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Kalamazoo Humane Society says dog-testing at Mattawan lab was unnecessary

Posted at 8:23 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 21:16:32-04

MATTAWAN, Mich. — After a video of dogs being fed pesticides at an animal-testing lab on Main Street went viral, and sparked national outrage, officials at Corteva Agriscience decided to end it.

Corteva Agriscience, a division of DowDuPont, is the company responsible for the testing. They said the testing was required by regulators in Brazil. However when they received permission to stop, they did and released the following statement, which says in part:

“...we received official confirmation that the tests we were seeking to change are no longer required for our product. We have immediately ended the study that was the subject of attention last week and will make every effort to re-home the animals that were a part of this study.”

The Kalamazoo Humane Society said this was great news but more needs to be done.

“Unfortunately there’s been nothing released publicly that tells us how that’s going to happen or even when it’s going to take place,” said Julie Barber, director of community connections with the Kalamazoo Humane Society. “I would think everyone's just kind of waiting with baited breath to see what they’re going to release if they’re going to release any information about that.”

The video, shot undercover and released by the Humane Society of the United States, showed 36 beagles at Charles River Laboratories being fed fungalitis via a feeding tube. Barber said beagles are bred for that purpose.

“They specifically do beagles because they’re such sweet-natured dogs,” Barber said during an interview at the Humane Society office on Westnedge Avenue. “They’re less likely to react or bite or be aggressive.”

Barber said when the Humane Society released the video last week, it led to public outcry. People signed a petition demanding it be stopped. And, it worked.

"Unnecessary is the key word," Barber said. "There’s nothing saying that they can’t do these types of tests but the Dow scientist at one point had stated that this particular test was not necessary."

Barber stated that the best next step is reform. There's five states that have legislation that ensures animals tested in lab all go to safe homes afterwards. She believes Michigan can be the sixth state to do the same.

“That anger is actually something to build from,” Barber said. “We’d like to see that momentum and that public outcry for change maybe lead to legislation that you know would help animals who are in research be more easily available for adoption.”