What do they test?

We have many examples of pointless experiments carried out at HLS, but the ones we feature here are amongst the most striking. Remember every drug or product that is withdrawn because of serious side effects, every pesticide that proves to be carcinogenic, every stupid 'new and improved' household product that we don't need, Huntingdon will have forced that product down the throats of thousands of animals and then passed it safe just for it later to go on to maim, harm and kill humans.

HLS Unmasked

Natural Scent

Coumarin was previously used as an added flavouring ingredient, but occurs naturally in roots, bark, stems, leaves and fruits of some plants. It’s most popular use is as a scent in perfumes, cosmetics and products such as soap and detergents. Coumarin is already widely used by the public in food, cosmetics and hygiene products. It has already gone through repeated animal and human tests and been on the market for many years. However, HLS still felt it was acceptable to test in animals in useless experiments.

Six to eight week old rats were shipped into HLS and kept in stainless steel cages. A portion of the fur on their backs was shaved off in order to expose their bare skin for the testing procedure. Coumarin, at a concentration of 70% mixed with an alcohol solution, was squeezed onto the skin of the rats. They were then wrapped in aluminium foil and left for differing periods of time, between 30 minutes and five days (120 hours). After an allotted amount of time, rats were killed by researchers breaking their necks. Their bodies were then gutted of all organs for examination.

"In summary, the rat is a very poor model for humans, and toxicity in the rat cannot be extrapolated to humans."

The experiment then also went on to use human volunteers to gain a more accurate insight into the effect of externally-applied coumarin on the body. Somewhat unsurprisingly however, the human volunteers gained different results compared to the rats, causing the animal part of the study to produce contradictory results to the human part. HLS summarised their experiment by admitting the inadequacy of their own type of experiments, pointing out that rats are a “very poor model” in human toxicity testing, and that “toxicity in the rat cannot be extrapolated to humans”.

PDF of natural scent experiment

Unleaded Petrol

The American Petroleum Institute paid HLS to test gasoline (petrol) on large groups of rats. Over 80 female Sprague Dawley rats were shipped into HLS, New Jersey, and impregnated using male rats. Aside from short-term mating arrangements, the rats were kept individually in stainless steel cages with wire mesh floors. In total, 72 rats were impregnated and started the experiment. Once the rats were six days into their pregnancies, they were forced into tubes for six hours daily for a total of just under two weeks. They were denied access to food or water. During this time, vaporised unleaded gasoline was pumped into the tubes, forcing the pregnant rats to inhale it for the entire six hours straight. After the 12-days of exposure to the gasoline, the rats were killed and sliced open to have their semi-formed babies and organs examined.

PDF of petrol experiment

Fermented Japanese Vegetable

In 2009, a Japanese company paid HLS to use and kill 4-week-old rats in a study to test the effects of suguki (a traditional, fermented Japenese vegetable) on the body of humans. This is despite the vegetable having been consumed safely by the Japanese population for well over 1,000 years - something they point out in their own research paper!

The rats were force fed a strain of the vegetable by 'oral gavage' - the scientific way of saying a tube was forced down the animals' throat and the substance pumped directly into their stomachs. Later, the rats were killed and dissected to see what effect it had on the body. Naturally, and unsurprisingly, there was "no clear treatment-related effect and no significant toxicological effect" from the vegetable.

"The strain was isolated from a Japanese traditional fermented vegetable (suguki) that has been consumed for over 1000 years. Because of this history, L. brevis can be considered generally safe.”

Yet despite its obvious safety, HLS felt the need to kill animals to test it anyway, of course finding it "safe for consumption in humans". As a Contract Research Organization (CRO), this is one of the many examples available that demonstrate how HLS will literally test anything - and everything - on animals if they are paid to do it!

PDF of vegetable experiment

Mushroom Extract

This 2008 study is another fine example of HLS’ so-called ‘life saving research’. A type of mushroom known as Agaricus blazei Murrill was tested on animals! During the experiment, extract of the mushroom was forced down the throats of seven week old rats (a procedure known as ‘oral gavage’), who were later killed and dissected.

Two females receiving 1000 mg/kg/day died or were killed due to an accidental mis-administration of the test formulation, since there was trauma … and a Control male also died.”

As seen in the quote above, even in HLS’ own documents they admit to sloppy procedures and deaths of animals as commonplace. How better to sum up this experiment than to quote from HLS themselves; “In the 13-week repeated dose toxicity study, ABM-FD [mushroom extract] did not cause any clinical finding…”. In other words, they learnt absolutely nothing from the experiment.

