Seven Beagles Taste Freedom for the First Time after 12 Years of Cruelty in a European Lab
THEY have never seen the sun, felt the grass, or heard a kind word. They have only known fear, pain, and loneliness. They are the beagles who have spent most of their lives in cages and endured painful experiments for the sake of research. But thanks to Beagle Freedom Project UK (BFP UK), a global organisation that rescues and rehomes animals used in research, they have finally been freed from a testing facility in Europe and arrived in England to start their new lives with loving foster families.
The beagles, named after British rock stars Jonesy, Davey, Ringo, Elton, Freddie, Olivia and Birdie, were born in the lab or taken there at a young age. They have never experienced the joys of being a dog, such as playing with toys, running in the grass, or cuddling with humans. They have only known fear, pain, and loneliness.
Beagles are the most commonly used dogs in animal testing because of their gentle and trusting personalities. They are often subjected to invasive procedures, such as injections, surgeries, and poisoning, for the sake of pharmaceutical or biochemical research. Many of them die in the lab or are killed after they are no longer useful.
BFP UK has been working tirelessly to negotiate with the lab authorities and secure the release of the beagles. Here is one of the beagles on her walk to freedom:
The rescue operation involved transporting the dogs from Spain to England and providing them with medical care and behavioural assessment. The dogs were then matched with suitable foster homes, where they will receive the love and care they deserve.
Shannon Keith, Director of BFP UK and US, says: “The foster role is to prepare these dogs for freedom. We call them newborns in adult bodies, as they have never been given a treat or a toy, and know what a soft touch or a loving caress is like. Most are scared of noises they have never heard and need extra care suffering from PTSD.
“We require them to go to a home with another dog so they can learn to be a dog. When we finally see their breakthroughs, such as making eye contact, doing a zoomie, and giving a kiss, we know they are finally feeling safe, and that is the best feeling of all.”
BFP UK’s mission goes beyond rescuing animals from labs; it also aims to educate the public, advocate for alternatives, and legislate for change. Since 2010, BFP has rescued thousands of animals from various countries and raised awareness about the cruelty and inefficiency of animal testing.
All dogs are going for thorough vet checks and all treatment is paid for by BFP during the foster period. For more information, or to volunteer and/or donate, please visit bfpuk.org. Join the movement, stand against animal cruelty, and help bring about a future where animals can thrive without fear.