As scientists prepare to put down six dogs used in a lab experiment, petitioners are pleading to prevent their deaths.
The six Labradors – named Venus, Milia, Mimosa, Luna, Lotus and Zuri – will be killed at the end of a medical trial which was designed to test dental implants in a Swedish laboratory.
So far, as part of the experiment, all the dogs have had more than a third of their teeth extracted and replaced with implants.
Their deaths are part of the design of the experiment, researchers argue, despite 80,000 people having signed a petition to put a stop to the killing.
The group of two-year-old dogs will be put down at the University of Gothenburg so researchers can continue to test how the implants alter bone and tissue.
But the Djurrättsalliansen, which translates as the Animal Rights Alliance, is trying to prevent the six dogs’ deaths from happening at the end of their treatment.
Meanwhile, the debate has reached somewhat of a stalemate, as protestors continue to make their case outside the lab.
Göran Landberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at the university, told The Local:
It’s difficult for us to reach a consensus on these issues, but dialogue is important. As we see it, animal experiments are still needed in some kinds of research, to develop new medicines and treatment methods and gain basic knowledge.
Under Swedish regulations animal testing is allowed only if researchers can prove it is the only way to obtain the information and receive approval – as this medical experiment has.
Dogs were selected for these dental tests because of the similarity between their oral bacteria and human saliva. Moreover, the university argues, this particular test is being carried out by a number of qualified professionals, including vets.
One independent vet, who isn’t working on the medical testing, told TV4‘s Nyhetsmorgon he did ‘not understand’ this treatment of Venus, Milia, Mimosa, Luna, Lotus and Zuri.
Mark Collins said removing a Labrador’s teeth requires great force and would put the dogs in a lot of pain, adding this would leave the dogs ’emotionally broken’ in light of the emotional bond dogs are known to share with humans.
Furthermore, the Animal Rights Alliance investigation has put forth allegations of unnecessary animal cruelty relating to the pup called Venus, saying medical notes revealed she was being treated for ‘lying sores on her elbows.’
They also allege the dog was being kept in a cold room.
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