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IAMS - the pet food division of US-based multinational Procter & Gamble - has made a public relations announcement about its laboratory-based animal experiments that claims to represent a "major advance in dog and cat welfare".

In fact, this announcement seems specifically designed to achieve the opposite effect by heading-off pressure on IAMS to stop its cruel research practices. These moves are part of a steady stream of continuous inaccuracies that has been the hallmark of The IAMS Company for many years.

American animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have put forward a proposal calling on Procter & Gamble shareholders to vote today to ban all harmful laboratory testing on all animals (not just dogs and cats) for the development of the company's 'IAMS' and 'Eukanuba' pet food brands. True to form, P&G are recommending that shareholders vote against the proposal.

Suppressing the truth

IAMS has claimed that "it will move all of its dog and cat feeding studies from external contract labs and university research centres by October 2006." Instead, IAMS will double the capacity of its own testing operation in Dayton, Ohio. We fear this move will prevent whistleblowers from revealing the true nature of IAMS' experiments, as IAMS will be able to suppress information about its experiments more easily when they are in-house.

Although at first glance the IAMS' statement may seem like a significant positive step, a closer look at the wording of the announcement proves revealing.

Firstly, we strongly suspect, judging from IAMS responses, that the term 'feeding studies' does not cover all their laboratory animal experiments. IAMS also continues to indirectly fund a vast range of cruel and lethal animal experiments through sponsorship of vivisectors and grants to research departments.

Secondly, as usual this announcement refers only to dogs and cats - when pushed IAMS do admit that they are still conducting lethal experiments on other animals. IAMS has awarded $195,140 to study muscle atrophy in mice at Purdue University. The torturous experiments involve forcing the animals' muscles to waste away by suspending them by their hind limbs for several days and then killing them. The research is scheduled to continue until June 2006.

Distress of captivity

Even IAMS has quietly admitted in earlier statements that, in addition to the actual experiments themselves, keeping animals permanently captive in 'kennel' environments causes distress: In a 2001 Petfood Industry Electronic Newsletter, IAMS' senior vice-president of research and development Diana Hirakawa conceded: "The lesson learned here is that kennel studies are not an appropriate way to test feeding guidelines because most kennels represent a high-stress ... environment. Naturally, in such an environment, dogs may need to consume more food than they would in a home setting."

Credibility gap

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in the UK has disassociated itself from IAMS following Uncaged's revelations that the company had falsely claimed to the charity that they did not conduct experiments on dogs and cats.

When Uncaged first exposed IAMS cruel experiments back in May 2001, the company announced an end to lethal experiments on dogs and cats. In March 2003 PETA published the results of an undercover investigation that exposed IAMS as liars - 27 dogs were killed during an IAMS study. Other cruel procedures, such as surgical debarking by cutting the vocal chords, and lack of decent housing and veterinary care, were also exposed, in direct contradiction to IAMS's public statements.

Given IAMS have been prepared to lie in the past about their animal cruelty to protect their profits, can we confidently believe anything they say anyway?


Uncaged Campaigns 13.10.04


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.