Written by Jeff Mackey
In light of Merck's record of failing
to provide even the most minimal care to animals used in its experiments, PETA
has filed a lawsuit
against the pharmaceutical giant for violating PETA's shareholder rights and refusing to include a proposal by
PETA—a Merck stockholder—among the 2012 proxy materials that are being considered at the company's upcoming
annual meeting. PETA is asking the court to order Merck to include the proposal
and give shareholders the chance to cast an informed vote on it.
What Is Merck Trying
PETA's proposal simply requests an annual report on Merck's "procedures
to ensure proper animal care, including measures to improve the living
conditions of all animals used in-house and at contract laboratories"—but
the drugmaker has refused, apparently preferring to conceal from shareholders
how Merck and its
contractors have repeatedly violated federal animal welfare laws. Since 2008 alone, Merck's
violations have included caging primates in isolation, inadequate anesthesia
procedures and housing of animals, and lack of veterinary care and personnel
training, just to name a few.
Merck's record is especially disturbing since, in the last
three years alone, it has used tens of thousands of primates, dogs, rabbits,
hamsters, and guinea pigs in experiments—including more than 16,000 animals in
painful tests, thousands of whom were given no
pain relief whatsoever. Shareholders have a right to know what the company
is doing to prevent further violations of animal welfare laws, don't you think?
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.