Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
January 15, 2012

| Newsletter Directory | Action Alerts | Poetry | Our Staff | Subscription Information | Links | Visitor Comments |

Pet food that kills!

IAMS is a pet food company that was bought by Procter & Gamble (P&G) in September 1999. In addition to P&G's animal testing practices, IAMS - as a company in its own right - has a legacy of performing invasive, painful and lethal experiments on animals.

For nearly 10 months in 2002 and early 2003, a PETA investigator worked undercover at Sinclair Research Center, a laboratory hired by Iams, and discovered a dark and sordid secret beneath the wholesome image of the dog- and cat-food manufacturer.

Iams Pet Food Cruelty

These experiments are conducted on a wide range of animals: cats, Beagles, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Sled Dogs (Huskies), Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, Doberman Pinschers, dogs of "mixed breed", pigs, rats and chicks.

IAMS' website has stated:

"Animal nutrition is our life's work, but it's only one contributing factor to a pet's well-being. That's why we built the Paul F Iams Technical Care Facility. It's home to a group of dogs and cats that helps us to understand the physical and emotional needs of companion animals.

"The cats and dogs in our animal care facility are treated with the greatest respect. Just like your pet, they're given names and groomed and played with daily..."

A proud exposition of the "extensive research" that IAMS puts into the development of new products explains:

"We also fund research efforts outside our walls. The Iams Company underwrites studies of companion animal nutrition, dermatology, geriatrics, kidney disorders, allergies and much more."

While IAMS uses the data from these studies to support nutritional claims which they use to market their products, it is less forthcoming about what these studies actually involved. In fact, buried in obscure scientific publications are the details of experiments on at least 460 cats and dogs supported by The Iams Company - cats and dogs just like our cherished companions. But these experiments were not designed to help the animals involved. These innocent victims were simply used as disposable objects - a means to an end.


1. Kidney failure and death inflicted on dogs

The first study referred to in the Express article tells how:

"...24 young dogs had their right kidneys removed and the left partly damaged to investigate how protein affects dogs with kidney failure. Eight dogs were killed to analyse the kidney tissue.

Dogs which became sick were not treated because it would have undermined the test results."

This study was part-funded by The Iams Company and reported in White J. V. et al, "Effect of dietary protein on functional, morphologic, and histologic changes of the kidney during compensatory renal growth in dogs", Am J Vet Res, Vol 52, No. 8, August 1991, pp. 1357 - 1365 (No.2 in tabulated file).

In the study, 24 young adult mixed breed dogs were given 'acute' (meaning 'rapid onset, severe symptoms') renal [kidney] failure. This was achieved by cutting the dogs twice in the abdomen area, removing one of the kidneys and destroying 75% of the remaining one by cutting off the blood supply to that proportion of the kidney. Thus the dogs were left with only one-eighth of normal renal function.

As many guardians of companion animals know only too well, kidney failure can cause terrible suffering. If kidneys don't function properly, waste products end up in the blood rather than being excreted. This blood poisoning can cause serious and fatal illness. Dogs with kidney failure may suffer "depression, loss of appetite, thirst and vomiting. The back may be arched, and there may be stiffness. There is fever, and sometimes ulcers are present in the mouth." (Black's Veterinary Dictionary: 292)

After renal failure was inflicted on the animals, 22 of them (it doesn't say what happened to the other two, maybe they died during the renal failure procedure?) were studied for up to 14 months as their kidney slowly regained some lost function.

The paper states: "Dogs that became dehydrated were administered replacement fluids... Other supportive treatment was not administered."

Four dogs had to be put down during the experiment because of "severe uremia" ('the presence of excessive amounts of... waste products in the blood. ...their accumulation in the blood occurs in kidney failure and results in nausea, vomiting, lethargy, drowsiness and eventually death.' Oxford Medical Dictionary. Black's states that in cases of uraemia 'death may be preceded by convulsions and unconsciousness.')

After seven months, eight dogs were killed so the condition of their remaining quarter kidney could be examined. Seven months later the remaining ten dogs were killed.

