Saturday, October 19, 2013

Praise the Lord, I'm Free at Last - São Roque

Photo credit:
Early on Monday morning, about 100 activists invaded Instituto Royal in São Roque (about 2 hours from São Paulo) and rescued beagles who were being used in pharmaceutical testing. These beagles are now being hidden in activist houses, because there is a rumored judicial process that requires the dogs to be returned to the laboratory. 

Ten hours later, a facebook page for adopting one of the 178 beagles rescued was created. Four days later, there are 300,000 fans of this page (see link above). Today there is a protest in front of the lab. The protests in June and July in this country were largely organized through social media. I am amazed always at its power here.

As for the beagles, their future is in limbo. It all depends on judicial process. I admit to more than a little naivete on animal testing--I had thought that it was pretty much forbidden on anything larger than rats (note the beagles are submitted to testing only after rats have been tested). But of course, that is shutting my eyes to the anti-venoms produced by horses being injected with snake, scorpion and spider venom. What do you choose? Drugs tested and produced with human tests or with animals? Which is worth more? Would you choose a dog over making a safe cancer drug for children? 

I don't have an answer, and it is hard to judge who is right in this one. But as my 13 year old labrador retriever snoozes by me, himself a miracle dog surviving only through the use of drugs (he is a cancer, epilepsy, canine tick disease and pancreatitis survivor), I know that his existence is allowed only through sacrificing other animals to the tests. It's not a comfortable feeling.

Photo credit: Folha de São Paulo 
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  1. Sorry for the late comment, I'm still catching up after a week away. Although I think it's really sad to see what those dogs were being used for, I think there's a definite need for some animal testing for pharmaceuticals. Where I draw the line is with cosmetics. I think there's no excuse for making animals suffer just for some foundation or mascara. I also think the testing lab needs to be held accountable for any mistreatment beyond the scope of the scientific testing they were supposed to carry out. Poor living conditions is one of those things.