Animal associations denounce the contract between the University of Barcelona and the Vivotecnia laboratory, which accumulates several complaints of animal abuse
A new controversy circulates at high speed on social networks. Several animal associations publicly denounced that the sacrifice of some thirty 8-month-old puppies of the ‘beagle’ breed is planned on January 24 after carrying out a scientific experiment that takes place in the facilities of the University of Barcelona, specifically at the Science Park Foundation.
This organization was in charge of contracting the services of the Vivotecnia laboratory to test an antifibrotic drug in beagle puppies for 28 days. The supposed objective is to carry out a subsequent autopsy to have precise data on the effects that the drug had on the dogs. The contract was made on November 10 after a public offer worth 255,648.80 euros.
It is a laboratory that has been denounced on several occasions for animal abuse practices, which has further increased the impact of criticism on social networks. Less than a year ago, the Community of Madrid interrupted its contract with Vivotecnia after the NGO Cruelty Free International published several videos showing animal abuse and the cruelty to which all kinds of species were subjected: monkeys, pigs or ‘beagles’ were some of them.
This breed of dog is used frequently because they are considered manageable and docile and do not usually bite. According to animal associations, the puppies spend 28 days locked in cages, getting sicker every day and forced to ingest doses of the new drug through probes without any anesthesia. “50% of dogs will die from internal bleeding,” says the organization Without Animal Experimentation. Those who survive, they denounce, will be sacrificed.
The activists recall article 30 of Royal Decree 53/2013, of February 1, as well as Directive 2010/63/EU, which establish that, at the end of the investigation, animals that are in good condition must be given up for adoption. In addition, on the web change.org there is an open collection of signatures to save the puppies that, in just two days, has already reached more than 274,000 of the goal of 300,000. A demonstration is also called for next Saturday the 22nd in the Plaza San Jaume in Barcelona to avoid the sacrifice.
The version of the University of Barcelona
After the outbreak of the controversy, the Rector’s Office of the University of Barcelona issued a statement last Tuesday in which it did not confirm that the sacrifice was planned, but it did not deny it either. The note ensures that “the research corresponds to an entity housed in the Barcelona Science Park, like so many other external groups and entities.” “It was contracted in compliance with all the legal requirements of public procurement,” they say.
Although at first it was said that the number of affected animals was 38, the UB states that “the experiment seeks to develop care for fibrotic diseases and involves the histopathological study of the organs of 32 ‘beagle’ dogs”. They also explain that the experimentation phase has not started, but that the entity plans to start it in mid-March.
They express in the statement that “the practice with animals is currently irreplaceable in order to guarantee scientific progress and is carried out only when it is strictly unavoidable and always with the maximum ethical demand.” However, the associations of animalists are supported by an investigation by the US Food and Drug Association that details that 92% of the results tested on animals will fail in the clinical phases with humans.
On the part of the laboratory involved, Vivotecnia, they assure that “they comply with all the protocols, guides and current legislation to carry out said studies. These trials allow the development of new drugs and vaccines to deal with diseases that affect both humans and companion animals, which could even have fatal consequences if not treated with these drugs.