2. Cats cut open and killed

This is the second experiment referred to in the Express piece:

"In another experiment, the stomachs of 28 cats were exposed so scientists could analyse the effects of feeding them fibre. The animals were operated on for at least two hours and then killed."

This study was also part-funded by IAMS and was reported in Bueno A. R. et al, "Feline colonic microbes and fatty acid transport: effects of feeding cellulose, beet pulp and pectin/gum arabic fibers", Nutrition Research, Vol. 20, No. 9, pp. 1319-1328, 2000. (No.1 in tabulated file)

The study used "twenty-eight adult female cats... All cats were short-haired females, 2 to 5 years of age and purchased from a government approved class-A distributor [Ed's note: i.e. a vivisection breeding establishment]".

The cats were split into groups of two or three, housed in indoor enclosures and fed differing diets for 2 to 3 weeks. One of the cats "was removed from the study for an unthrifty appearance." ['Unthrifty' is not a term found in medical dictionaries. Animals will be excluded from experiments if they differ from the rest of the group in a significant way, e.g. if their state of health is different, as this would undermine the design of the experiment. It doesn't state whether or not the cat was killed.]

On the day of the "colonic perfusion study" the animals were anaesthetised and "maintained at surgical anaesthesia", laid down on their sides, and their abdomens cut open. A catheter placed into the colon and a tube placed in the animals' rectum. Their bowels were then flushed empty.

For two hours, a test solution was pumped through the cats' bowels and collected every ten minutes.

This paper does not say whether the animals were killed before, during or after the next stage of the study - the removal of parts of their large intestine systems (caecum and colon), as this part of the study was reported in a different paper.

Although most of the cats may not have endured severe illness and suffering during the study, keeping animals in small indoor environments inevitably raises concerns about their ability to fulfil psychological needs, and the vivisection, killing and dismemberment of the cats are destructive and murderous acts.

3. Cats made obese and then starved - liver damage observed

This is the third experiment mentioned in the Express:

"The research team sterilised 24 female cats, which were over-fed until they become obese. They were then starved on a crash diet and when they had lost a third of their weight their livers were examined to investigate the link between weight loss and liver disease."

This IAMS-supported study is reported in Ibrahim W. H. et al, "Effect of dietary protein quality and fatty acid composition on plasma lipoprotein concentrations and hepatic triglyceride fatty acid synthesis in obese cats undergoing rapid weight loss", AJVR, Vol 61, No. 5, May 2000, pp.566-572. (No.13 in tabulated file)

The paper states: "Twenty-four female cats between 2 to 5 years old were purchased from a commercial dealer (Harlan Sprague Dawley, Indianapolis, IN) Cats were individually housed..." After a week the cats were "ovariohysterectomized". They were then fed on a "high quality energy dense diet" (Eukanuba, produced by The Iams Company) until they became clinically obese (minimum of 30% over normal body weight) and could not gain any more weight - this point was reached at about eighty days. The researchers themselves note that:

"Obese cats are reported to be at greater risk for development of certain diseases, such as osteoarthritis, ligament injuries, perineal dermatitis (inflammation of the skin around the genitals), diabetes mellitus, lower urinary tract disease, and cardiomyopathy (heart disease). Mortality risk is also increased."

None of the cats are reported to have died during the study period as a result of obesity, though their clinical condition during their obesity was not commented upon.

Once the cats had reached obese proportions, they were placed on a diet that only provided them with 25% of their "energy requirements for 7 to 8 weeks, or until cats had lost 30 to 40% of their obese body weight". This was to mimic "rapid weight loss in cats". Two of the cats did not even manage to consume a quarter of their nutritional needs.

The researchers themselves acknowledge: "Safe, rapid weight loss in cats can be difficult, because cats have special dietary requirements that appear to make them more susceptible than other species to HL."

HL stands for hepatic lipidosis, a disease of the liver which results in impaired liver function. The paper reports that the study caused three cats to develop HL during the weight loss period."

The cats also had to undergo three liver biopsies during the study.

