Protest seeks to stop euthanizing beagles at Inotiv testing center

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MOUNT VERNON, Ind. – When a group of around 50 protesters, some with dogs and all dressed in blue t-shirts, huddled and started chanting, Patty Tapp and her dog had to break out of the crowd.

“She can’t stand loud noises,” Tapp said, pointing to Bee, who was standing behind Tapp with his back to the group. “It gives him PTSD.”

Bee, a 7-year-old beagle, grew up in the same type of conditions as the dogs the group was there to protest.

The protest, called the “Wear Blue for Beagles Walk” and organized by members of the Posey, Vanderburgh and Indiana Humane Societies, aimed to raise awareness about beagle puppies used in animal testing at Inotiv Inc. in Mount Vernon.

The demonstrators tried to speak to representatives of Inotiv, but the police stopped them at the door of the company.

Beagles Blue, left, and Smalls, right, pose for photos as people gather to protest Inotiv, Inc. at the Posey Humane Society in Mount Vernon, Ind., Friday afternoon, May 13, 2022. Inotiv performs animal testing on beagle puppies and the group requested that the puppies be released instead of euthanized.

Inotiv could not be reached for comment.

Among the allegations in a secret report by the Humane Society of the United States: More than 80 beagle puppies have been used in toxicology tests that would have forced the dogs to ingest a drug through a stomach tube every day for months.

According to Samantha Morton, Indiana director for the national group, 32 of these beagles should be euthanized starting the week of May 16. Part of the protest involved Morton and other members of human society going to Inotiv’s lab in Mount Vernon to ask them to release the beagles.

Morton thinks dogs don’t need to die.

“Fourteen states already have laws that require these animals to be adopted (instead of killed),” Morton said. “Inotiv knows other people are required to do this, but it’s not legally required (in Indiana), and it might be more difficult for them.”

Bee, a 7-year-old beagle, is walked by Patty Tapp during the

Bee the beagle

Bee spent his puppy months in an animal testing lab somewhere in Tennessee being filled with drugs and chemicals. The dogs there died or, in Bee’s case, were rescued. Tapp received it from a beagle rescue society when the dog was 11 months old.

Previous:The Humane Society calls for the release of 80 beagles from an animal testing facility at the investigation center

Bred to be smaller to fit better in a tight cage, Bee was much smaller than even the other beagles at the protest. She had no idea what a toy was when Tapp got her and didn’t let anyone pet her for an entire month after being rescued.

Morton said the Humane Society is working on legislation in Indiana that would require labs like Inotiv to release their animals for adoption after the test study is complete. Five US States – Illinois, California, Nevada, Maryland and Virginia – have outright bans on cosmetic testing on animals, although there are no state bans on testing pharmaceuticals on animals.

In a statement to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the West Lafayette-headquartered company described Inotiv Inc.’s research as “legally required” in the United States to develop life-saving medical options.

Related:100,000 petitioners call on Inotiv to release beagle puppies

Morton hoped the group’s efforts to get to the testing lab would at least spark a conversation with lab officials.

This was not the case.

Protesters were met at the door of the Inotiv lab by a team of cruisers and Posey County Sheriff’s deputies who protesters say denied them access because the lab was on property owned at Inotiv.

When Morton tried to leave a set of 32 dog collars and leashes at the door, meant to symbolize the beagles’ potential future after the lab, she was rebuffed and told the group would be cited for littering.

She said she spoke on the phone with an Inotiv official, who asked her to leave.

Sara Byrd holds up a protest sign calling on Inotiv, Inc. to release the beagle puppies they prepared for euthanasia as people gather at the Posey Humane Society in Mount Vernon, Ind., on Friday afternoon the 13th May 2022. Inotiv conducts animal testing on beagles.

“We will continue to fight”

Although they failed to speak to Inotiv and were unable to get the beagles released, Morton remained optimistic about the message the protest was trying to send.

“We were able to share with our supporters and followers how Inotiv views these animals,” Morton said. “Us being there and trying to deliver those collars is just something they weren’t really ready to accept. But we’re going to keep fighting until those cages are empty.”

Although Bee becomes nervous in public and around loud noises, such as the sound of metallic clicking or the deep voice of a man, she is a happy and loving dog at home with her family and her dog siblings, Tapp said.

She brought Bee to the protest to show that a dog used in animal testing can find a loving home and be a loving pet.

“(These dogs) did everything humans asked them to do,” Tapp said. “They deserve to be loved.”

Contact Ray Couture at [email protected] or on Twitter @raybc94

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