PDF of mushroom experiment

Cleaning Chemicals

HLS conducted yet another ‘life saving’ experiment in 2004 on pregnant rats; this time, testing the chemical n-Propyl bromide. What HLS fail to mention in their experiments is that this chemical is a “solvent used for the cleaning of metal surfaces, removal of soldering residues from electronic circuit boards, and as an adhesive solvent”.

This chemical has been under dispute for many years and a vast array of experiments have already been conducted on rats in an attempt to establish whether it has an effect upon the health of adult humans and unborn babies.

During this experiment, HLS forced pregnant and lactating female rats to inhale the chemical in varying doses by placing them in tube-shaped inhalation devices not much bigger than their bodies. This was not only to see the effect on the mother rats but the unborn and already weaning babies. The rats, numbering over 50 adult females and numerous babies, were forced to inhale this substance for a total of 31 days. Once the experiment was completed, the rats were all killed and dissected to have their internal organs weighed and examined.

This chemical has been in use for many years, with large amounts of workers having already been exposed to it. Debate still remains in both scientific and industry arenas over the safe level of exposure; while one paper clearly shows that rats have fertility problems when exposed to the chemical, others prove it to be entirely safe.

In effect, groups and health protection bodies are arguing over which toxicity category to place the chemical, pointing out continuously that there is “insufficient evidence”.

Finally, the Health and Safety Executive of the UK (UK HSE) sum up this problem by pointing out:

“ is not possible to judge which studies provide the most relevant model for humans.”

PDF of cleaning chemical experiment

SPLENDA (Coffee Sweetener)

Splenda is the brand name for Sucralose and is made by Mcneil Speciality Products who are in turn owned by Johnson & Johnson.

In 2000 a series of reports were published by Permagon press detailing how thousands of animals had been experimented on at Huntingdon to test an artificial sweetener sucralose. These were particularly nasty experiments carried out on dogs, monkeys, rabbits, rats and mice. 12,800 animals died at HLS during this study.

One of the aims of the experiments was to see the effect on the central nervous system of the animals and in turn the animals were given massive doses of sucralose. Serious questions have been raised as to the safety of sucralose yet here it is widely available in many service stations, Pret a Manger and Starbucks to name a few outlets. We invite anyone reading this to enter sucralose or splenda into a Google search and read the detailed and widespread evidence on the dangers of sucralose.

In the Home Office's own guidelines primates are only to be used for 'serious' studies. These experiments amongst many others make a mockery of this. Animals died for what? Sugar.

We can all sleep safely in our beds at night knowing that kind people at Huntingdon Life Sciences are testing for our childrens' safety and for their future...oh and if you believe that you need your head examining.

Click here to read the Daily Mirror article about HLS testing Splenda.

PDF of SPLENDA dog experiments
PDF of SPLENDA mice experiments
PDF of SPLENDA rabbit experiments
PDF of SPLENDA mice and monkey experiments
PDF of SPLENDA rat experiments
PDF of SPLENDA rat experiments 2
PDF of SPLENDA rat and rabbit experiments

Caramel Food Colouring

In the May 1992 edition of Food Chemical Toxicology an experiment was reported at Huntingdon that involved poisoning mice with Caramel at "very high doses" in spite of the fact that caramel has been on the market for many decades.

PDF of food colouring experiment

Starch Derivative

In 1994 Huntingdon tested cyclodextrin which is a starch derivative. This was tested on dogs and rats for one year. All the animals were killed at the end of this experiment.

PDF of food colouring experiment


Photo of rats during inhalation toxicology experiment

In an edition of the Toxicologist magazine in 1998 it described how Huntingdon had tested nicotine on rats and rabbits. Convulsions and tremors were recorded in both species.

In a toxicological magazine published in 1990 Huntingdon carried out tobacco experiments on rats. These were done by the particularly nasty method of Inhalation toxicology which means that the animals are forced to breath in the fumes like the ones pictured.


In a report published in 1999 called Marihuana (sic) and Medicine it details an experiment carried out on 84 pregnant rabbits at Huntingdon to test cannabis.

This experiment lasted one month and all the animals were killed whilst still pregnant.


Photo of dogs during inhalation toxicology experiment

In 2000 Huntingdon published an experiment for three kinds of Musk which is a perfume used in cleaning products, toiletries and perfumes. These experiments were carried out on rats.

This is inhalation toxicology. This is a promotional picture from a lab infiltrated by SHAC and in this picture the dogs are only breathing fresh air. The reality is very different, there are no people sitting between the dogs comforting them, the animals would be breathing anything from the fumes from burning foam to the vapours from aerosols and glues. The animals would keep on breathing these fumes often until they pass out, vomit or in numerous cases drop down dead in the slings.

PDF of musk experiment
Support the SOCPA7 - Animal liberation + activist solidarity!