A whistle-blower from a Charles River Laboratories facility has provided PETA UK with a statement alleging that the company is responsible for crushing live rats to death, administering excessive doses of chemicals to rats – leading them to self-mutilate – and other atrocious acts.
After PETA UK filed a complaint with the British Home Office, the facility has been formally investigated and sanctioned!
Experimenting on animals is a dirty business, and Charles River Laboratories, which also has a facility in Melbourne, is one of the world’s top peddlers of misery and death, reportedly supplying one in every two animals used in experiments and therefore having a hand in half of all the pain, fear, and distress endured by animals in laboratories around the globe.
The company is notorious for violating animal welfare regulations in the US, from failing to provide suffering animals with pain relief and using slapdash surgical methods to scalding a monkey to death by running her cage through a high-temperature cage washer – while she was still locked inside.
According to the whistle-blower, the following atrocities took place at the company’s site in Elphinstone, Scotland:
1. Rats Crushed to Death in Rubbish Compressor
Boxes containing approximately 100 to 120 live rats, including pregnant females, who had recently been delivered to the facility and carelessly discarded, were moved via forklift to the rubbish compressor and placed inside. The compressor was turned on, resulting in a catastrophic death toll: between 50 and 54 rats were crushed to death, and workers later killed the survivors by breaking their necks.
2. Rats Given Excessive Dose in Inhalation Experiment
Rats were used in an inhalation experiment in which they were restrained in tubes for six hours and forced to inhale a toxic gas. Inhalation of the gas can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches, and emotional disturbances, and at high concentrations it can cause mental confusion, eye disturbances, muscular tremors, cyanosis, and convulsions. Five rats were mistakenly exposed to a dose that was above the allowed maximum. Consequently, they suffered to such an extent that they chewed on their own limbs – one distressed female chewed an entire toe off one of her front feet.
3. Rats Given Wrong Test Compound
Experimenters administered the wrong dose of a compound to rats who were being used in a cancer experiment. The technician responsible for dosing the rats reportedly hadn’t read the label properly. Despite the mistake, the study continued, and only the standard operating procedures were changed.
4. Escape of Mouse Discovered After Five Days
It was reported that a mouse escaped from his or her cage. The last time that the mouse could be confirmed as being present in the cage was five days prior to the discovery that the animal was missing. The mouse was never found. The incident shows that the appropriate daily checks weren’t being conducted.
Each of the examples above raises issues of flagrant incompetence, poor standards of care, and a blatant disregard for life.
Animals Are Not Inanimate Pieces of Laboratory Equipment
No animal deserves to be recklessly drugged, gassed, discarded, or cut up for “science”. All animals feel pain and fear, and their overwhelming natural instincts are to be free and to protect their own lives, not to be locked in a small cage inside a laboratory.
It’s essential that any action taken against Charles River Laboratories be proportionate to the suffering experienced by the animals at its facility. PETA UK is calling for the British 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 that’s effective, human-relevant, and animal-free.
What You Can Do
Please help end cruel experiments on mice, rats, and other animals: