Why heart research on dogs is required

The European Animal Research Association (EARA) supports the use of experimental animals when no other alternative is possible. The research into pacemakers supported by the Dutch Heart Foundation and performed by Maastricht University requires the use of dogs because their hearts are a similar size to ours and because their ‘electrical wiring’ behaves much like ours.

Kirk Leech, Executive Director, European Animal Research Association, said:

“Biomedical research develops new medicines to treat disease, bringing hope to millions of people, their carers and their families. More people are alive, living longer and with improved quality of life thanks to medical advances. Studies in dogs still form a small but vital part of the research and development process required to develop new treatments. In addition there are a small number of areas where dogs provide the most appropriate model to test the effectiveness of new medicines such as cardiovascular research – models of myocardial and valve disease and models of heart failure. The activities of animal rights groups such as the Anti Dierproeven Coallitie (ADC) in halting this research benefits no one and risks damaging research.”

Dutch Heart Foundation:

“The Foundation carries out the fight against heart disease and therefore finances scientific research. Where possible, researchers use computer models or cells that have been cultured in a laboratory. However, sometimes there are no alternatives and in these cases animal testing is required to develop treatments to save and improve countless lives.”

“Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide among women. The Netherlands has one million cardiovascular patients. Every day, 107 people die from cardiovascular disease. 1000 people come into the hospital. So the problem is enormous.”


“De Hartstichting voert de strijd tegen hart- en vaatziekten en financiert daarom wetenschappelijk onderzoek. Waar mogelijk maken onderzoekers gebruik van cellen die zijn gekweekt in een laboratorium of computermodellen. Maar soms zijn er geen alternatieven en dan zijn dierproeven nodig om tot levensreddende en –verbeterende behandelingen te komen.”

“Hart- en vaatziekten zijn wereldwijd doodsoorzaak nummer 1 bij vrouwen. Nederland kent 1 miljoen hart- en vaatpatiënten. Iedere dag overlijden 107 mensen aan hart- en vaatziekten. 1000 mensen komen in het ziekenhuis terecht. Het probleem is dus enorm.”

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