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laboratory animals

It’s confronting learning about the horrific animal suffering that goes on behind closed doors, but we hope this page will help answer some common questions without exposing the reader to too many shocking images.

some of the lucky ones…

Videos like this one produced by the wonderful people at Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary (Northern Spain) remind us that there are glimmers of hope, always. Watch eight rescued laboratory rabbits experience their first taste of freedom!

Take a look at this video by Beagle Freedom Project (USA) and watch beagles rescued from the horrors of “life” in a laboratory see sun and grass for the first time!

animal-testing in 60 seconds

WARNING – graphic, disturbing images obtained by PETA. Watch their powerful video released June 2013 here: Monkeys struggling and screaming in terror. Dogs driven mad, pacing in circles. “Animal Testing in 60 Seconds” reveals the horrifying reality of experimentation on animals—and the heartbreaking cruelty PETA is committed to stopping.

inside the monkey lab: the ethics of testing on animals

This article was published in July 2015.
“Although attempting to represent a balanced view, (and some comments, including the perceived benefits gained from using animals can certainly be challenged) includes a rare opportunity to see footage of inside a primate breeding and research facility – Biomedical Primate Research Centre – in Holland.Considering the willingness of this institute to open their doors to public scrutiny we can safely assume that this is one of the “better” facilities in the world, yet it is interesting that the researchers  acknowledge the experience of the animals as being “deeply unpleasant”. Due to the secrecy within the Australian industry we can only wonder how our treatment of these animals compares.  Obtaining information about primate research in Australia is often difficult, but we do know that research into HIV and infectious disease (as discussed in the video) is being done here – on primates.Viewer discretion is advised as some scenes may be upsetting, however I do urge you to watch this video.  We must not let out of sight mean out of mind.”
For more information on the use of primates in research in Australia please visit Ban Primate Experiments (Australia).

Animals as Products

Did you know that there is an entire industry around breeding, raising and selling laboratory animals? It’s big business. Here’s an example of one such company, based in Australia:

Australian BioResources is a state of the art facility for breeding and holding research mice, owned and operated by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research on behalf of the medical research community in Australia. 

The facility provides capacity to house the rapidly increasing number of ‘lines’ or varieties of genetically modified mice that underpin progress in modern medical research.

These mouse colonies are critical for progress in research across all health priority areas, including cancer, mental illness, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.”

Globally, many breeds of animals are used including dogs, cats, monkeys, mice, rats, rabbits, sheep, pigs. These animals are often referred to as ‘products’, not animals.

One animal dies in a laboratory in the USA every second, in Japan every two seconds and in the UK every twelve seconds – British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). See Australia’s national statistics here.

Why a Beagle?Why a Beagle?

Beagles are preferred chiefly because of their docility (they are easy to handle) and because they have short hair (easy to maintain).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and the Preferred Dog is the BeagleDevelopment Guidelines for Testing of Chemicals (1993), which are the standard guidelines for the conduct of toxicity tests recognised by most regulatory authorities, specify that in certain common types of toxicity tests two species of animals should be used – one a rodent (eg rats or mice) the other a non-rodent. The preferred non-rodent is a dog and the preferred dog is the beagle.

Sarah Kite, of the BUAV said: “Beagles have become the laboratory’s favourite tool. They are very small docile animals who by their nature are also very sociable and like to be around humans. It is because of a simple fact like this that they are used. For instance can you imagine trying to feed something to a German Shepherd or test something out on a dog like that? Beagles are very obliging animals and not aggressive at all – they are the ideal lab animal.”

For more information into the plight of beagles are laboratory animals, please visit Beagle Freedom Project (USA) or Beagle Freedom Australia

Here in Melbourne Australia is one example of the ‘services’ available for lab animals at Monash University. The following has been lifted from Monash Animal Service:

Animal Procurement
Monash Animal Services are able to procure most species of laboratory animals on your behalf with ease. We have developed an extensive network of providers to ensure that we can obtain the best level of service and competitive pricing for all of your needs. We presently procure cats, guinea pigs, cane toads and a range of other species from around Australia and internationally, as required.

Animal Models
MAS breeds a growing variety of common species and strains at various barrier levels. Most strains of rats and mice are produced in our Maximum Barrier Rodent Breeding Facility, constructed in 2001. Barrier maintained rabbits are also available…

MAS also have facilities for the agistment of sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, non-human primates and exotic species such as cane toads.

Import and Export Service
Years of experience have made this service efficient with minimal complications. Animal Services have developed good relations with most International Suppliers along with shipping companies. The only work the researcher needs to do is fill out an “Import Request Form” – available from Animal Services. We do the rest…

Take the stress out of your next animal import or export shipment by choosing Monash Animal Services to do the work for you. Our experienced staff process hundreds of imports every year.

The following text and photos were taken from actual online catalogues of American breeders of animals for research:


CRP offers four purpose-bred canine models to meet your protocol needs. CRP canines are produced in ISO 9002-certified, AAALAC-accredited facilities and cared for by AALAS-certified technicians with oversight from on-site staff veterinarians. Production facilities are located throughout the continental United States allowing for efficient and timely delivery in our own environmentally controlled vehicles. Our Associated Services for dogs include preacclimation leash, sling, and treadmill training to routine procedures, and we can customize training to meet your specific needs.

CRP meets the needs of the biomedical research community by providing purpose-bred primates with defined health status. In addition to our domestic breeding operation, we have established a program that can supply you with purpose-bred, country of origin, nonhuman primates. These include cynomolgus from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines and rhesus from China. CRP also has facilities, capabilities, and experience in developing client-designed primate purchase and maturation holding contracts. A major international company with locations throughout the world, Harlan is a breeder and supplier of animals.
Nine species (beagles, marmosets, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, cats and hamsters) and over 225 stocks and strains of laboratory animals (including hybrid, mutant and transgenic animals) are produced.

Domestic Shorthair CatsDomestic Shorthair Cats A shorthaired, multicolored, disease-free feline which has been bred and socialized for biomedical research.

New Zealand White RabbitsNew Zealand White Rabbits New Zealand White rabbits are produced in a barrier production facility in an environment specifically designed to maintain and produce pathogen-free rabbits.

Below are extracts taken from the Company Daybook for just one of the stock units reveal a nightmarish existence for the dogs at Harlan UK – a catalogue of pain, misery, suffering and death.

“DH1106 killed – fight related injuries”

“5 males killed”

“5 males killed and 2 females killed”

“3 females killed”

“2 females killed”

“9 females killed”

“7 females killed”

“7 females killed”

“4 females killed”

“3 males killed”

“3 males killed”

“1 male killed – heart murmur”

“3 females killed – underweight”

“5 males killed”

“DJ0201 – bite wounds to rear legs”

“DJ0903 – bite wounds to right fore foot”

“DJ0930 – bite wound to right foreleg”

“DJ0260 – infected bite wound left hind leg”

“DJ0361 – bite wound to left fore foot”

“DJ0221 – bite wound to left shoulder and nose”

“DJ0291 – bite wounds to right leg”

“DJ876 – bite wound to left foreleg”

“10 females killed”

“8 females killed”

“10 females killed”

“8 females killed”

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