MATTAWAN, Mich. – Controversial pesticide testing on dozens of beagles has ended at a Michigan animal testing lab following the release of a disturbing video that showed dogs being force-fed chemicals as part of a yearlong study.
The joint announcement was made Monday by Corteva AgriScience, a division of DowDuPont, and the Humane Society of the United States, which conducted an undercover investigation at the Charles River Laboratories.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Corteva said it received confirmation from Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária that it would no longer be required to conduct pesticides testing on animals and would therefore end the study.
We've been working to refine, reduce, & replace animal tests for years. Today we’re pleased to announce our efforts resulted in a waiver & we can stop the study. We’ll make every effort to rehome the animals. Please read our full statement. pic.twitter.com/SQc5RJg41M
— Corteva Agriscience™ (@corteva) March 18, 2019
The Humane Society applauded the decision while urging the company to help get the beagles to the group’s shelter and rescue partners so the dogs could be put up for adoption.
“The company has been a valuable partner to us in the past on important measures to decrease animal testing and we hope that we can work with them on a happy ending for these dogs,” a statement on the organization’s website read.
Last week, the Humane Society released the findings of an undercover investigation that took place between April and August 2018, focusing on both short- and long-term chemical studies.
That investigation included an undercover video documenting beagles “being force-fed or infused with drugs, pesticides and other products, using crude methods, many that are unlikely to ever be used in humans. Dogs undergoing invasive surgeries or having their jaws broken to test dental implants. Dogs being used by workers to practice procedures like force feeding and blood collection,” according to a statement from the Humane Society.
Twenty-one dogs were known to have died during the study, including a beagle named Harvey who was featured prominently in the video, the statement said. Harvey was euthanized.
As of last week, there were 36 beagles left in the animal testing facility, and the Humane Society was working to have them released.
The dogs likely would have died had there been no intervention by the time the study ended in July, according to the group.
A Humane Society petition calling for the immediate release of the 36 beagles received more than 310,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
“This is a huge win for our Animal Research Issues campaign and for our investigations team, which worked hard to expose the cruelty dogs are subjected to in animal testing labs, as well as for our Humane Society International team, which mediated to get a waiver from Brazil for the Corteva pesticide test,” the animal welfare group’s statement read.