WASHINGTON – Video released Tuesday shows dogs being force-fed fungicides for a yearlong pesticide test at a Michigan facility, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
The group says the video shows 36 beagles being tested at the Charles River Laboratories in Mattawan, Michigan. The laboratory’s parent company is headquartered in Massachusetts and has facilities around the world.
The study using the beagles was placed by Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.
The animal welfare group says the video is part of a larger investigation that took place between April and August of 2018, focusing on both short- and long-term chemical studies.
“Dogs, who are known for their kind and loyal nature, are often used in these tests because they are easier to manipulate and less apt to fight back,” the Humane Society of the United States wrote in a statement. “Often, dogs are cooperative test subjects because the only attention and interaction they get are when they’re being experimented on.”
The investigation documented the case of one dog named Harvey:
“Dogs in laboratories that test on animals are usually numbered, not named, but Harvey (number 1016) was an exception because laboratory workers thought he was ‘a good boy’ and stood out as friendly and ‘adorable,'” the Humane Society wrote. “Subsequently, you see Harvey with a big surgical scar: his chest was opened and two chemical substances were poured into it.”
The Humane Society of the United States has been working to have the 36 dogs released to them and say they have gone to “considerable lengths to assist the company in doing so” but “cannot wait any longer.” Dogs that survive until the end date of the experiment in July are to be killed.
Corteva issued a statement saying they “care deeply about the welfare of animals” and “conduct animal testing only when such testing is required by regulatory authorities.”
Corteva says it has been working with the Humane Society of the United States for “many months” to encourage Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária to change its animal testing requirements for pesticides.
Once those requirements are changed, Corteva said, they will stop testing and “make every effort to rehome the animals.”