Outraged animal lovers including an animal charity supported by Paul McCartney are in a race against the clock to halt the experimentation on and killing of 32 Beagle puppies.
An investigation conducted in part by Cruelty Free International, which is an animal protection advocacy group supported by Paul McCartney, Peter Dinklage, Joanna Lumley and Ricky Gervais, among others, brought to light horrific animal abuse allegedly taking place at the Vivotecnia laboratory in the Spanish capital Madrid last year, as seen in these photos.
And now it has emerged that the laboratory was contracted on 10th November 2021 by the Fundacio Parc Cientific de Barcelona, which is part of the University of Barcelona (UB), to test an anti-fibrotic drug on 32 Beagle puppies over the course of 28 days.
The puppies are set to be experimented on and put down on in March after having served their purpose, according to reports.
The aim of the experiment being conducted on them is to determine how much of the drug is necessary to kill half of them, according to elDiario.es, which first conducted the investigation into Vivotecnia last year, along with Cruelty Free International.
But the online newspaper reported that even after the results become available, the other half will also be put down, even if they are in good health.
Under Spanish legislation, cats and dogs that have been used in experiments must be put up for adoption if they are in good health instead of being euthanised, still according to elDiario.es.
There has been significant outcry on social media in Spain over the announcement that the beagles are set to be experimented on and put down.
But the UB, despite the ongoing legal proceedings against the laboratory, is apparently resisting calls to desist with the experiment.
The university has issued a statement in which it said animal experimentation “is only done when it is strictly unavoidable and always with the maximum ethical exigencies, so as to minimise the impact on the animals that form part of the experiments”.
One of the voices calling for the Beagle puppies to be saved is Cruelty Free International itself, which wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, 19th January: “We urge the University of Barcelona to immediately put rehoming plans in place for these Beagles.”
And even Barcelona mayor Ada Colau has added her voice to the chorus, asking the government of the Catalonia region to “exercise its powers” and writing personally to regional minister Teresa Jorda to ask her to prevent the killing of the puppies.
However, as the experiment will take place in the Madrid region and not Catalonia, Jorda does not have the jurisdiction to try to stop it from taking place.
It is currently unclear if enough of a public outcry can be whipped up in time to save the lives of the 32 Beagle puppies.