One million signatures against the slaughter of 38 Beagle puppies in tests for a drug | Catalonia

Dog portrayed by an employee of Vivotecnia, in Madrid, in a file photo.
Dog portrayed by an employee of Vivotecnia, in Madrid, in a file photo.

A petition on the platform to stop the sacrifice of 38 Beagle puppies in an experiment on a medicine promoted by the University of Barcelona (UB) has exceeded one million signatures. Cristina Espinach and Rubén García, the promoters, plan to deliver the applications this Thursday at the Barcelona Science Park (attached to the UB), which is home to Vivotecnia, the company that continues to be investigated by the courts for animal abuse. The university announced in recent days that six of the 38 dogs will be put up for adoption after the study. The remaining 32 will be sacrificed.

The UB has issued two statements in the last week in relation to this controversy. In one of the documents they argue that, protected by European regulations and before testing the drug in humans, “it is necessary” to carry out the toxicity study in two species of mammals, and that “it is imperative” that one of the two not be in a rodent species, which is why they have opted for Beagle dogs.

The study, which seeks to develop a new antifibrotic drug to treat liver fibrosis and myelofibrosis, is in the preclinical phase and will take place in March. This will be in the Vivotecnia laboratories in the Community of Madrid, sources from the university confirmed to this newspaper last January, given that the Science Park “does not have a stable to carry out this type of experimentation.”

The NGO Cruelty Free International (CFI) published a video in 2021 to denounce the alleged animal abuse by Vivotecnia. In this document, company workers are seen manipulating different animals in a humiliating manner. A few weeks later, the same organization denounced that four Spanish public bodies, including the Barcelona Science Park, have continued to contract the services of this laboratory.

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The UB, which awarded a contract to Vivotecnia for 255,648.80 euros after a public offer, defends that they have “exhaustively” reviewed the documentation related to the project to “guarantee strict compliance with the regulations”; and maintain that “Vivotecnia has accredited that it is authorized” by the Community of Madrid to execute this type of project. The academic institution has stressed that “currently there is no known alternative method to the use of these animals that can replace the methodology of this type of research”, and that the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain points out that “the use of animals it is a necessary practice to advance in the study of treatments, surgical techniques or vaccines”.

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Animal organizations such as PACMA have demonstrated in recent weeks to prevent the sacrifice of the puppies. Both in Barcelona and Madrid, the activists have demanded that the different administrations involved “cease the contract with Vivotecnia” and that they “hand over” the Beagle dogs so that they can be taken in. The promoters of the signature collection campaign, for their part, demand the release of the dogs and that they be given up for adoption “to avoid this barbarity.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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