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Sep 05, 2016 10:09 AM EDT

University of Missouri Euthanizes 6 Beagles: School Defends Act

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Pet and animal lovers are in shock after hearing a reputable university euthanizing six beagles. The University of Missouri conducted a research that had one year old beagles anesthetized. But before they were anesthetized, these beagles had their left eyes intentionally damaged. Half of them were given a topical acid treatment to find out if the eye healed. The study prompted the dogs were needed to be put down.

The study was detailed in April in the Journal of Veterinary Ophthalmology to find a treatment for damaged corneas.

A national pet adoption group protested the experimentation of the six female beagles, according to Fox News. The California-based Beagle Freedom Project is suing the University of Missouri over $82,000 in fees. The experiment, according to VP of BFP, Kevin Chase is cruel. He points out that the dog's top cornea layer is filled with thousands of tiny nerve endings.

"Caging dogs in a laboratory, intentionally damaging their corneas, and then killing them is about as ethical as picking people off the street and hitting them over the head with a pipe in order to test new concussion treatments," Chase said.

The university released a statement saying that the study meant to develop painless or non invasive treatments and insists that the experiment "improves the quality of life for both animals and humans." The school explained that they were anesthetized during the whole procedure and were given pain medications for their discomfort.

"Animal research is only done when scientists believe there is no other way to study the problem, and our researchers respect their research animals greatly and provide the utmost care," the statement read. The University of Missouri still stands by its form.

Chase is eager to find out the details of the whole study. "Had they just given us the records for current protocols, we probably wouldn't have dug that deep," says Chase.

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