4. Severe allergic reaction provoked in husky puppies

The Express article states:

"The company also sponsored research in which 14 husky puppies were repeatedly injected with live vaccines and allergy causing pproteins for the first 12 weeks of their lives. They developed permanent illnesses in the test, which was designed to see how severely allergic they would become."

This description is based upon an IAMS-funded study described in: Olson M. E. et al., "Hypersensitivity Reactions to Dietary Antigens in Atopic Dogs", Proceedings of 2000 IAMS Nutrition Symposium, p. 69-77. (No. 24 in tabulated file.)

This paper presents a study where 11 "Crossbred sled" new-born puppies were repeatedly (10 times over the first 85 days of life) injected with attenuated live virus vaccines containing Distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus together and subcutaneous injections of the food antigens. Another three animals were not sensitised but were subjected to the same procedures as the other dogs.

Skin tests were performed on the animals when they were six (to see if they had been "successfully" sensitised) and ten months of age. No mention of even a local anaesthetic (anaesthetics are referred to elsewhere in the paper - e.g. in describing the gastroscopic examinations). Four concentrations of each food allergen (soy, casein and chicken liver) were injected "intradermally". In most case the lowest concentration caused a skin reaction. The highest concentration that the dogs were injected with was 100,000 times stronger than the lowest concentration (0.02 micrograms vs 2000 micrograms). Histamine (causes inflammation) was also injected as a positive control, and saline as a negative control. Some of the higher concentration injections caused weals (similar to swellings caused by nettle stings or hives) averaging over a centimetre across.

Similar sensitivity tests (gastroscopic food sensitivity) were conducted by injecting the allergens into the stomach lining of the puppies. These were performed under anaesthetic. Once again, the higher concentrations caused marked allergic reactions: moderate to severe inflammation characterised by fluid filled swelling and redness caused by expansion of blood capillaries (erythema & oedema).

The results of these skin and stomach tests were reflected in the health of the allergic puppies when they were placed on allergic diets for a month. All eleven puppies:

"...developed moderate to severe diarrhea and lost weight (data not shown). Furthermore 8 of the 11 sensitized dogs demonstrated dermatological reactions that included hair loss and pruritis [itching, similar to that found in eczema]... Clinical signs developed within the first week of feeding the sensitising diet and persisted as long as the diet was provided... Moderate to severe pruritis, with and without lesions, was also observed in sensitised dogs receiving diets containing the allergens."

5. Skin wounds inflicted on 36 dogs and puppies

The final experiment mentioned in the Express describes how:

"Twelve huskies, 12 poodles and 12 labradors were regularly given chest wounds to see if diet could affect fur regrowth. This was justified in the study on the grounds that 'dogs are enjoyable to touch and look at. Dogs with coat problems are simply not handled as much.' "

This IAMS-supported study is reported in Credille K. M. et al, "The Role of Nutrition on the Canine Hair Follicle: A Preliminary Report", Proceedings of the 2000 IAMS Nutrition Symposium. (No.23 in tabulated file)

The study involving repeated skin biopsies from 36 puppies and older dogs (12 Siberian Huskies, 12 Minature Poodles, 12 Labrador Retrievers). Each of the dogs had two 6mm sections of their skin removed under local anaesthetic every three weeks for 18 weeks. One would imagine this would cause soreness and discomfort to the dogs afterwards, each of which would end up with 12 wounds on their bodies after the 18 week study.

The researchers report that: "Overall, there was little to distinguish the dogs fed the high- and low-quality diets;"

6. Finally...

SmithKline Beecham helps supply dogs for IAMS vivisection. In an IAMS-funded lethal experiment on 15 healthy beagles which was reported in 1996 and was similar to the second experiment described above, the authors of the report: "express their thanks to SmithKline Beecham Animal Health Laboratory... for their support in development and use of the research animals." (Hallman J. E. et al, "Colonic mucosal tissue energetics and electrolyte transport in dogs fed cellulose, beet pulp or pectin/gum arabic as their primary fiber source", Nutrition Research, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 303-313, 1996 (No. 9 in tabulated file).)

