UVM refutes animal testing allegations

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The University of Vermont is refuting reports of their connection to possible cruel treatment of dogs at a testing facility.

Courtesy: Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States says they documented experiments at a drug testing lab in Michigan, experiments they claim are funded in part by UVM.

University officials tell WCAX News they did not fund experiments involving dogs at a testing facility in Michigan.

Here's what the Humane Society is alleging. They put an undercover investigator inside the Charles River Laboratories in Michigan, recording video secretly. The society alleges the labs performed tests on beagles that amounted to torture and led the dogs to be euthanized.

The alleged connection to UVM is a company called Paredox Therapeutics. The Humane Society alleges that Paredox is funded by UVM.

The school says the Humane Society has it all wrong. The school's spokesperson says UVM receives funding from Paredox Therapeutics for research conducted at UVM regarding mesothelioma, a lung disease. UVM says it uses mice in its research and maintains rigorous standards to make sure the animals are treated humanely. The school says it has no connection to the lab in Michigan or any questionable experiments on dogs.

We did learn that there is a connection between UVM and Paredox Therapeutics. The school tells us a UVM researcher did help found the company. But UVM officials say they have no knowledge of other research done by Paredox or its possible connections to the laboratory in Michigan.

UVM says it has been unfairly linked to these allegations of animal mistreatment.

It does not appear any laws are being broken at that Michigan lab. The Humane Society of the United States is not actually alleging that anything illegal is taking place at the lab. The group says it is using this undercover investigation to raise awareness in hopes of turning public opinion against animal testing.

According to the FDA, animals are used in the testing of drugs and vaccines to determine the safety of the product. The federal agency says they are working toward a replacement for animal testing.