Campbell raises awareness on animal testing cruelty: “We cannot let this suffering continue”

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Imagine living your whole life trapped inside a cage. 

Day after day, you’re poked and prodded, injected with unknown substances that make you sick and weary. You’re alone. You’re scared. You will never see the light of day or be with your loved ones ever again. 

While it may seem like a scene out of a science fiction novel, this is the unfortunate reality for tens of thousands of animals across the country. In fact, there are currently almost 50 beagles that are suffering this egregious fate in southern Indiana. 

These dogs are a small fraction of the thousands of animals that are bred and kept for testing by the West Lafayette-based pharmaceutical testing company, Inotiv. Earlier this year, an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed countless USDA violations within Inotiv’s Mt. Vernon lab. The atrocities were beyond comprehension; animals were not provided the veterinary care they needed, staffing shortages led to inadequate supervision of primates that would in turn harm themselves, and animals were dosed with medicine so severely they were rendered immobile. Perhaps the most horrific and heartbreaking revelation of the entire investigation is that, once Inotiv is finished torturously testing the animals, including the beagles, they are euthanized. Think about that– these poor dogs spend their whole lives forced to undergo agonizing experiments just to be killed at the end of it all. 

What is so tragic about the situation is that, despite what Inotiv has previously claimed, FDA regulations do not require animal testing companies to euthanize their animals. On the contrary, the FDA revised their policy guidelines in 2019 to encourage the adoption of research study animals that have completed testing. 

The Department of Justice, supported by the Commonwealth of Virginia, recently forced a subsidiary of Inotiv in Virginia to release around 4,000 beagles, many of which are now up for adoption in Indiana. I had the opportunity to meet some of the rescued beagles and they absolutely touched my heart. When you look in their eyes, you can truly see their gentle nature. They are such docile, caring creatures that only want to be loved by a family. The beagles have done nothing to deserve the harm they have endured. 

What they do deserve is a second chance in life.  

However, Inotiv is unwilling to release the animals in its Mount Vernon facility. It is believed that 32 beagles were euthanized in May, and 48 more will likely be killed in late fall. I have worked with and supported the Humane Society as they have fought tirelessly to save the beagles and other animals being held at the Mount Vernon lab. There have been many actions taken to stop Inotiv’s cruelty, including a class action shareholder lawsuit, but Inotiv has remained silent. 

While the fate of the remaining beagles remains unknown, I will continue to join with the thousands of animal advocates in calling for the release of the Inotiv beagles. 

We cannot ignore the inhumane treatment of innocent animals. We cannot let this suffering continue. 

Ultimately, to stop this vicious cycle, we have to invest in alternative research methods in order to end animal testing within the U.S. Many companies choose to test on animals as it is a quick way to get products approved and on the market. Animal testing, however, is not as accurate or efficient as some may believe. Around 90% of drugs tested on animals ultimately fail in human trials. There are a multitude of non-animal tests, including organ-chip technologies, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing that could provide more exact results. These technologies have the potential to produce safer drugs without putting an animal’s life on the line. 

I am committed to working on legislation this coming session to support the use of non-animal testing in Indiana, as well as requiring adoption instead of euthanasia. To all the advocates that have contacted me the last few weeks to share your concern for the animals at Inotiv, I thank you for your support and dedication. If you want to take steps to help the beagles in Mount Vernon, I encourage you to contact the FDA and alert them of the injustice occurring in these labs. Additionally, the Humane Society has a multitude of resources for those who want to learn how to help animals who have been tested on. 

The fight against animal testing is not over. We must continue to hold those who harm animals accountable and do all we can to prevent more innocent lives from being taken. 

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