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Dog and cat experiments at MSD Animal Health, United Kingdom

Our investigation uncovered the shocking use of very young puppies and kittens in animal experiments in a UK laboratory

Two beagle Puppies in cage behind bars

A Cruelty Free International investigation in 2013 uncovered the shocking use of very young puppies and kittens in animal experiments in a UK laboratory.

The eight month investigation was carried out at an MSD Animal Health laboratory. It revealed that animals as young as 4 weeks to 6 months old were being used in research for animal vaccines.

After being used in animal experiments, the puppies and kittens were killed and their bodies cut up. Our undercover video graphically shows the pitiful plight of these very young animals, including puppies becoming distressed and crying out during the taking of blood and lethal injections.  

WARNING video contains footage that some viewers may find upsetting

Our findings

Tests carried out on puppies as young as 4 weeks and kittens as young as 8 weeks old.

The routine killing of puppies from 5 weeks of age and kittens less than 6 months old.

Puppies taken away from their mothers, some at just 4 weeks of age, to be used in tests.

The killing of healthy female adult beagles, who no longer served a purpose once their puppies were taken away for tests.

A lack of effort to find homes for those adult and puppy beagles who were "no longer required". 

Cats and dogs killed

At MSD Animal Health, after beagle mums gave birth, most were only allowed to nurse their babies for a few weeks.  Used as breeding machines, once the experiment on their puppies was due to start they no longer served a purpose.

Shockingly, rather than find a loving home for these dogs to live out the rest of their lives in freedom, the company just killed them.

Sadly, thousands of dogs and hundreds of cats are used in research every year in the UK. Yet despite widespread public concern, because of the secrecy surrounding animal research very little is known about the suffering they are forced to endure. 

It is a little known but heart-breaking fact that hundreds of animals ‘no longer required’ by the animal research industry are simply killed rather than being found loving homes. Find out more about our campaign to save dogs.

What happened next?

The UK Home Office investigated the laboratory following the submission of our report to them, however, whilst not disputing many of our claims including those about failure to rehome the dogs, severe suffering and lack of over night care, they exonerated the laboratory.

However, the Home Office did produce guidance on how to rehome animals the following year.