogs that find freedom after life in the laboratory are like new puppies in an adult dog’s body. They don’t even have a name; they’re seeing the sun, feeling grass, and receiving affection all for the first time. Thanks to the work of the rescue groups dedicated to providing a second chance to these beautiful animals, they are able to experience the life and love they deserve.
The Beagle Freedom Project was born in 2010 and you can see a video of their first rescue here. Get your tissues ready! Since that time, a global movement has formed and rescue groups around the world have joined forces to promote the need for a re-homing scheme that will see former laboratory animals being given a proper home, life, and even a name.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Sign the petitions in your country
- Choose cruelty free
- Support your local re-homing organizations
- Adopt a Beagle!
If this post has made you think about the products you use and how they are tested, why not have a look in your cupboards at home and do an audit on your products. Did you know that Beagles were commonly used in laboratories? Tell us about your experience switching to cruelty-free products in the comments!
I’m Sophie, Dave the Beagle’s human. Together we make a pretty good team, sharing a love of Netflix, BBQ Chicken, and sleep! I am originally from the UK but have lived in Australia for almost 15 years.