Petition against use of beagles in Spanish drug trials collects 1.3m signatures

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Almost 1.3 million signatures have been collected by a petition against the use of beagles in Spanish drug trials

An online petition against the use of beagles in experimentation by the Vivotecnia laboratories in Madrid commissioned by the University of Barcelona (UB) has collected around 1,300,000 signatures.
This initiative, which began one month ago, was the idea of Ruben Garcia, and Cristina Espinach, who together, on Thursday, February 10, symbolically “delivered” the results of their campaign to the facilities at Barcelona Science Park.
As the couple explained to the media, in a “symbolic” act, these signatures were delivered ‘telepathically’, since no one from the laboratories, or the UB wanted to receive them.
“Everyone has turned a deaf ear, including this Thursday, those responsible for the project, who have not wanted to receive us, or even confirm the receipt of signatures”, lamented Espinaca, while acknowledging the incredible number of signatories on their petition.
He added that he will only be satisfied when all the dogs are released from the pharmaceutical experiments, for which, he pointed out, most of the puppies will end up dying.
“I found out about this matter around Christmas and it wouldn’t let me sleep. I thought I had to do something. We have called all the administrations with no response, we no longer know which door to go to”, Espinaca explained.
Espinaca, motivated by the animalist cause, registered the petition on without knowing that Ruben Garcia had also done the same a few hours before. After realising it, they decided to join forces, which has allowed them to collect 1,290,000 signatures throughout the world in just three weeks.
Although Espinach is aware that in some circumstances animal experimentation is legal, she defends that “there are alternatives” with which the drug in question could be investigated, for liver fibrosis.
“On top of that, it’s an experiment at the UB that we all pay for. The prestige of the UB is at stake. I don’t know how it can lend itself to that”, she denounced.
Given the controversy generated, the University of Barcelona reported on February 2 that, according to European regulations, before testing any treatment in humans it is mandatory to carry out a toxicity study in two species of mammals, and it is imperative that one of the two not be a rodent species.
That is why it is necessary to carry out the treatment with some other type of animal – in this case, “beagle” dogs – to know if it could later be tested in humans.
Barcelona Science Park does not have a lab for this type of experimentation which is why it put this part of the study out to tender, for which the Vivotecnia company from Madrid was the successful bidder.
Next March, the project will be carried out at the Vivotecnia headquarters in Madrid, and in the first part of the study, the drug will be administered to six dogs, which the UB has agreed to put up for adoption when the study ends.
However, they acknowledge that in the second part of the study “it will be imperative to carry out a study of the tissues of 32 dogs, by means of post-mortem”.
“Currently there is no known alternative method to the use of these animals that can replace the methodology of this type of research”, pointed out scientists from both the Park and the university.
They highlighted that the Confederation of Scientific Societies of Spain recognises that the use of animals is “a necessary practice to advance the study of treatments, surgical techniques or vaccines”, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]