Undercover investigation shows dogs being used in labs for testing

Published: Mar. 12, 2019 at 6:22 AM EDT
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The Humane Society of the United States has released a report from an undercover investigation that shows over 60,000 dogs are being used annually in lab experiments.

The investigation revealed that beagles and hounds are suffering or even dying after being used in toxicity tests for pesticides, drugs, dental implants and other products.

An undercover investigator documented almost 2 dozen short-term and long-term experiments over nearly 100 days that involved dogs being tested upon.

This HSUS reporter saw dogs suffering for months and being killed at the end of the tests.

That included the deaths of 36 gentle beagles after being tested for a pesticide.

The report says that beagles are used in testing because of their "docile nature."

The investigation was done at the Charles River Lab in Michigan.

The report states that Dow commissioned the laboratory "to force-feed a fungicide to beagles for a year, with some dogs being subjected to very high doses – so high that up to four capsules had to be shoved down their throats. Those who survive until the designated end date of the study in July will be killed."

That information was released in a press release from the Humane Society of the United States.

In the release they say that Dow Chemical has publicly acknowledged that the test that last 1-year, is "scientifically unnecessary."

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and president of Humane Society International, said: “The disturbing findings at this facility are sadly not unique. Experiments are happening at hundreds of laboratories each year throughout the country, with more than 60,000 dogs suffering. But that does not have to be the fate for these 36 beagles. For months we have been urging Dow to end the unnecessary test and release the dogs to us. We have gone to considerable lengths to assist the company in doing so, but we simply cannot wait any longer; every single day these caged dogs are being poisoned and are one day closer to being killed. We must turn to the public to join us in urging Dow to stop the test immediately and to work with us to get these dogs into suitable homes.”

The HSUS says that the undercover investigation at Charles River Laboratories in Michigan is only a snapshot of what is happening in the United States.

They claim there is more testing going on at for-profit companies, government facilities and universities.

They also say, dogs are often provided by commercial breeders.

They name Marshall BioResources as one that had more than 22,000 dogs at a facility last June. You can read those findings


Among the beagles tested on, the Humane Society of the United States documented the short life of one dog named Harvey who clearly sought attention by humans and was characterized by the laboratory staff as “a good boy," according to the report.

You can see in a video his trust and love for his caretakers.

The release included a link to the

where you can see Harvey, and testing being carried out by workers on him for three companies - Paredox Therapeutics, Above and Beyond NB LLC and Dow AgroSciences.

According to the release, "Harvey was being used to test the safety of two substances when poured into the chest cavity in a study commissioned by Paredox Therapeutics that received support from the University of Vermont. Hounds were also used when the protocol called for a larger dog breed, such as a study by Above and Beyond Therapeutics for surgical implantation of a device to pump drugs through the spinal canal. Charles River carried out tests on dogs for at least 25 companies during the time of the Humane Society of the United States investigation."

“It is our obligation to tell the stories of the animals and move science, policy and corporate ethics into the 21st century,” Block added.

Scientific studies have shown that more than 95 percent of drugs fail in humans, even after what appear to be promising results in animals. The Humane Society of the United States is seeking to replace dogs and other animals with more effective non-animal approaches that will better serve humans.

Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 12, Dow Chemical sent a statement to News 10.

You can read that here:

Dow has a strong commitment to ensuring the safety of our products, and the care and well-being of animals. Specifically, Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, which includes Dow’s former fungicide business, has been working closely with the Humane Society of the U.S. for many months to encourage Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) to amend its animal test requirements for pesticides. Once Corteva is given certainty that the study is no longer required, they will stop the study immediately. Animal testing is not something Dow undertakes lightly, but neither is it something the Company can discontinue when it is required by regulatory authorities. Dow keeps its use of animal testing to an absolute minimum. Dow is committed to finding alternatives to animal testing and has established a Predictive Toxicology team dedicated to this goal. Dow scientists actively advocate for alternative methods by engaging global regulatory agencies, and collaborates with governments, animal welfare organizations and researchers. All this is evidence of our commitment to the 3R’s — reducing, refining and replacing the use of animals in toxicology testing.

Also, Jim Newman from the health research advocacy group, Americans for Medical Progress, issued the following statement:

All Americans love animals which is why we are naturally conflicted when we see images of animals in labs. At the same time, we simply cannot forget that animals play an irreplaceable role in health research. Humans and animals are impacted by many of the same diseases. Therefore, studying them helps us develop treatments that can be used in both human and veterinary medicine. 95 percent of all animal research involves rodents, but in very rare cases, dogs must be studied. When viewing this video, it’s important to note what we do see and what we do not. We see employees dedicated to ensuring animals are treated with respect and kindness. We do not see abuse or mistreatment. We should also not forget that this video was shot and edited by an organization with an agenda. Perhaps the biggest lesson learned from this video is the recognition that Americans need to better understand how new treatments are developed. The science community must do more to help the public realize the critical role of animal studies in combating serious diseases. We also need to demonstrate the tremendous efforts taken to ensure that lab animals are treated well.

Americans for Medical Progress is an organization that supports the advancement of human and animal medicine through responsible and highly-regulated research in animals.

Below you can read a statement from Corteva Agriscience that they posted on Twitter in response to the Humane Society of the United Sates report.

They say they are a division of DowDuPont and are "committed to animal welfare and the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) as core principles of toxicological research."

They also state that they will "continue to ensure that where regulations require the use of animals, all applicable welfare guidelines, laws, regulations and licensing requirements are met."