(Gray News/WILX) – The Humane Society of the United States called for the release of dozens of beagles after an undercover investigation showing the plight of dogs in laboratory testing.
The investigation took place at the Charles River Laboratories in Mattawan, MI, where the Human Society said it documented nearly two dozen short-term and long-term experiments that involved tests on dogs by a number of companies, including Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.
The Humane Society investigator was undercover nearly 100 days, their news release said.
The Humane Society said its investigator saw dogs killed at the end of studies and documented others suffering for months, including 36 beagles who were being force-fed a fungicide for Corteva Agriscience to test its toxicity. Those that survive the study will be killed when it’s over.
The Humane Society said it has previously been acknowledged that studies of this type aren’t necessary.
“The disturbing findings at this facility are sadly not unique,” said Humane Society President and CEO Kitty Block. “Experiments are happening at hundreds of laboratories each year throughout the country, with more than 60,000 dogs suffering.”
The Humane Society has started an online petition to gain the immediate release of the lab beagles.
In addition to toxicity tests for pesticides, dogs are also used to test drugs, dental implants and other products.
Corteva Agriscience said it cares about the welfare of animals.
“Consistent with industry practice, we conduct animal testing when such testing is required by regulatory authorities,” the company said. “Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, is committed to animal welfare ...”
Dow Chemical said it’s been “working closely with the Humane Society of the U.S.”
Jim Newman with the health research advocacy group Americans for Medical Progress said it’s important for the public to understand the importance of animal testing.
But the Humane Society disputes those claims, saying scientific studies have shown that more than 95 percent of drugs fail in humans, even after what appeared to be promising results in animals.
It hopes to replace dogs and other animals with more effective non-animal approaches, while still trying to help humans.
“It is our obligation to tell the stories of the animals and move science, policy and corporate ethics into the 21st century,” Block said.