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In the fairy tale, the three little pigs had to beware of the wolf. But when they are test animals for cosmetics and medical procedures, they might prefer to take their chances with the wolf! The Beagle Freedom Project has recently branched out to rescue three Yucatan hairless pigs from the tortures of being test animals for human vanity.
The three little pigs currently reside at the Beagle Freedom Project and are named Reba, Rosie, and Ruby. The five-month-old pigs have adjusted well to their new freedom, and they are reportedly very social and affectionate and love to sit in the sun and take long naps.
Unfortunately, physically, the pigs show signs of their abuse with multiple scars and incision marks as well as protruding foreign devices just beneath their skin.
After a complete evaluation of the pigs’ health, they will live out the rest of their lives on a private residence along the California coastline, just north of Los Angles.
The rescue of these three pigs marks the Beagle Freedom Projects 19th rescue since its formation in 2010. To date the organization has saved 154 dogs, eight rabbits, two cats and now three pigs!
These three pigs are not a rarity in the animal testing world. PETA reports pigs are commonly used in scientific testing due to their anatomic similarities to humans. For this reason, the U.S. Military even uses live pigs in their trauma-training courses, where the pigs are shot and set on fire to simulate a battlefield medical emergency. Sometimes, the pigs are even kept alive for hours while the medics train.
The American Anti-Vivisection Society reports that 57,000 pigs were used in research in 2006, which is the latest year with data. Sixty-six percent of those pigs were used in research which caused significant pain or distress. Pigs are used in so many experiments for different human health issues that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests $100 million or more annually in swine-based research.
If you want to prevent these atrocities from occurring to such intelligent animals, there are a number of things you can do including:
- Being a responsible consumer and buying cruelty-free products. (You can use this site Go Cruelty Free to help you.)
- Supporting associations and groups that combat animal testing activities and are fighting to end them including PETA, The American Anti-Vivisection Society , and the Beagle Freedom Project.
- Demanding that the NIH stop their heavily funded research on pigs (as the technology is there to encourage alternative testing using simulations and even human cells in test tubes!).
- Actively supporting legislation that reduces animal testing or stops it.
- Or combining all the above “take action” steps to make the ultimate impact.
Find out more about the rescue efforts of the Beagle Freedom Project here.
Image Source: Susan Weingartner for the Beagle Freedom Project