SmithKline Beecham is now known as Glaxo SmithKline. It is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies and has a direct influence on UK Government policy, including animal experimentation policy, for which it has lobbied for a relaxation of regulations.

Dan Lyons, director of Uncaged Campaigns, comments:

"No reasonable person can ever accept the conduct of painful and lethal experiments on one animal in the distant hope that some information might emerge that might be useful for another animal. After all this is similar what the Nazi's did - experiment on some humans supposedly to try to benefit other humans. I look after a wonderful cat, Zorro, and I'm deeply concerned for his welfare - but I could never, ever think it right to perform painful and deadly experiments on another cat even if I thought it would benefit Zorro. It's nasty, violent and unfair.

"There's nothing wrong with trying to find out how to improve diets for animals, but the right way to do that is to observe the same guidelines that exist for medical research involving children. Samples and readings can be taken during veterinary or medical treatments that are conducted for the benefit of those individuals. Post mortem studies can be carried out if tragedies occur and children or animals die. Other non-invasive and harmless observations can be made. But it is deeply hypocritical and unethical of IAMS to buy animals bred specifically to be vivisected, and then inflict suffering and death on them.

"If IAMS were genuinely concerned about animal welfare they would not be actively damaging and slaughtering innocent animals. We call on them to stop vivisection immediately and adopt cruelty-free research methods."

For a list of pet foods which are not tested on animals, send for a copy of the Compassionate Shopping Guide - an 80 page guide to cruelty-free companies, shops and supermarkets.


Below are brief summaries of the IAMS animal experiments:

Occupy for Animals did not compile this article, it was brilliantly written by: UNCAGED -


Animal Cruelty & Welfare Violations

Iams investigation (United States)
PETA investigation of Sinclair Research Center. - 2002 - 2003For nearly 10 months in 2002 and 2003, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) conducted an undercover investigation at Sinclair Research Center, a contract laboratory for Iams pet food. The investigation found dogs had gone crazy from intense confinement in barren steel cages and cement cells. Dogs were left piled on a filthy paint-chipped floor after chunks of muscle had been hacked from their thighs. They had also been surgically debarked. Severely ill dogs and cats were languished in cages without veterinary care. Iams representatives toured the facility and witnessed dogs circling their cells and sweltering in the summer heat, yet did nothing about it. The USDA investigated PETA's complaint and cited the laboratory for failure to provide veterinary care and pain relief; adequate space; and employee training; along with almost 40 other violations of the Animal Welfare Act., Sinclair paid a penalty of $33,000.

After intense pressure from PETA and its supporters, Iams agreed to sever its ties with Sinclair Research Center and end invasive and terminal experiments on dogs and cats. Iams also agreed to begin conducting in-home tests for food and nutrition experiments. However, they still keep up to 700 dogs in their Dayton, Ohio laboratory for non-invasive nutritional studies, which they have refused to give a PETA representative access to. Iams has also refused to end invasive experiments on non dog and cat studies. Iams funded an almost $200,000 two-year study at Purdue University that consisted of taping the tails of mice to the tops of cages to keep their hind legs suspended and cause muscular atrophy. They also fought the release of information from another university study in which a painful disease was induced in dogs. Animal groups have pressured Iams to conduct 100% non-invasive, cage free in-home tests only.

Iams investigation (United Kingdom)
Shocking cruelty was also exposed in the United Kingdom in 2001. IAMS/Eukanuba's experiments on hundreds of animals caused kidney failure, obesity, malnutrition, liver damage, severe allergic reactions, stomach inflammation, diarrhoea, severe skin disorders, lesions, skin wounds and other painful illnesses. In May of 2001, the Sunday Express revealed "damning evidence of gruesome tests performed on dogs and cats".

