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Bipartisan group of lawmakers ask Wayne State University to end "disturbing" experiments on dogs

Ted Eytan / Flickr
Wayne State University 11/07/2012

A bipartisan group of eleven Michigan state lawmakers is asking Wayne State University to end what they call “invasive” and “disturbing” experiments on dogs.

Wayne State has done heart research on dogs for 30 years. The experiments involve surgically implanting devices to induce heart failure, and other devices to induce hypertension.

The lawmakers say the experiments cause the dogs an immense amount of pain and suffering, and that they haven’t produced significant medical advances that would justify it.

Ryan Merkley is with the advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. He says the dogs inevitably die painful and traumatic deaths.

“These dogs are essentially being run to death and every single dog dies, not when the experiment reaches its end," Merkley said. "The end is actually when the dog can't stand it anymore.”

Wayne State disputes the claim that the research hasn’t produced medical benefits and says the research has advanced the medical understanding of heart failure.

“We all want research to benefit people," Merkley said. "But this is a prime example of research that doesn't benefit people and does a heck of a lot of harm to hundreds of dogs over the last 30 years.”