CHARLES RIVER LAB SANCTIONED FOR ANIMAL WELFARE VIOLATIONS AFTER PETA UK COMPLAINT

For Immediate Release:

25 February 2020

 Rats Crushed, Given Wrong Dose at Scottish Laboratory, PETA UK Urges Government to Revoke Lab’s Licence

Australia – In a huge breakthrough for animals and following a complaint filed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) UK, the British Home Office has formally inspected Charles River Laboratories and sanctioned it for violating animal welfare regulations. PETA UK uncovered shocking allegations regarding the extreme suffering and death of rats at the company’s Elphinstone location, near Edinburgh, after being approached by a whistle-blower who worked there. The company, notorious for animal welfare violations internationally, has facilities in Melbourne, Australia.

Because of the severity of the incidents reported in Scotland, PETA UK is urging the Home Office to revoke Charles Rivers’ licence to experiment on animals.

According to the whistle-blower, the company reportedly crushed approximately 100 to 120 live rats – including pregnant females – in a rubbish compressor and administered the wrong dose of a compound to rats who were used in a cancer experiment. It allegedly forced other rats to inhale a highly toxic compound in doses that exceeded the agreed maximum – and consequently, one distressed female chewed off an entire toe. More information about the reported welfare violations can be found here.

“Charles River Laboratories apparently can’t be trusted to follow the minimal laws that protect animals in laboratories, and the punishment should fit the crime,” says PETA Campaigns Advisor Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA UK is calling for the Home Office to revoke the company’s licence to inflict pain, misery, and death on animals immediately and for money to be invested in a new wave of science – one that’s effective, human-relevant, and animal-free.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – notes that across Australia, millions of animals are locked inside barren laboratory cages, poisoned, burned, cut into, traumatised, and infected with diseases while they suffer from extreme frustration and loneliness. Few experiments – no matter how painful or irrelevant – are prohibited by law, and almost all animals used in tests are later killed.

PETA supports the use of scientifically and ethically sound methods that better protect humans, animals, and the environment. For more information, please visit PETA.org.au.