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Humane Society: 36 beagles force-fed fungicides at Michigan lab

An undercover investigation by the Humane Society shows dogs being force-fed chemicals at a Michigan lab.
Credit: HSUS
The Humane Society says 36 beagles were test subjects at a lab in Mattawan, Mich.

The Humane Society of the United States released an investigation Tuesday, saying 36 beagles were force-fed fungicides as a part of a yearlong test at a lab in Mattawan. 

The Humane Society released undercover video footage of the dogs, which was allegedly filmed at the Mattawan location of Charles River Labs in 2018. The disturbing footage shows dogs being forced to ingest chemicals and being subject to surgery in the testing. 

The pesticide test was contracted by Corteva AgroSciences (the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont), according the Humane Society's 100 day investigation. They said the company was testing their new fungicide. 

Credit: HSUS
Undercover investigation into Charles River Laboratories - Mattawan, Mich. A tube for delivering test substances is shoved down a beagle's throat in a practice session.

The study is scheduled to conclude in July 2019 when the nonprofit says the dogs' organs will be assessed for damage done by the fungicide and then the dogs will be killed. 

"Some of the dogs at the lab we investigated may die before July 2019 when the study is scheduled to be concluded," a news release said. 

It is legal in the United States to conduct toxicity testing on dogs, however the Humane Society calls this type of testing "cruel and unusual." They are hoping the investigation prompts change, specifically asking for the 36 beagles to be released. 

There are more than 60,000 dogs used for toxicity testing and research each year in the United States, according to the Humane Society. 

13 ON YOUR SIDE reached out to both Charles River Labs and Dow AgroSciences for comment. Dow AgroSciences did provide a comment to WYXZ in Detroit, which said, "The Agriculture Division of DowDuPont 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."

Charles River Labs provided this statement on Wednesday, March 13, which said, "Charles River Laboratories operates our facilities in a way that is consistent with our commitment to the welfare and ethical treatment of the animals in our care and in compliance with all federal regulations and international standards."

"As animal caregivers and scientific researchers, we are responsible to our clients and the public for the health and well-being of the animals under our stewardship, and we strive to fulfill that responsibility on a daily basis."

The Charles River Labs in Mattawan does general toxicology studies and other more specialized work. It has more than 1,500 employees, and is located off I-94 and Main Street. 

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