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.

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.

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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