The First Rehoming of Laboratory Beagles in Finland: The Complete Process From Socialisation Training to Follow-Up

Scientific Journal Articles

The fate of experimental animals represents an ethical dilemma and a public concern. In the EU, Directive 2010/63/EU allows the rehoming of former experimental animals instead of euthanasia. However, to our knowledge, there are no previous reports of rehoming Beagles in Finland. This study aimed to describe the process behind the first rehoming of laboratory Beagles at the University of Helsinki and evaluate its success. In total, 16 former laboratory Beagles were rehomed in collaboration with animal protection organisations and the University of Helsinki. The dogs had participated in animal cognition studies and had undergone minor procedures during the development of a veterinary drug. While the dogs were still in the laboratory, a socialisation training programme lasting several months was undertaken. Through surveying of the adoptive owners, and interviewing the various stakeholders involved (researchers, animal protection organisations and animal caretakers), the overall process was evaluated, including: the socialisation training programme; the comparative success of rehoming younger compared to older animals; the criteria that were used for the selection of the adoptive owners; and the eventual success of rehoming the dogs with the new owners. The majority of the dogs adjusted well to their new home environment. Euthanasia at the end of their experimental use would have been unnecessary and possibly against the objectives of European directives.

Hänninen, L. and Norring, M. (2020). The First Rehoming of Laboratory Beagles in Finland: The Complete Process from Socialisation Training to Follow-up. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, 48(3), 116-126. DOI: 10.1177/0261192920942135


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Topic(s): Breeder Resource, Retiring & Rehoming: Behavioral Considerations, Retiring & Rehoming: Environmental Considerations, Retiring & Rehoming: Health Considerations