Beagles enjoy life instead of ‘certain death’ as BUAV undercover investigation rescues them from laboratory


An undercover investigation by the BUAV has rescued and rehomed three healthy beagles from a laboratory run by MSD Animal Health in the UK.

Most of the dogs used by MSD Animal Health face ‘certain death’ the minute they enter or are born in the laboratory facilities. Although some dogs could have been released by the laboratory, they were instead usually killed. There is strong support for homing beagles and other animals from laboratories where possible.

‘Suzie’ the BUAV investigator was able to persuade the company to release two adult nursing females, Bonnie and Billie and one 5 month old puppy, Oliver. All have settled well into their new homes and enjoying their freedom. These three are the lucky ones. Tragically during the BUAV investigation, 92 puppies and 10 adult nursing females were killed, including all Bonnie’s and Billie’s puppies and Oliver’s mother, brothers and sisters.

Earlier this month, the BUAV investigation at MSD Animal Health revealed that puppies were separated from their mothers at a very young age, some just over four weeks, to be used in tests; the routine killing of puppies from five weeks of age; the routine killing of healthy female adult beagles once their puppies were taken away from them and a lack of effort to find homes for those adult and puppy beagles who were no longer required or could have been released at the end of the experiments.

BUAV investigator, ‘Suzie’ said:After my eight months undercover, I was so happy to be able to save Oliver, Bonnie and Billie from death. But sadly there were so many others like them who did not have that chance, which is why it is vital we bring this terrible suffering to and end and ban the use of dogs and cats in research.’

Sarah Kite, Director of Special Projects stated: ‘Although these beagles are affected by their institutionalisation in the laboratory, they are learning quickly how enjoyable life can be. All three epitomise how easily many more of these dogs could have been released into loving homes, if only MSD Animal Health had made the effort. It is shameful and we call for an immediate change in policy to enable this to happen. ‘

Footage from the investigation can be viewed here.

The BUAV has launched the Our Best Friends campaign to end the use of thousands of dogs and hundreds of cats in research every year in the UK. Despite widespread public concern about the use of cats and dogs in research, because of the secrecy surrounding animal research very little is known about the suffering they are forced to endure. The BUAV’s revelations about what happens inside one UK laboratory will be especially shocking for the millions of families across the UK who share their homes and lives with cats and dogs.