Petition seeks to save labradors from being put down after having teeth replaced with human implants

Comedian Ricky Gervais and Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan back calls to save animals, which had third of their teeth pulled out

Chiara Giordano
Saturday 16 February 2019 16:54
Comments
Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

Celebrities have thrown their weight behind a petition to save six labradors from being killed once a medical trial for human dental implants ends.

Venus, Milia, Mimosa, Luna, Lotus and Zuri have had a third of their teeth pulled out and replaced with the implants at Gothenburg University, in Sweden.

They are being used in the experiment because dogs are understood to have similar saliva and oral bacteria to humans.

The two-year-old labradors will be put down by the end of the month so scientists can see what effect this has on their tissue and blood.

More than 84,000 people, including British comedian Ricky Gervais and Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan, have backed a petition calling for the dogs to be allowed to live.

However the Animal Rights Alliance, a Swedish organisation which set up the petition, said the animals would still be killed.

Göran Landberg, deputy vice-chancellor for research at Gothenburg University, told digital publisher The Local: “It’s difficult for us to reach a consensus on these issues, but dialogue is important.

Ricky Gervais

“As we see it, animal experiments are still needed in some kinds of research, to develop new medicines and treatment methods and gain basic knowledge.”

Vet Mark Collins told Swedish television network TV4 that the dogs would be “emotionally broken” by the treatment they have received because they develop a strong bond with humans.

The Animal Rights Alliance staged a protest outside the university’s laboratory for experimental medicine, where the trial has been taking place.

Researchers in Sweden must prove there is no alternative to animal testing to be granted permission by the Swedish board of agriculture.

Gothenburg University, which has approval, said it must follow guidelines to ensure that the welfare of the animals was monitored by vets and to ensure as few animals as possible were used.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in