18th March 2016
Hundreds of dogs could be spared from cruel tests in Canada
Canada takes a step that promises to reduce the number of dogs used in pesticide testing
We welcome news that Health Canada will soon end its requirement for one-year pesticide safety tests using dogs.1 This step is long overdue and could spare hundreds of dogs from painful toxicity tests.
In these experiments, dogs are force fed, forced to inhale or injected chemicals to see what dose will sicken or kill them. They are not provided with any pain relief and can suffer from vomiting, seizures, internal bleeding, organ damage and death. Those who survive are killed.
But, the work to protect dogs from these tests is far from over.
As in other countries around the world, dogs will still be used in mandatory 90–day toxicity tests in Canada which cause pain and suffering to hundreds of beagles each year.
Canada is however making a positive step, following other countries, to remove the explicit requirement for the one-year experiment in addition to the 90-day experiment.
This comes after scientists in 2001 found that the one-year test was pointless and added no further safety information to the 90-day test.2
Europe, the United States and Brazil have eliminated the requirement for the year-long dog toxicity test. Canada is now following suit.
Until now, Canada permitted waiving the one-year experiment only if the substance was not toxic in the 90-day test.3
Our recent analysis of the use of dogs in medicines testing has shown that the dog test adds little scientific value and should be ended. We have no reason to believe that this would not also be the case for pesticides.
Reducing the number of dogs who are subjected to this fate in Canada is a welcome step in the right direction towardsending all testing on dogs.
- http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/health-canada-animal-testing-1.3476090 Health Canada to drop required pesticide safety test using beagles Science shows the yearlong test isn't necessary. March 6th 2016
- The use of dogs as second species in regulatory testing of pesticides. Part II. Subacute, subchronic and chronic studies in the dog. Arch Toxicol 2001, 75:1–21. See also, A 1-year toxicity study in dogs is no longer a scientifically justifiable core data requirement for the safety assessment of pesticides. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 2010; 40(1): 1–15..