DENVER—On May 19, local doctors, dogs, and concerned citizens held a peaceful demonstration to mark the anniversary of the deaths of three beagles in a testing laboratory in Fort Collins. The facility, CARE Research, was investigated and fined by federal agents, but it continues to be cited for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Protesters hand-delivered a Petition for Investigation to Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman alleging that CARE Research has repeatedly violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act by falsely claiming it is fully compliant with federal regulations. The Petition for Investigation will also be filed with Clifford E. Riedel, the district attorney in Fort Collins. The Physicians Committee—a nonprofit group of 12,000 doctors—is asking CARE Research to phase out the use of dogs and instead use high-tech, human-relevant methods that result in safer drugs.
What: Doctor-led protest and delivery of Petition for Investigation to Colorado’s Attorney General
Who: Local doctors, concerned citizens, and dogs
When: 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 19, 2015, anniversary of the unexpected deaths of three beagles at CARE Research
Where: Sidewalk in front of 1300 Broadway (AG’s office is on 10th floor)
“Three beagles—one female and two males—died unexpectedly at CARE Research triggering a federal investigation. And yet the facility continues to test on dogs and rack up violations of federal law,” says cardiologist John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., of the nonprofit Physicians Committee. “Internal documents show that the dogs may have been without water for several days and dehydration may have invalidated the test they were being used for. CARE Research should immediately release its approximately 117 dogs and use more accurate test methods to develop safer drugs for patients.”
“The three beagles who died at CARE Research were given a test article by forcing a tube down their throats. This common laboratory practice causes stress to the dogs, and the stress can lead to inaccurate test results—even without the confounding factor of possible dehydration,” says Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., director of regulatory testing issues for the Physicians Committee. “Microdosing, organ-on-a-chip technologies, and other nonanimal test methods are not only more humane, they are more human-predictive.”
The authors of the Petition for Investigation provide evidence to the Colorado attorney general including an internal e-mail obtained from CARE Research. In the e-mail, an employee states:
“This incident, if ever disclosed to study sponsors, could have a very harmful impact on the reputation of CARE.
“A second consideration is whether or not there is any chance the study that was conducted just prior to the discovery of the water issue *could* have been impacted. [redacted] you are likely in the best position to determine this. What is, to the best of your knowledge, the chance that the dogs were off water during the course of the study? If there is even a slight chance of this having occurred, it may very well invalidate the results of the study as dehydration does affect gastric pH.”
For a copy of the Petition for Investigation, or an interview with Dr. Pippin, or another expert, please contact Jeanne McVey at 202-527-7316 or JMcVey@PCRM.org.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.