Beagles were rescued from a Michigan laboratory after an undercover investigation revealed they were being force-fed pesticides developed by Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience).
The testing was required by Brazil, the country in which the pesticide would be used, and had a one-year mandatory period in which the dogs would be fed the pesticide each day. The 32 beagles are now looking for their forever homes.
The release occurred after a person from The Humane Society of the United States spent 100 days at Charles River Laboratories, documenting the care of the dog. According to HSUS, dogs at the laboratory were not only pumped with drugs for Corteva, but others were undergoing different experiments for various companies — including Paredox Therapeutics, Above and Beyond NB and nanoMAG — and having large medical device-like boxes inserted in them and chemicals being poured into their bodies (and then sewn back up). They also had their jaws broken to test dental implants. (The video is hard to watch.) We reached out to Corteva and Charles River Laboratories for comment, neither responded.
According to HSUS, more than 60,000 dogs are tested on each year, including requests by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the beagles who were tested on for Corteva, they were released after the company was able to get a waiver from Brazil for the one-year requirement. Now, HSUS is working with its 350 animal rescue organizations to find forever homes for the dogs.
The other dogs at the facility were euthanized after their testing, according to the organization. When we asked HSUS about what consumers can do to ensure they don’t support these types of tests and/or companies, the organization stated it is important to speak to government officials, expressing your views and requesting them to take action. As for what you can do every day, HSUS says look for products that are cruelty-free, including those that have the Leaping Bunny seal of approval
As for products that traditionally require animal testing – like pharmaceutical drugs and medical research that could have harmful health effects on people – HSUS said progress is being made in science to eliminate these types of requirements.
“We are on the forefront of a global movement to replace animals in research with more modern experiments,” said Kathleen Conleen, the vice president of the HSUS Animal Research Issues team. “We are working piece by piece and country by country towards the day when animals are no longer used in harmful experiments, and laboratories instead use artificial and real human cells and organs, 3-D printing, robots, computers, and other sophisticated methods to create testing and research results.”
She added that she doesn’t believe animals are actually helping with medical breakthroughs.
“While we recognize the contributions that animal research has made, we believe that an over-reliance on using animals is actually hurting scientific discovery and, ultimately, patients,” said Conleen. “The world is moving away from animal testing not only because of the ethical implications, but because animal tests often fails to give researchers the answers they are searching for.”
She noted that some studies in the medical field, including those for autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and cancer are already using alternatives when researching scientific breakthroughs.