Pet-Food Manufacturer Violates Own Policy Against Making Healthy Animals Sick

For Immediate Release:
31 March 2005
Yvonne Taylor 020 7357 9229, ext. 405
Dawn Carr 020 7357 9229, ext. 224
Mississippi – PETA US has obtained newly available public documents describing painful Iams-funded experiments on dogs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Roger B. Johnson, a university experimenter, is inducing gingivitis a painful stage of periodontal disease in 21 beagles by cutting and suturing their gums in “nutritional” experiments funded by the Dayton, Ohio-based cat- and dog-food manufacturer from November 2002 through October 2005.
Iams purportedly ordered the experiments to test its “Dental Defence” diets, even though the company promised in June 2002 that it would “not contract for, nor conduct, any study involving surgeries to create or mimic diseases”, explicitly stating that it would not fund “any university positions that may be involved in such activities for the study of cat and dog nutrition”. Iams’ experiment also calls for the dogs to be recycled into other experiments – a blatant violation of the company’s adoption policy.
PETA Europe is joining PETA US in demanding that Iams retire the beagles from their barren laboratory cages and place them with a beagle rescue organisation and that Iams adopt humane testing alternatives such as collaborative veterinary clinic studies on dogs who have naturally developed gingivitis.
These aren’t the first animals Iams has subjected to painful tests. A 2003 PETA US undercover investigation of an Iams contract laboratory showed that at least 27 dogs were killed, while others died of illnesses that went untreated. The investigator also found dogs and cats confined to small, barren cages – some for up to six years – and dogs who were silenced by having their vocal cords cut out.

Feeling intense pressure over its use of contract laboratories to test its dog and cat foods, Iams recently announced that it will pull out of all contract and university facilities by October 2006. But the company plans to double the size of its own laboratory in the US, creating an impenetrable “Fort Knox” where it can experiment on animals behind locked doors.

PETA Europe’s campaign against Iams has also garnered high-profile support from celebrities such as Morrissey and Chrissie Hynde.

“Iams executives have been lying through their teeth about these cruel experiments for years”, says PETA Europe Director Dawn Carr. “Promising not to injure animals and then slicing into their gums and subjecting them to a painful oral disease proves once again that Iams is talking out of both sides of its mouth.”
Broadcast-quality footage of animals in an Iams contract laboratory is available. For more information, please visit