Drug experiments at CARE Research, a laboratory in Fort Collins, Colorado, that tests pharmaceuticals and medical devices, jeopardize the lives of beagles and provide unreliable results - while modern nonanimal methods ensure safer drugs for humans. That's why I'm asking you to join me by sharing your dog's photo to help #EndDogExperiments.
CARE Research, which has been cited for 17 violations of federal law since 2011, was investigated and fined by the federal government for the deaths of three beagles in 2011. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine - where I am the director of academic affairs - uncover details about the investigation.
The federal government's report revealed that the dead beagles were bleeding internally and from the mouth when they were found - and that there was blood "pooled under the cage of one dog." The beagles had been used in experiments that required forcing a tube down their throats. But CARE Research neglected to find out exactly what killed the dogs. In November 2014, the Physicians Committee wrote to CARE Research requesting that it immediately stop experiments on its remaining beagles.
On May 19, doctors, dogs, and concerned citizens marked the fourth anniversary of the beagle deaths. But the facility still houses approximately 117 dogs.
Another investigation of CARE Research's questionable practices is long overdue. So we just filed a Petition for Investigation with Colorado's attorney general and the district attorney in Fort Collins. The petition alleges that CARE Research violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act by falsely claiming it is fully compliant with federal regulations.
Fully complying with the Animal Welfare Act would be a step in the right direction. But it will not ultimately spare the beagles - who will continue to be used in experiments - or guarantee safer drugs for humans. CARE Research, like many other contract research organizations continues to use beagles and other animals to conduct experiments for pharmaceutical companies, despite the fact that as many as 96 percent of animal-tested drugs fail in humans - most notoriously Vioxx.
But I have a solution that even the National Institutes of Health would support. CARE Research should transition to human-relevant methods.
NIH recently stated that organ-on-a-chip technology "generated more accurate data" than animal testing methods and that animal tests "can be costly and poor predictors of drug response in humans."
Join me today: Share your dog's photo to help #EndDogExperiments. It could help save the lives of beagles and humans.