The UK laboratory watchdog group, Uncaged Campaigns, uncovered documents describing Iams' "horrific research" on 460 cats and dogs. The front page story was based on the groups' investigation. Many of the animals endured painful, invasive and lethal tests. After the story broke, the Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) vowed to sever its ties with the company. In a January of 2002 letter responding to Uncaged Campaigns' concerns, the RSPCA acknowledge that "allegations" which appeared in the Express "were indeed well-founded", in spite of the company's denials. The RSPCA described P&G's policy statement that "we do not use cats and dogs in research or testing for non-drug products" as "deficient". Several other welfare groups and rescue societies vowed "not to give IAMS a platform in future." Many other animal welfare, animal rights and companion animal groups pledged their support. See also links to Iams pages.

P&G product testing
P&G uses many other species of animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, rats and mice for "product safety research", in addition to using cats and dogs in pet food experiments. Investigations by Uncaged Campaigns revealed disturbing examples of P&G’s ongoing painful and lethal animal testing:

"P&G test on animals because of their desire to get new chemical ingredients on to the market. This allows them to claim that their new hair dye, skin cream or washing powder etc. is ‘new, improved’, in the hope of increasing sales. But with many companies producing similar consumer products without carrying out animal tests, it shows that P&G’s cruelty is motivated by greed." ..instead of reforming, P&G invest enormous amounts in PR and spin that aims to give a rosy impression of their testing practices. P&G have even been lobbying governments to try to block bans on animal testing for cosmetics that have public support. Their investigations uncovered the company's plans for massive animal testing programs for new cosmetics and household product ingredients. See also descriptions of experiments. According to In Defense of Animals (IDA), P&G claims to no longer use dogs in product testing and to have reduced animal testing by 90%. However, they refuse to release numbers, species and specific information about tests, even to their own shareholders. P&G still kills thousands of animals a year in cruel, painful tests for trivial, unnecessary ingredients. See also Recent Procter & Gamble animal testing & animal testing, section 3 on product (toxicity) testing.

Over 90% of the animals used in experimentation are excluded from the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only federal law which over sees animal testing. Rats, mice, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are expressly eliminated from all safeguards. Species not covered under the AWA do not even have to be reported. See also USDA.

Global Boycott Proctor & Gamble Day
Global Boycott Proctor & Gamble Day is sponsored by Uncaged Campaigns. It is usually held on the third Saturday of May as part of a worldwide campaign to publicize P&G's animal testing policies and educate consumers about cruelty-free shopping.

Please contact IAMS to let them know your disgust at these animal experiments.
Phone them on 0800 426 785 or email [email protected]

Call, write, e-mail, or fax Iams and Proctor & Gamble.

Tell them that you won’t buy Iams products for your animal companions until they stop conducting experiments on animals and, instead, rely on laboratory analysis of formulas for nutritional composition and in-home studies using dogs and cats who have been volunteered by their human companions.

Dan Rajczak, General Manager
Iams Company
7250 Poe Ave.
Dayton, OH 45414-5801
Contact Iams

A.G. Lafley, CEO
Procter & Gamble Co.
1 Procter & Gamble Plz.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Bill Miller, Director of Sales
Iams Canada
920 Gana Ct.
Mississauga, ON L5S 1Z4
1-800-658-5657 (press 5 for the name directory)
905-565-4711 (fax)

Gianni Ciserani
General Manager
Procter & Gamble
The Heights
Brooklands, Weybridge
Surrey KT13 0XP
+44 (0)1932 896000

Source: Occupy for animals is a 100% non-governmental, non-political, non-religious and non-profit organization at the service of the animals. RC. Luxembourg F 8907 L110 184 128 05 if you like to support our cause with a donation, please use PAYPAL: [email protected] Postal address: P.O. box 13, 179 04 Färentuna, Sweden

Subscription and copyright information

Go on to Phyllis Wright Awards 2011
Return to January 15, 2012
Return to Newsletter Directory

STAFF (Click on the link to see photos and bios)
Staff Editor and Contributor:
[email protected]
Staff Contributor and Advisor: [email protected]
Sled Dog Action Coalition:  [email protected]
Staff Contributor: [email protected]
Pawprints, Footprints & Animal Chatter: [email protected]

We welcome your comments: