MU Researchers Blind and Kill Beagles in Failed Experiment

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) received an expert statement criticizing the University of Missouri – Columbia after a failed experiment left six dogs dead.

The rescue organization is suing researchers at the university who purposely blinded six beagles and then killed them after a project failed.

Researchers poured an experimental acid into the dogs’ corneas to test a treatment for corneal ulcers.

Dr. Nedim C. Buyukmihci, DVM, is a veterinarian ophthalmologist, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, and Emeritus Professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

In Buyukmihci’s opinion, the experiment performed at Mizzou was painful to the dogs and poorly designed.

The authors of the study could have made a “real contribution,” he writes, by using a population of patients that would benefit from the treatment, rather than healthy ones who would “only suffer and then have their lives taken from them gratuitously.”

“The moral issues of using, causing to make suffer and killing of non-consenting beings aside, this particular experiment was an egregious waste of life with no redeeming aspects,” Buyukmihci writes.

CLICK HERE to read Buyukmihci’s full statement.

Mizzou sent a statement earlier this week saying in part, “All studies were performed in accordance with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Statement for the Use of Animals in Ophthalmic and Vision Research and were approved by the MU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.” The statement also says the animals were treated humanely and “every effort was made to ensure dogs were as comfortable as possible during the tests to study the effectiveness of the new drug treatment.”

In the coming months, BFP, in a news release, says it plans to work with Missouri state legislators to propose laws that would “improve transparency and accountability, as well as to mandate the post-research adoption of any dogs and cats used in experimentation.”

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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