Beagles are one of the most popular dogs in American society today and they've enjoyed that popularity for quite some time. They are happy-go-lucky dogs, always wagging their tails, ready to make friends with whoever they meet. Proper breeding ensures the almost total lack of aggression in the Beagle breed and the easygoing nature that allows them to be great around kids who will jump on them and pull on their ears and tail. Unfortunately for the Beagle, these amiable traits have led to it being used in animal testing; in fact, for the same reasons that Beagles are chosen most often to be used in useful occupations, such as detection of contraband, they are chosen more often than any other breed for testing purposes.
Most dogs used in animal testing are actually bred to be scientific "guinea pigs", never having seen the outside world except for being transported from one facility to another; there are specific companies that specialize in breeding animals for testing purposes. The experiments in which Beagles are used are many and varied and include highly important biological research, applied environmental science and human and animal medicine; they have been used in experimental surgical and dental procedures as well as toxicology tests. In the US, they are also used for cosmetic testing while this practice is banned in the European Union. The FDA has also been known to use Beagles in the testing of certain chemical substances and food toxins.
Animal rights groups and other journalists have infiltrated testing and breeding facilities and have reported on the cruel treatment of Beagles before and during experimental procedures. Reports and videos claim that facility personnel beat the dogs, punching them and kicking them, scream at the dogs, deprive the dogs of food and water, etc. Facility personnel strongly deny these claims, stating that animal rights groups have an interest in exaggerating the conditions of the facilities to make scientists out to be monsters. The subject of animal testing remains controversial, as many agree that the testing of products and procedures on animals forms an important step in the development of means and measures to safeguard human health, as well as the health of the environment. Many doctors point out that animal testing has also led to improvements in veterinary medicine, benefiting animals themselves.
People who oppose animal testing claim that the testing itself is unnecessary, that there are other methods for ascertaining the validity and effects of a given product or procedure. They argue that testing on animals does not necessarily give an accurate picture of the outcome that would result when humans are involved. There is also the claim that the practice is not regulated well at all; if it were, scientists would not be beating Beagles. Even if there are cases where animal testing is necessary, there should be steps to prove this necessity and to ensure that the animals are treated as humanely as possible. Finally, there are certain groups that believe that animals have the same rights as humans and consequently it is immoral to subject animals to experimentation. The debate is highly controversial and shows no sign of being resolved in such a manner as to satisfy everyone.