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Animal Equality supporters rescue 36 dogs from vivisection breeding facility Harlan Interfauna, Spain

Animal Equality supporters rescue 36 dogs from vivisection breeding facility Harlan Interfauna, Spain

On the night of January 1st 2011, anonymous supporters of Animal Equality rescued 36 dogs from the vivisection breeding facility Harlan Interfauna, situated in Catalonia, Spain, according to information in an anonymous communiqué received by Animal Equality in Spain.

Harlan Interfauna is a multinational company with centres in Germany, Holland, Italy, France, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, Mexica, the USA, Japan, South Korea and Israel dedicated to breeding animals for their use in experiments. The animals bred in the installations in Catalonia, (dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits) are sent to laboratories in companies, university faculties, hospitals and military complexes all over the world in which they are forced to ingest toxic substances, are induced with tumours or infected with viruses, given illnesses and addictions, have their bones sectioned or their glands or organs extracted, and so on.

According to the Ministry for Marine and Rural Environments, 1,403,290 animals died in Spanish laboratories in 2009, which represents an increase of 56.3% on the previous year. However, this figure does not reflect the real number of victims of experimentation in Spain due to the fact that this report does not count the numbers of invertebrate animals, who are also capable of suffering and possess their own interests in living, in which case the exact figure – still unknown – has to be much greater.

Animal Equality rejects animal experimentation due to the fact that it is an unjust practice based on species discrimination. We tend to think that their interests are not as important as human interests and therefore, we can legitimately thwart them if we can obtain some benefit or profit from doing so. However, there is no motive that justifies this difference in consideration. Preferences towards members of our own group (species, sex or race etc.) are irrational and arbitrary, and therefore should be rejected as well as their consequences.

Our rejection of animal experimentation does not translate to the end of scientific investigation, which can develop without their use. In the few cases in which there are no alternatives currently available, we advocate for the end of such experiments and investment in the development and approval of non-animal methods. We do not advocate for a change in the conditions in which the animals in breeding centres and laboratories live and are utilised, since we consider that all forms of experimentation with animals are illegitimate.

Every one of these thirty-six individuals rescued is a reason for celebration. We wish to demonstrate openly our support for the anonymous activists who carried out this action and we want to announce that we will soon be launching an awareness-raising campaign in Spain to move society towards the end of animal experimentation.

Note: Animal Equality is not responsible for this action and therefore does not claim to be its author. We have no knowledge of the authors nor do we wish to know. Any activities carried out by anonymous supporters of Animal Equality are wholly the responsibility of those individuals and they are not linked to the organisation. Animal Equality, as an animal rights organisation, wishes to distribute the communiqué, which we publish in full, because we consider that it contains information of public interest.

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Media contacts:

Sharon Nuñez | Spokesperson Igualdad Animal / Animal Equality
Telephone: (+00 34) 609 980 196

E-mail: [email protected]


Thirty six dogs rescued from Harlan Interfauna breeding facility in Saint Feliu de Codines

"Thirty six dogs have been rescued by a group of animal rights activists from the vivisection breeder Harlan Interfauna, located on the outskirts of the Catalan town of Sant Feliu de Codines, Spain, offering a new life to these animals this new year.

Once inside we documented the miserable life of these animals and start preparing for their transportation. Permanently locked in the kennels without being able to run, play, explore their environment or socialise with each other, several of them had sores –as can be seen in the images we filmed that night- since they had to sleep in the middle of winter in direct contact with a cold concrete floor covered in their own faeces and urine.

One of the rescued dogs was living in total isolation without any kind of contact with the other animals. This is a form of psychological torture for social animals who need the company of others. Some were so anxious to have some form of contact and stimuli after being in those kennels for nearly four years that they desperately tried to touch us through the bars and attract our attention in any way possible. When we entered their kennel, they excitedly jumped onto us looking for affection. A few minutes later they happily accompanied us out of that place on the first walk in freedom they had taken in their whole lives.

Given their mental and physical health, all rescued animals have been examined by vets. Some required all our attention to help them overcome the constant fear they were living in. All of them have already been brought to safe homes where they will be loved and protected. We do not know how long it will take until they trust humans again but we are sure that the attention and care they are receiving in their new homes will manage to find its way into their hearts and they will be able to live happy and safe for the remainder of their lives.

After a harsh life in the Catalan facilities of Harlan Interfauna – no different from Green Hill in Italy or Marshall in the USA amongst others – an even worse fate was waiting for these animals: being transported to vivisection labs in which they would be permanently locked in cages, only leaving them to be used in experiments. All of them were born with the sentence of becoming victims of toxicity tests, biomedical and veterinary research, or university and military experiments that would finally end their lives.

The activists who have carried out this action are vegans and reject speciesism as well as any kind of animal exploitation, including vivisection as in this case, the consumption of animal products, their use in shows or for our clothing. We consider that the only important characteristic in order to respect someone is sentience, their capacity to feel, not the species, sex or race they belong to. We want to advance towards a society free from discrimination where non-human animals are not regarded as inferior beings to be used as resources, but individuals whose rights deserve full respect.

We will continue rescuing animals and denouncing their exploitation until the last cage is empty and other forms of oppression against animals become part of the past.

Finally, we want to dedicate this action to all the activists who are working to end vivisection and remember all the animals who are right now in breeding facilities and laboratories."

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