(Warning: The video is graphic and disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.)
An extremely disturbing video released this week 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.
“Our investigator, who spent nearly 100 days at the facility, documented the dogs cowering, frightened, in their cages with surgical scars and implanted with large devices,” The Humane Society wrote in a statement. “Dogs 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.”
The Humane Society says the video, which it released Tuesday, 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 group’s statement read. “Often, dogs are cooperative test subjects because the only attention and interaction they get are when they’re being experimented on.”
Calling the tests “cruel and “unnecessary,” the group says they shared their findings with Dow and have been negotiating with the company to have the 36 dogs released to them.
Dogs that survive until the end date of the experiment in July are to be killed, according to the agency.
The Humane Society documented the case of one dog named Harvey they recorded during the investigation .
“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.”
Harvey was one of the 21 dogs to die, according to the group.
“On the day Harvey was euthanized, he was let out of his cage for a few minutes to run around on the floor — that day was ‘the best life he knew,’ one lab employee observed,” the Humane Society wrote in the statement.
Another beagle from the study is also seen in the footage being carried to a room to be euthanized. A lab worker can be heard in the video saying, “He’s gonna die.”
After the dog’s death, two workers carried the body upside down to another room, where he was placed in a plastic bag, which was then wrapped up.
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.”
The Humane Society says that the dogs are provided to the lab by commercial breeders like Marshall BioResources of New York.
The group has started an online petition demanding the immediate release of the 36 canines; it has received more than 210,000 signatures as of Friday morning.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the study was placed by Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, not Dow, the Materials Science Division of DowDuPont.