This is an urgent call to action. 400 beagles are facing an uncertain future in Sweden. They are currently in Astra Zeneca Kennels in Örkelljunga, a site which is about to close down.

Campaigners from Animal Rights Alliance (djurrättsalliansen), dog trainers and dog psychologists in Sweden have been pushing for the dogs to be rehomed, but Astra Zeneca intend to ship the vast majority of these dogs to the UK to undergo cruel experimentation. The dogs are set to be transported to Astra Zeneca’s site at Alderley Park in Cheshire.

Brown Dog Campaigns condemns Astra Zeneca for their irresponsibility and lack of careful consideration over the welfare of hundreds of beagles they intend to traffic to the UK from Sweden. We offer our full support to djurrättsalliansen to put a stop to this.

Scientific studies have shown that transporting beagles is incredibly stressful and inhumane even when the current guidelines are adhered to.

A working group report (http://la.rsmjournals.com/content/39/1/1.full.pdf) written by Pfizer, Huntingdon Life Sciences, the Animal Air Transport Association, Charles River, The RSPCA and others states that transportation is a significant stressor that can impact not only upon animal welfare but the scientific validity of studies using animals that have been transported, especially by air.

The report also cites factors likely to induce stress for lab animals to which include: handling, confinement in unfamiliar containers, movement, vibrations, physical stress from maintaining balance, disruption of light and darkness, fluctuations in temperature and humidity, unfamiliar sights and sounds.

Transporting beagles is particularly stressful, and research has shown that their heart rates attain the highest levels during loading and unloading, and this is before they even get crammed into the cargo of an airplane with high noise levels where they do not have access to a vet if they are taken ill. (Kuhn et al. 1991, Dalin et al. 1993, Wolfensohn 1997, Bergeron et al. 2002, Knowles et al. 1995, Bergeron et al. 2002)

Therefore it is wholly irresponsible for Astra Zeneca to even consider trafficking hundreds of beagles to the UK. The beagles that Astra Zeneca experiment on are already committed to a life of needless suffering and torment, and to add to that extreme stress is unimaginable.

We call on all those involved to rethink this ludicrous idea, and re-home the beagles as a humane alternative to trafficking. Animal rights and welfare organisations are ready and on-hand to assist with rehoming.

Please watch the djurrättsalliansen video:

Take Action:

  • Please sign the Occupy For Animals petition calling on these dogs to be placed in to loving homes https://www.change.org/petitions/astrazeneca-please-set-the-beagles-free
  • Share the link to the petition via your Facebook and Twitter account
  • Send polite e-mails asking for compassion to be employed and for Astra Zeneca to release their beagles to loving homes: kontakt@astrazeneca.com, IR@astrazeneca.com
  • Visit the campaign website and facebook page to find out more about the beagles: www.djurrattsalliansen.se and www.facebook.com/Djurrattsalliansen
  • Share the photos below of the beagles currently waiting to meet their fate. The photos were taken on 01/01/13 – and if these beagles are not saved they will be experimented on in the UK
  • Please write to your M.P and ask them to take action to prevent unnecessary suffering to lab animals. Ask them to investigate the importation of these beagles to the UK.
  • Please write to the Home Office under the freedom of information act, and ask to know whether the kennels in Örkelljunga are approved and licenced to breed dogs for the UK, ask how many have been imported from here in the last five years and ask whether they have sanctioned the importation of these particular beagles to the UK - FoIRequests@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk