New controversy has emerged over a study published April 7, in which researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia blinded six beagle puppies in an experiment aimed at assessing the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid in healing eye injuries. Ultimately, the study was deemed inconclusive and the puppies were euthanized.
“This experiment where researchers purposefully damaged the eyes of 6 beagles, poured an experimental acid in them, and then killed them all is ethically troubling,” Beagle Freedom Project Vice President Kevin Chase told Lady Freethinker. “These dogs were bred just to suffer and die in violent experiments like this. They were never given a name — only tattooed with a number in their sensitive ears — had never been outside, had a toy, bed, leashed walk, or affection.”
The decision to kill the dogs at the end of the study is particularly troubling.
“Beagle Freedom Project… would have loved to have given the opportunity to have a home and hope to these six beagles,” explained Chase “Many families adopt blinded dogs…after all they endured for this “academic curiosity” they deserved something better than a cold, lonely death.”
The use of animals for scientific research is questioned by many Americans, especially when these studies involve pets like cats and dogs who are considered part of the family. Some of these practices are also proven outdated, and 92% of new drugs tested on animals go on to fail in phase 1 human clinical trials.
“One could find more predictive results by simply flipping a coin than testing on animals,” said Chase.
Unreliable animal testing also takes precious funds that could be used toward conducting more reliable, cruelty-free research, including 3-d printing, in-vivo and in-silico methodologies.