Demonstrators run away from the Instituto Royal laboratory to escape tear gas fired by police, as a police car burns along a road leading to the lab in Sao Roque, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. Clashes between animal rights activists and police outside the lab came one day after activists broke into the lab and released beagle dogs being used to test for adverse effects of drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry. Protesters returned Saturday to see if there were more animals in the building. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)
SAO PAULO (AP) — Animal rights activist Saturday clashed with police in front of a laboratory in southeastern Brazil that used dogs for drug tests.
The clash came one day after activists broke into the Instituto Royal laboratory in Sao Roque and released 178 beagles being used to test for adverse effects of drugs manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry.
Officer Edivaldo Nunes of the Sao Roque police department said by telephone that about 500 activists tried to break through barriers set up in front of the laboratory following Friday’s break-in.
He said several members of the so-called Black Block anarchist group were among the protesters.
“They hurled rocks and set fire to a police car and to two cars of a local television station,” Nunes said, adding that police responded with tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. He did not know if anyone was hurt or arrested.
Nunes said that “a large group of activists shouting ‘save the dogs’ stormed the lab early Friday morning and drove away with the animals.
He said none of the dogs have been recovered.
Phone calls to the lab for comment went unanswered on Saturday.