In Maastricht testing on animals is conducted by the University of Maastricht (UM). At the moment they use a animal testing laboratory which is located next to the hospital (AZM), with a small outdoor area at the Doctor Tanslaan.

Rejected police dogs
Not only did the researchers use Labradors, as is written below, but also dogs who were not deemed fit by the police department ended up at the laboratory of the UM. An eyewitness had this to say: “Even though I knew where the dogs would end up, it was a shock to see it with my own eyes. Shepherd dogs, of whom the bald shaven spots showed the stitches and slowly healing wounds, looked with frightened eyes at the people on the other sides of the bars.”

Labradors
Around 2014 the University of Maastricht was frequently mentioned in the news for their use of Labradors. The animals were used in tests focussed on heart failures, in which among other things they were put on operating tables to be fitted with pacemakers. A campaign was launched, with many protests and a petition that got signed over 120.000 times! In the height of the campaign more that a thousand people came together to the centre of Maastricht to act against these tests.

In August of the same year the tests, which at that time were executed on 39 Labradors, were temporarily suspended to re-evaluate the tests. Shortly after the University decided to continue with the tests but after the societal pressure following their decision they were forced to reconsider their decision. Not only were the tests on Labradors suspended, following that moment dogs in general were not going to be used anymore by the UM. Several Labradors were given to animal activists for relocation.

Quantities
The table viewed below clearly states which, and how many, animals were used in experiments during 2017 in Maastricht. In total we are looking at more than 5000 animals, around 14 animals being tested on every day, seven days a week.

SpeciesNumbers
Mice3407
Rats1177
Zebrafish233
Sheep85
Rabbits68
Pigs62
Goats47

What is especially remarkable about these quantities is the increase of the total. While it is being made clear to scientists and research establishments that the number of animal tests have to go down, the amount of animals used for tests in Maastricht is still rising. In 2016 4927 animals were used, which entails an increase of 170 individuals.