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Why Are Beagles Used for Testing?

Close up of a Beagle in cage

It doesn’t pay to be nice.

One of the reasons why Beagles are the preferred laboratory testing dog is that they are too nice and too submissive. But that are not the only two characteristics that make the Beagle the favorite lab testing dog.

The Beagle has the right size, physical traits, temperament, and behavior as test subjects. It does not pay to be nice at least when you are a dog. Their docile nature and their large trust in humans make them very vulnerable to experiments that are painful, cruel, and very harsh.

While it is said that the University of Utah was the first to create a Beagle testing program, this dog breed may have been used for hundreds of years in different labs.

How long do beagles live? Click here to learn more.

Why Are Beagles Used in Labs?

Beagle in a cage

Beagles may be hunters but they are very lovable dogs. Their laid-back personalities make them docile at times and their love and trust for humans mean that they will let humans do a lot of things to them.

Plus, the Beagle has the right size for most lab experiments. Not to mention their temperament make them easy test animals to use. In other words, out of all the dog breeds in the world, the Beagles are the most preferred breed scientists use.

It is because of who the Beagle is that makes them the first to get signed up at different companies to test dangerous products. Their size was just perfect for the type of tests the atomic scientists wanted to conduct.

They weren’t going to do their tests on humans. Because other universities and organizations followed the lead of the University of Utah, a whole cottage industry grew. Many ‘breeders’ bred their Beagles to be bought by these universities and organizations’ labs.

The number bred for this purpose reached into the thousands and over 7000 Beagles were killed. But that may be a minimum number. The sad news in all of this was that no useful data was produced for humans.

Do They Still Use Beagles for Animal Testing?

4 beagles in a dog crate sitting on a floor

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Out of the millions of animals used in various laboratory testing, etc., about 70,000 are dogs. Out of those 70,000, the majority of them are Beagles.

The same reason this dog breed was used 80+ years ago is the same reason they are used today. It is because beagles have the right size, characteristics, love for humans, and so on.

It isn’t just in this country where Beagles are still being tested. The UK may have banned tobacco testing on Beagles and dogs in 1997 but that ban did not ban all tests. That means that today in the UK beagles are still subject to horrific treatment and endure endless pain and suffering until they die.

This is not a pretty picture. The Beagle is a very regal animal and yet far too many are treated like yesterday’s garbage and then they die. There is at least one organization working hard to stop this testing on Beagles. It is called the Beagle Freedom Project.

The work the owner has done has changed laws, freed many Beagles, as well as exposed the dark underbelly of the animal testing world through different documentaries.

But it will take more than one woman to make a real dent in this scientific process.

Are Beagles Easy to Train? Click here to learn more.

What Type of Testing Is Done On Beagles?

Beagle on a lab vets table being given a shot by a woman wearing gloves

In all honesty, you really do not want to know. In the early 50s, it was testing for atomic research and the dogs were given radioactive elements like plutonium and radionuclide.

The results of these tests were too many fractures, disfigurement, loss of their teeth, and tumors. To top it off, those dogs were not euthanized as the scientists wanted to see how long the dogs would live after being given those radioactive elements.

There used to be tobacco testing until Britain outlawed it on animals. These dogs were also put into what was/is called a hound holder. This holder contorted the dogs’ bodies as well as secured their legs and nose in terrible positions. Then a trachea tube was inserted to help the animal breathe.

On top of this, and very recently, Beagles and other dogs have been tested for the side effects of pesticides, detergents, and industrial chemicals. If Beagles were not available then the dogs at shelters were used.

Some final words

Portrait of a Beagle against a grey background

Animal testing still goes on despite the many laws that have been enacted by different states and countries. It may never stop and the Beagle may be the dog breed that bears most of this burden.

They do not deserve it nor do other animals especially since no real practical and applicable data comes from these experiments that can be adapted to humans.

There are organizations around today fighting for Beagles and other animals. They have websites you can look up and read. Life is not always fun for the Beagle.

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