VICTORY FOR ANIMALS!
BEAGLE BREEDING FACILITY CLOSED DOWN
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE REMAINING BEAGLES?
1 Dec 2011 - SAFE is very pleased that the Valley Animal Research Centre (VARC) has finally closed down. As those who supported the campaign to close it will know, VARC was one of the largest suppliers of companion animals for laboratory testing in the Southern Hemisphere. VARC's facilities, based in Napier and Palmerston North, were at one stage holding close to 200 beagles in very basic, barren kennels.
The centre provided the animals for research, and also provided the facilities for experiments to be conducted on the premises. It advertised its services around Australasia.
As part of the campaign against the beagle testing facility, SAFE delivered a 12,000 strong petition to Parliament in April last year calling on the government to prohibit animal research on dogs and cats. In a SAFE organised march down the Napier main street in April 2010 Napier hundreds of locals expressed their desire for the facility to be closed down.
Campbell Live screened (starting from 30 November) an investigation into what has happened to the beagles since it was closed down. Click here to watch the story.
VARC was set up by bio-pharmaceutical scientist Allen Goldenthal, who has now left the country. The estranged partner of Goldenthal, and co-director of VARC, Margaret Harkima is trying to sell the remaining dogs left at the facility. It is not known how long ago the testing on the beagles was stopped, or whether the dogs being offered for sale have been tested on.
Pounds in the Hawkes Bay and Manawatu region have been receiving numbers of beagles from people who have not been able to properly deal with them, or even informed where they came from.
They are institutionalised and unsocialised, having been raised in barren pens without human affection.
"Beagles are the vivisectors' choice of dog because they are gentle and easy to handle. What a way to repay these trusting animals. It is not hard to imagine the stress the animals feel, being locked up for life with scant attention paid to their individual physical and emotional needs. Anyone who has ever had a dog as a companion will be able to relate to the terrible suffering of these animals," says SAFE director Hans Kriek.
On average around 300,000 animals per year are used in experimentation, testing and teaching in New Zealand - from cats and dogs to rabbits, deer, mice, rats, fish, birds, pigs and guinea pigs. In 2009 a total of 297 111 live animals were experimented on. 55 per cent were killed or died as a result of the experiment.
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