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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tear-jerking moment lab beagles see sunlight for the first time as they are released from cages

By Wil Longbottom

Freedom: This male beagle takes a tentative step outside his cage for the first time in his life after he was freed from laboratory testing

This is the heart-breaking moment male beagles kept in captivity inside a laboratory were released from their cages for the first time.

Scared and visibly unsure of leaving the confines of their cages, the dogs were among many being used for lab testing in Spain before it went out of business.

A total of 72 beagles were rescued by members of Animal Rescue Media Education (ARME) during the operation - most of whom had never been outside their cages.

Terrified: The face of this beagle says it all as he contemplates freedom for the first time

Timid: After setting foot on grass, this male beagle is unsure of his new surroundings

Gary Smith, ARME's Beagle Freedom Project spokesman, said: 'We've been told they lived on per cage in rooms of 10 beagles, but they never had any physical interaction with one another.

'They've been in kennels since they were rescued about a week ago, but aside from that, they've spent most of their lives locked up.'

The rescue operation took place in June, and the animals' first steps of freedom were posted on YouTube after they were recovered.

Forty of the beagles arrived in Los Angeles, U.S., last week where they will be put up for adoption.

Cruel: The male dogs, aged between four and seven, were among 72 rescued from the laboratory in Spain after it went bust

Set free: Beagles have been used in laboratory testing of products in the past because they are docile and forgiving

Confined: The dogs may never have been outside or on grass before, and most were understandably reluctant to step outside their cages

The remainder of the dogs, all aged between four and seven and bred in captivity, have already been adopted in Europe.

Beagles are often used in lab testing of products, including cosmetics, because of their 'docile and trusting' personalities.

Mr Smith added: 'Beagles are incredibly sweet, docile, companion animals.

'The downfall is, the same reason the beagle is a perfect companion animal, is the same reason they're used for testing.'



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