Swiss-owned Emeryville corporate citizen Novartis has been named among four Bay Area companies for its animal testing policy including using Beagles for medicine & chemical product testing. The Emeryville location has been the target of protests and even domestic terrorism in the past for this involvement. Beagles have been the preferred breed for this testing because of their size and demeanor. Most have their vocal cords removed and are identified by tattoos. The Beagle Freedom Project seeks to find permanent homes for these lab dogs that survive after they have been aged-out of the testing process.
In a press statement issued by Novartis, they did not deny this involvement but rationalized this as a necessary part of the testing process for humans and reaffirmed their commitment to the re-homing process: “As a part of the research process, beagles are used to evaluate potential new medicines. Our facility has a long-standing re-homing program that has successfully placed more than 200 dogs with loving families.”
Beagles Rescued From Labs In Bay Area, Nation After Being Used For Chemical Testing
By Betty Yu
It’s biotech’s dirty little secret: We discovered at least four companies in the Bay Area are testing everything from medicine to chemical products on dogs. The companies are in Emeryville, Hercules, Menlo Park and San Carlos.
The breed of choice is beagles, because they’re so friendly, and the right size. Most won’t survive. But for the ones that do, there is a chance at a new life.
Life hasn’t always been so carefree for these beagles.
“These dogs have spent their lives in a cage. We were told directly by the people in the lab that they have never been outside, that they had never seen sunlight, that they had never had a toy,” said Shannon Keith, president and founder of the Beagle Freedom Project.
The organization is dedicated to saving beagles used in research labs, often for chemical and pharmaceutical testing. Since 2010, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit has rescued more than 300 beagles across the country
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Read More about The Beagle Freedom Project →
Novartis’ Animal Welfare policy can be read online [PDF] →