A recent study approved by the NIAID involved the testing of an experimental drug and an intentional infestation of flies that carry a disease-causing parasite. Dogs were subjected to intense pain and vocalization during the trial. They were euthanized once the study was over. The researchers hoped to develop a vaccine for lymphatic filariasis, the second leading cause of permanent disability in humans.
Research on beagles
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been accused of using beagles in ghastly tests, including intentionally infecting them with parasites to test a vaccine and cutting their vocal cords to reduce pain. Both of these protocols involved euthanasia of the animals. In the wake of White Coat Waste, lawmakers are angry that federal dollars are being wasted on such cruel tests.
The American Anti-Vivisection Society, an advocacy group against animal experiments, estimates that beagles account for about 70 percent of all dogs used in lab experiments. In the United States, this figure is largely beagles, which are particularly docile and small enough to fit in more research facilities. NIAID’s director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, denied funding the research and is now calling for an explanation.
The Humane Society has criticized the practices of pharmaceutical research companies that force-feed beagle puppies with toxins and injections. It isn’t clear if these procedures are ethical. The company’s dog breeding facility was cited with multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and the Humane Society is calling for the immediate release of beagle puppies from the Inotiv lab in Maryland. The Humane Society plans to hold a demonstration outside the company’s Rockville facility to demand the company stop the tests.
The laboratory maintains a “dog colony” for research. It uses the beagles for experiments, and has radiotelemetry equipment to gather data about the drugs. Afterwards, the dogs were euthanized by sodium pentobarbital, which was injected into the beagles’ cephalic vein. In some cases, they were then returned to their normal quarters.
Animal research is often done on beagles, a friendly breed that makes an ideal pet. Beagles are commonly used in pharmaceutical research, due to their docile nature. But not all beagles survive these tests. A nonprofit organization called Beagle Freedom Project aims to end this practice and give beagles used in taxpayer-funded research facilities to nonprofit rescue organizations. This campaign has already had some success, with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signing the Beagle Freedom Bill into law.
Effects of drugs on beagles
Earlier studies have shown that lipids in the body increase drug absorption and affect brain function. Researchers have used beagles to test whether these lipids also enhance drug absorption and effectiveness. Celecoxib, a poorly water-soluble anti-inflammatory drug, was tested on four beagles. Its effect on blood lipids was studied. It improved the ability of celecoxib to treat arthritis.
Food intake of beagles was investigated to determine whether different dosage forms have an effect on drug bioavailability. The effect of food intake on drug bioavailability is a complex process that must be studied in animals both fasted and fed conditions. As food intake is often variable throughout the day, the animal’s pharmacokinetic profile may differ. Beagles show varying food taking patterns, which are commonly categorized as “4P Modes”. Persisting mode is followed by pulsing, postponing, and pushing. The latter two styles shift more or less depending on the inter-day variation of food intake.
The NIAID contract requires testing in animal models and to be conducted in a facility accredited by the AAAALAC. The NIAID contract with SRI International was accompanied by numerous ethical violations. For example, the researchers injected the drugs into the beagles’ brain and liver and then locked the animals’ heads in a mesh cage filled with infected sand flies. The study was then published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, which was mistakenly cited as supporting the study.
In addition to cardiovascular studies, researchers tested the effect of ET-26HCl in beagles. In two studies, ET-26HCl was given to beagle dogs in a dose of 12 mg/kg over 2 to 3 hours. This dose reduced differences in the mean heart rate and the PR interval in both male and female beagle dogs. These results suggest that the drug affects heart rate in a beagle dog, but not on the resting state.
Valsartan, an antihypertensive drug, is absorbed differently in fasted and fed states. The fasted state increases drug absorption by five times while the fed state does not. The fasted state also reduces drug exposure by more than half. This study also found that food delays valsartan absorption. The researchers also found that food intake influenced valsartan bioavailability in beagles.
Methods of drug testing
Animal experiments have long been associated with the development of new drugs, and animal studies are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These tests usually use non-human primates, such as beagles, and are often carried out on animals whose lives depend on the findings of the experiments. However, some veterinary schools continue to use beagles as test subjects despite the obvious ethical concerns about the tests.
The Humane Society recently investigated the Mount Vernon animal testing lab and found thousands of dogs and other animals suffering in laboratories for pharmaceutical research. Researchers at the laboratory forced 80 beagle puppies to take a drug through a stomach tube to study its effects on the dogs’ bodies. The animals were exposed to the drug for up to four months before the tests were stopped. Another study will run for another nine months. The humane society is working to stop the practice.
Risley, a veterinarian and animal lover, has started a petition in support of the beagles. She and other animal advocates are calling for an end to animal testing in the U.S. and has already gathered over two hundred thousand signatures. The HSUS is coordinating a collective call to action outside the Inotiv lab. She will be displaying eighty dog collars in front of the facility, and the Vanderburgh County Humane Society has offered to take the beagles if Inotiv decides to stop testing them.
Using animals in this way is a common way of performing research. Researchers use the animals to determine the safety of new drugs, medical devices, and pesticides. The aim of this research is to determine whether these substances will harm humans. Typically, test substances are fed to the dogs for months or years, and then watched to see if they cause any harmful side effects. Some substances are given to the dogs in food, while others are forced into their mouths. Once the testing period is over, the dogs are killed by being deprived of their organs.
Beagles are the most commonly used dogs for animal experiments. Their small size and docile nature makes them ideal for these tests. However, this is not to say that beagles are the ideal model for human disease. There are many other breeds of dogs that have similar characteristics and could be used for testing. Nonetheless, beagles have their share of ethical problems and have long been a popular choice in animal research.
Petition for release of beagles
Humane Society activists are pushing for the immediate release of 80 beagle puppies that are still being used for drug testing. The dogs are being forced to drink a drug through a tube in their stomachs. Inotiv, a company that performs drug tests, is responsible for the testing. Its procedures are highly regulated, but activists say that it is not ethical to use animals for research.
Beagles are the sweetest dogs on the planet, and these animals will soon be available for adoption. The labs that are currently testing drugs for various illnesses are responsible for the massive amount of beagles being used in the experiments. HSUS says that the beagles would be able to be adopted after being treated for heartworm. As of the time of writing, more than 1,600 beagles are in various drug testing facilities across the country.
Animals used for drug testing are often not even given a chance to live. The animals are often forced to endure painful procedures, including ingesting pesticides through a stomach tube. After a year of this, they are killed. According to government figures, there were 4,340 procedures on dogs and beagles in the UK last year – a 5.3% increase on the previous year. Activists have been monitoring the labs for over a year and have witnessed the workers grabbing the dogs by the neck and loading them into trolleys. Some crates are even lined with crying animals.
Animal rights activists have a new campaign calling for the government to ban animal testing. They have partnered with actor Ricky Gervais to protest the controversial Cambridgeshire factory farm. The company breeds puppies and sells them as young as sixteen weeks for the purpose of conducting tests on drugs and other drugs. Despite the widespread apathy towards animal rights, the protest is gaining momentum. Both Gervais and Egan are launching a campaign to ban animal testing.