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Beagles force-fed fungicides in West Michigan lab

Humane Society
Harvey, one of the beagles used in the lethal study, waits in a cage.

The Humane Society of the United States is pushing for the release of three dozen beagles it says are being force-fed fungicides in a West Michigan laboratory.

Listen to Stateside's conversation with Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, about the organization's investigation into the use of beagles in lab testing at a West Michigan laboratory contracted by DowDuPont. 

Charles River Laboratories is contracted by DowDuPont to do the testing. The lab is located in Mattawan, outside Kalamazoo. DowDuPont's agriculture division, Corteva Agriscience, makes the fungicide. The Humane Society's report says: "Dow ... contracted the laboratory to use 36 beagles in a one-year pesticide test for its new fungicide (Adavelt®)."

In an undercover investigation, the animal welfare advocates say thousands of dogs are killed in the lab every year for toxicity and other tests. In the case of the 36 beagles, the Humane Society's report says the remaining dogs will be killed in July 2019 and their organs will be studied to see effects of the fungicide. 

The lab is allegedly force-feeding the beagles fungicides for one year to meet Brazilian animal testing requirements so the product can be sold there.

Kitty Block is the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. In an interview with Stateside she said the Brazilian government offered to waive the requirement. "There are much more efficient, inexpensive, and entirely humane ways to test these products," she said, adding that U.S. regulators consider the year-long test unnecessary.

In a statementfrom Dow Dupont, which it posted on Twitter, the company says it's committed to finding alternatives to animal testing. Dow says the study will stop once Corteva is given certainty the study is no longer required. 

The Humane Society's online petition demanding the three dozen dogs get released has over 100,000 signatures. 

Block says she hopes to work with Dow to release the dogs and find them forever homes. 

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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