Canada To End Poisoning Test On Dogs After PETA Appeal

Beagles Will No Longer Be Forced to Eat and Inhale Pesticides for a Year and Then Killed

For Immediate Release:
March 7, 2016

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


Following discussions with PETA, Health Canada’s Pesticide Management and Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is ending its requirement for industry to conduct year-long pesticide toxicity testing on beagles. In these tests, dogs are forced to eat pesticide-laced food or to inhale pesticide fumes daily for a year, then are killed and dissected. PETA provided scientific evidence that these poisoning tests do little to protect people.

PETA estimates that countries that stopped the one-year test have saved hundreds of dogs annually and PMRA’s decision is expected to do the same in Canada. At PETA’s urging, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) did a retrospective analysis of more than 100 pesticides and, based on results showing that the one-year dog test was not useful in setting exposure limits, eliminated it from its pesticide registration data requirements in 2007. Dogs are still used in 90-day tests, however, and PETA continues to work toward its replacement with a non-animal method.

PETA scientists then began contacting regulatory agencies in other parts of the world requesting that they follow suit. The European Union passed legislation in March 2013 eliminating the requirement, and Brazil recently issued revised pesticide testing requirements for public comment that no longer include the one-year dog test.

PETA scientist Patricia Bishop contacted PMRA in May 2014, asking the agency to reevaluate its requirement for the one-year dog test and to harmonize with the U.S. and other countries. This led to PMRA conducting its own analysis to determine the impact of removing this requirement on its regulatory decisions. Like the U.S. EPA, PMRA found that the test had little impact on assessment of human health risk. The agency plans to publish revised guidelines that no longer require industry to routinely conduct the one-year test when registering food-use pesticides. PMRA staff acknowledged PETA’s assistance in focusing attention on the issue internally and providing information from reputable sources to support its decision to eliminate the test.

“Overwhelming scientific evidence shows us that the one-year poisoning test is not useful for setting pesticide exposure limits for humans. Canada has made the right decision for dogs and for science,” Bishop said.

PETA is urging other countries, including Japan and South Korea, to drop their requirement for one-year pesticide testing on dogs and is also working to end all pesticide testing on dogs and other animals.

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