British Heart Foundation use the slogan "fighting for every heartbeat" - yet to the BHF some heartbeats matter a lot more than others. BHF were exposed for funding research involving 39 Labrador dogs at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands1.

Electrodes and a pacemaker were to be implanted into the dogs, with the pacemaker being used to stimulate heart failure for four to six weeks. After this period, the dogs were then due to undergo surgery, whereby their chests would be cut open and measurements taken via the electrodes. Finally, the dogs would be killed so that their hearts could be taken away for analysis. Their entire lives would be lived out in concrete rooms, never to see the light of day. By the research team's own admission, the experiment was due to cause severe distress and suffering. 

Dr. Andre Menache, veterinary surgeon explains: "Dogs’ cardiac systems are inherently different to ours; their hearts a poor model for human research. Animal researchers cannot seem to find an animal model that will reliably predict what will happen in humans. They simply get around this problem by highlighting the similarities between their chosen animal model and people, while conveniently ignoring the differences. Whatever occurred in the past, future advances rely on replacement of animal use."

Luckily, following pressure from the public the university has suspended experiments involving dogs but BHF are continuing to fund research involving
many different types of animal at universities in the UK and abroad. You can read an in-depth report about this and other barbaric animal experiments in AVC's Broken Hearts report.

Another experiment, one in a long-running series of experiments carried out at Leeds Medical School, involved opening the chests of anaesthetised dogs, cutting their spinal cords, draining and re-circulating their blood and cutting nerves to the brain, gut and diaphragm. The programme has been roundly condemned by a former Harvard Medical School Faculty member (and former dog researcher) John Pippin. The project involved 27 experiments and 100 dogs2.


2. Animal Aid Victims of Charity report p. 21