By Philip Marcelo, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Animal rights activists say Northeastern University researchers are cruelly pitting steroid-injected hamsters against undrugged ones to study aggression.

In a complaint released to The Associated Press, the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals argues that the experiments violate the state’s ban on staging animal fights.

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The organization says a Northeastern lab trains hamsters to fight, stages taped “fighting events” and contributes to a fight atmosphere by injecting some animals with steroids and using others as bait.

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It wants Massachusetts to file charges against Richard Melloni, the lab’s lead researcher, and others. State Attorney General Maura Healey’s office didn’t immediately comment; Melloni was unaware of the complaint and declined to comment.

In October, PETA sued Massachusetts to release information about monkeys brought to the state ostensibly for experimentation.

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