Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark might be one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes and although Shakespeare wrote his iconic play Hamlet over four centuries ago, his famous quote is still applicable today.

Just when you thought the trade in laboratory animals could not get any murkier, through extensive research BFP UK have been able to uncover evidence that proves that Denmark is being used as a transportation hub for laboratory beagles being brought into the UK from the US laboratory breeders Marshall Bio Resources and Envigo.

Freedom of information requests conducted by Beagle Freedom Project UK [BFP UK] in both the UK and Denmark have revealed an extensive trade in the importation of beagles for research purposes: in 2021 a total of 711 beagle dogs were imported into the UK and in the first month of 2023, 128 dogs were flown into the UK.
One might imagine that a flight from airports close to the breeding facilities in the US direct to the UK would be the most efficient way of transporting beagles destined to be used in contract testing laboratories in the UK, but the answer appears to be an emphatic no.

Of course, contract testing labs are not known for putting the welfare of their animals first. What seems to have been devised as a better way, is to prolong the suffering of the beagles, yet to be used in cruel experiments in UK Labs, by cramming them into small crates and have them first air freighted to Copenhagen airport, often the airline of choice is the Scandinavian airline SAS, the flag carrier airline for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

The beagles exhausted from their journey are then transferred to another plane at Copenhagen airport before being flown to the UK airports Manchester and Humberside before beginning their journey by road to contract testing facilities in the UK.

How scary the whole journey must be for dogs that have hitherto never experienced the outside world having been confined to breeding sheds in the US, never allowed out, their first sight of freedom will be as they are loaded and unloaded onto an aircraft by a forklift truck on a pallet, with their fellow companions. Paperwork seen by us shows that beagles are being transported 2 dogs to a carrier.

Today, we can name and shame the breeders and the facilities involved in this perverse but legalised trafficking.

On 29th April 2022 96 Beagles were flown from the Envigo Cumberland breeding facility via Denmark to Envigo in Belton Leicestershire. The Envigo Cumberland facility had a search warrant executed against it 3 weeks later, on the 18th May for multiple breaches of animal welfare laws. On 21st May the Justice Department got a temporary restraining order that forbade the company from trafficking their remaining dogs. In July 2022, the facility was closed by a Federal Judge and the remaining 4000 dogs rehomed, BFP helping with the rehoming process. One of the dogs from Envigo being rehomed to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan.

The 1st December 2022 saw 43 dogs transported from Marshall Bio Resources in Rose County, New York State to Charles River Laboratories in Ormiston, East Lothian, Scotland.

This year begins with 32 dogs being transported on 5th January 2023 to LabCorp in Huntingdon via Denmark, from Marshall Bio Resources in New York State, although just 14 mins by road, another Marshall company, MBR Acres, probably the largest beagle breeder in Europe, is located.

Less than a week later on the 12th January, 32 dogs are sent to Charles River in Fleets Road, Tranent, Scotland again from Marshall Bio Resources in New York State.

On the 26th January and 2nd February 2023, a further 32 dogs on each day were transported from Marshall Bio Resources in New York State to Charles River in Fleets Road, Tranent, Scotland. 128 beagle dogs were transported into the UK in the first month of this year alone.

Something surely is rotten in not just Denmark but also in the UK, it becomes especially evident when you consider that Marshall Bio Resources has its own facilities here at MBR Acres in Cambridgeshire, it begs the question of why dogs are being put through additional torment when a Marshall Bio facility already exists in the UK. It also begs the question of why so many dogs were moved from the Envigo Cumberland Facility just 3 weeks prior to the facility effectively being closed with a restraining order, did they have a tip off as to what was coming? Perhaps, we will never know but one thing we do know is that the trade in laboratory dogs is a sordid and murky business that is for sure and one that needs to be stopped.