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American chemicals giant Dow says cannot discontinue animal testing

NYSE-listed firm pledges to find alternatives after US report claims 36 beagles were force-fed fungicide for a year

Beagles were force-fed fungicide by a firm that Dow commissioned.
ITP / Shutterstock
Beagles were force-fed fungicide by a firm that Dow commissioned.

American chemicals giant Dow, which has a market valuation of $81.5bn, said it cannot discontinue animal testing, with its announcement following backlash after a Humane Society of United States (HSUS) claimed that a firm commissioned by the New York Stock Exchange-listed company had carried out fungicide tests on beagles for a year. 

HSUS's report claimed that Dow had commissioned Charles River Laboratories in Michigan, US, to conduct the product tests, and the labs are said to have force-fed up to 36 beagles with high-doses of capsulated fungicide. 

The HSUS report said the agency had urged Dow to discontinue the tests, which it described as 'unnecessary' in the context of European laws. 

According to HSUS, EU Regulation EC No 1107/2009 states that if a dog is shown to be more sensitive to a test item than rodents in a 90-day study conducted in the US, Canada, and Australia, then the test is not required to run for a year. 

Responding to HSUS’s report, Dow tweeted a statement that said: "Dow has a strong commitment to ensuring the safety of our products, and the care and well-being of animals. Animal testing is not something Dow [takes] lightly, but neither is it something the company can discontinue when it is required by regulatory authorities.

“Dow keeps its use of animal testing to an absolute minimum [and] is committed to finding alternatives to animal testing. Dow scientists actively advocate for alternative methods by engaging global regulatory agencies, and we collaborate with governments, animal welfare organisations, and researchers.

“All this is evidence of our commitment to [...] reducing, refining, and replacing the use of animals in toxicology testing.”

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