Three beagles rescued from a veterinary laboratory are being used by a group to highlight its concerns over experimenting on animals.
Bonnie, Billie and Oliver faced a ‘death sentence’ before being released from the MSD Animal Health laboratory, which has its head office in Milton Keynes.
They were safely re-homed after MSD Animal Health agreed to let them go.
Now the dogs feature in the “Our Best Friends” campaign run by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV).
‘Suzie’ the BUAV investigator was able to persuade the company to release the two adult nursing females, Bonnie and Billie and five month old puppy, Oliver.
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.
‘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 an end and ban the use of dogs and cats in research.’
Sarah Kite, the BUAV’s director of special projects, said: “Although these beagles are affected by their institutionalisation in a 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. It’s shameful, and we call for an immediate change in policy to enable this to happen.”
MSD Animal Health is based in Milton Keynes but the location of the laboratory where the undercover investigation took place is not being released.
Each year more than 3,000 dogs are used in animal tests in the UK.
MSD Animal Health said: “Our commitment is to supporting the health and well-being of animals. We always adhere to all legal and regulatory frameworks that require our vaccines be tested on laboratory animals to ensure they meet all safety and efficacy obligations prior to making them available to veterinarians. Where animals are used, measures are taken to assure that the fewest numbers of animals are used and that any discomfort is minimised.”