Date: September 23, 2023
Lori Cohen, Executive Director of The Beagle Alliance, was invited to speak at a Meeting and Election Rally at the Manitoba Legislature.
Her speech was as follows:
I want to thank Debbie Wall and The Winnipeg Humane Society for organizing this event – and to all of you who believe that animal welfare is an important topic.
The mission of The Beagle Alliance is to rehome animals from research facilities in Canada.
While we also advocate for non-animal use in science, there are animals currently in laboratories across Canada whose welfare we are concerned with and who could go onto live in safety and freedom after study.
Our experience is with beagles, who are the most used breed of dog in testing globally.
We know that they can be made very sick and disabled while in these labs. They live in cages and their treatment falls short of what is normally required under Canadian anti-cruelty laws. We know that most of them are bred right into science. and never see the outside world.
They can suffer from PTSD and anxiety REFLECTING the trauma they experience. They have nightmares, they are triggered and the react the way we do – by fight, flight, or freeze. They have never been permitted to live like dogs as we know – who run up to us with love and affection. Instead, they cower in corners and when adopted or fostered, it can take weeks and months for them to even wag their tail or play with a toy.
CLOSE YOUR EYES. IMAGINE YOUR DOG BEING HARMED. IT’S A HORRIFYING THOUGHT FOR ALL OF US.
To date, The Beagle Alliance has placed 52 dogs into foster and adopter homes, 31 of those were from laboratory testing. Those 31 beagles were from facilities in the United States.
We have reached out to both public and private facilities in Canada with little to no response. None of these laboratories are required by law to release animals after study.
Over 10,000 dogs were reported to be used by The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) in research in 2021, which is the latest statistic.
The CCAC is the only regulatory body in Canada overseeing these laboratories, but this is voluntary and private facilities who have their own funding need not ever report.
These are 3 of the issues concerning our organization.
- There is no federal law governing the animals used in science and only one province has a dedicated statue concerning animal use in science – The Animals For Research Act of Ontario.
We would like to see a ban on THE INTENTIONAL killing of animals used in science unless welfare is indicated. This includes both during their scientific use and after.
That means when their scientific usefulness ends, there is mandatory re-homing for eligible animals to suitable homes or organizations.
We know from experience that as traumatized as some of these dogs have been, they are also resilient and forgiving and can go on to live more years outside of the cage than inside. They become family.
- Greater transparency. As taxpayers and concerned citizens we should have access to which research facilities are currently using animals, in which way, how many and what species – and what clear benefits have been gained from these studies. Are animals in science truly helping humans in this country?
Let me add that this is not a criticism of the CCAC – it is the responsibility of our legislators. In a democratic society, our government is accountable to Canadians.
- Funding becomes available for facilities developing non-animal methods in science. We recently attended the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences hosted by the CCAC and the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods. Future technologies were already being discussed by delegates from other countries.
It is time as a province and a country that we stop being so secretive about the use of animals in science and more freely acknowledge that animal testing happens here. WE can do things differently and we need to come together discuss how to best care for these ANIMALS.
This said, we are not asking that all parties agree on offering animals the same rights as humans, we are asking that the welfare of animals be a serious consideration when representing your constituents and that unnecessary harm is being reduced while we move to more humane methods in science– and we need to do this without judgment and together as a community.
Our government is a voice for the people –
and WE are a voice for the animals.
Rally exposes suffering of animals
Author: Donna Minkus
Date: October 18, 2023
In a followup article to the rally before the Manitoba Legislature on September 23, 2023 Donna Minkus recaps the many speakers who came to advocate on behalf of the animals.
“The common denominator with each of the speakers was a lack of government will to make necessary changes to care for and protect animals that are raised for profit, which suffer through their short lives up to and including their transport to slaughter.” Donna Minkus
Rally intends to make animal suffering an election issue
Author: Donna Minkus
Date: September 6, 2023
A group of animal rights advocates have taken it upon themselves to educate — and hopefully influence — politicians on how woefully inadequate animal protection laws are in Canada, and in particular Manitoba.
Advocates looking to make animal rights a key issue at the ballot box
Author: Edward Djan, Video Journalist
Date: September 2023
Advocates are using the provincial election as an opportunity to advance animal rights, urging voters to consider the issue at the ballot box. Edward Djan has more.