Shocking images appearing to show cigarettes being tested on puppies have taken to Instagram this week.
The images are of beagles wearing masks, which leads us to believe they are breathing tobacco smoke.
The Instagram post shared by Karmagawa has so far received 2.7 million likesAnd 77,000 comments denouncing the use of beagle puppies to test cigarettes.
But, with the dangers of tobacco smoke now widely proven, is smoking really still tested on animals, or are these pictures misleading?
After our recent article Debunking an Instagram post that stated that a tree would be planted for every pet photo shared, we decided to check if these images actually show what they say they do.
Is tobacco still tested on beagles?
Tobacco testing on dogs was banned in the UK in 1997, followed by a ban on animal testing of cosmetics in 1998.
In Europe, tobacco testing on animals is banned in Belgium, Estonia, Germany and Slovakia, but there is no EU-wide ban.
“Unfortunately, as long as the experimenters fill out the right documents, there are very few limits to what can be done to animals in laboratories. Thus, under European Directive 2010/63 / EU, experiments involving the development and testing of tobacco products may be permitted under certain circumstances, ”explains PETA.
Cosmetic testing on animals was banned in the EU in 2013, and PETA hopes tobacco testing will follow soon.
“There is no obligation to test tobacco products on animals within the EU and as such nothing prevents the EU from banning the use of animals to test tobacco products. tobacco. In fact, there are human-relevant options available to researchers who want more information on the effects of smoking, ”they say.
Animal testing is no longer required by law for tobacco products in the United States either, although, like in the EU, there is no outright ban.
PETA estimates that “2 million animals are used worldwide for inhalation toxicity testing” each year.
However, this practice is now typically done using mice, so we asked PETA if they were aware of any recent cases specifically involving beagles.
“PETA is not aware of any recent studies using dogs in cigarette inhalation experiments, particularly for the development of tobacco products, which is banned in some countries.
“However, basic and translational research is not prohibited for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) where they often use mice that have been exposed to cigarette smoke to cause the disease.”
So if the beagle pictures do not show recent tobacco tests, what do they show and what is the source of the pictures?
Where do the images of beagle come from?
The article is about the Japanese ban on testing pesticides on dogs, which came into effect in 2018, so it is likely that the photos of the beagle puppies are from a Japanese pesticide test.
Even more misleading is the image of the cigarette machine, sitting there to persuade us that cigarettes are tested on dogs, below.
The source of the image, discovered by @userusernomi, is the Flickr account from the Yessmoke laboratory in Italy – which tests the quality of tobacco products. The machine in question tests the burn rate of cigarettes and has absolutely no connection with animal testing.
Who are Karmagawa?
Karmagawa is a charity created by Timothy Skyes, a self-made millionaire from the United States who built his fortune trading penny stocks. Skyes now teaches penny stock trading through their website and founded Karmagawa, an online clothing store, which claims it donates 100% of its profits to charity.
Karmagawa’s post says this is a replay from an animal rights charity @animalliberaction, although it looks like their original post has now been deleted.
Although debunked in the comments, Karmagawa’s post remains online, with the company insisting that animal cigarette testing is still ongoing. The post was also shared on their Twitter account.
What other products are tested on beagles?
While tobacco testing on beagles is probably very rare – although many countries do not have an outright ban – dogs are involved in other product testing as well.
Beagles are one of the most widely used dog breeds in animal testing labs due to their docile temperament and size. They also have an obedient nature and tend to have decent sized litters which makes them easy to breed.
In the UK Beagles are bred for drug testing experiments, which is required by UK law. All new drugs in the UK must be tested on at least two different species of mammals, and one of those animals must be a large non-rodent. Due to their size, beagles share some similarities with humans, which is why they are used so regularly.
The Animals Act 1986 states that no animal testing should be done if there is a realistic alternative, but with animal testing built into UK law it is hard to avoid.
Beagle Camp and UK animal testing ban
Just this week animal rights charity Beagle Camp demonstrated outside MBR (Marshall BioResources) in Cambridge – a facility that breeds animals for biomedical research and animal testing – alongside pop star Will Young. In fact, on Young’s sign you can see the same photo that is used in Karmawaga’s Instagram post.
The protest, which started in June this year, has been going on every day since.
“Will Young supported us for a few months and said he would come and help us on Tuesday as we suspected Cambridgeshire Police would come together to allow MBR to send more vans of puppies to their deaths,” a door said. – speech from Camp Beagle.
“Will was there for a few hours – the police were present and on the scene. Sadly, just after Will left the site, Cambridgeshire Police arrived in force to allow two vans of crying puppies to be taken to the labs to end their lives.
“This is all to the detriment of the UK taxpayer – it amounts to a minimum of £ 250,000 (€ 300,000) in costs. Police have confirmed that none of this is covered by the US company several million euros MBR Acres. “
Camp Beagle calls for all puppies to be released and relocated – in a manner similar to this american case in 2019 – and for the UK to rethink its approach to animal testing, which it says is performing very poorly.
MEPs debate animal testing
The charity urges the public to write to their members of parliaments (MPs) and encourages them to register for EDM 175, which calls for a public scientific hearing on animal testing – 90 MEPs have already registered.
“We now know for sure that cruel experiments on dogs totally fail in the search for human treatments and cures. 99% of all dog experiments are for human medical research – so hearing the EDM 175 scientifically is vital if we are to address this problem at the root.
If you want to learn more about Camp Beagle’s current campaign to end animal testing You can do it here.