Written by Michelle Kretzer
It's fitting that a man who sold dogs to
laboratories may end up behind bars himself. A federal court sentenced Floyd Martin to a year
in prison after he and his wife, Susan, illegally purchased hundreds of dogs and sold them to laboratories.
Susan Martin was convicted of conspiracy and received probation. The couple was
fined $300,000. They had pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling
dogs to be tormented and, in all likelihood, killed.
And the dogs weren't tormented only when
they got to the laboratories. A U.S. Department of Agriculture investigation of
the Martins' dingy facility, Chestnut Grove Kennel, resulted in citations for violations
of animal welfare laws, such as housing incompatible dogs together, leaving dogs
with injuries seemingly untreated, having dangerous enclosures, and more. PETA
obtained these never-before-released pictures from inside the facility:
It's not illegal for animal dealers like
the Martins to buy animals from "bunchers," people who pick animals
up off the streets, steal them from backyards, or obtain them from animal shelters
or "free to a good home" ads. But federal law limits the Martins and
other "random source" dealers—like notorious R&R Research, which
PETA exposed not long ago—to purchasing only 24 animals a year from each buncher in order to
try to keep illegal acts to a minimum. The Martins purchased hundreds of dogs
from just two individuals, then lied on documents to cover it up.
Because of such
rampant illegal activity and abuse of animals, PETA and others have long
campaigned for lawmakers to shut down random source dealers. And our efforts are paying off: The National
Institutes of Health, which funds most experiments on animals in the U.S., won't allow the use of animals from Class B dealers after 2015. And
last session, Congress introduced the Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2011,
which would prohibit Class B dealers from selling animals to laboratories.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Update: Based on PETA
complaints documenting abuse and neglect of animals in the University of Texas
Medical Branch at Galveston's laboratories, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
has taken the rare step of fining
the facility $9,143 for egregious violations of the federal Animal
Welfare Act—including failing to supply veterinary care to a sheep who had been
used in experimental back surgery and could not stand up, failing to supply
adequate veterinary care to a goat who died on an operating table, and failing
to supply post-procedural pain relief to three sheep used in experimental
Originally posted on May 24th:
We've told you previously how the University of Texas
Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after PETA filed a complaint detailing the egregious abuse of animals in its laboratories. After obtaining internal documents revealing hellish
conditions for animals in laboratories at the facility, PETA filed another
complaint earlier this year—and now UTMB
has been cited for the second time in 15
months for flagrant violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including
failure to provide sick and injured animals with adequate veterinary care.
Following the initial successful complaint to the USDA (based
on information provided by a laboratory insider), PETA submitted a Texas Freedom of Information Act request to UTMB asking for
documents related to the treatment of animals in its laboratories. UTMB
initially tried to use various legal exemptions to avoid releasing the records,
but PETA's attorneys successfully argued the case, leading the Texas attorney general
to order UTMB to hand over the documents.
Those documents revealed neglectful treatment of animals
that had gone previously undetected by federal inspectors and that PETA
identified and communicated to the USDA in March 2012, prompting the agency to
cite UTMB for violations of federal law. The following are a couple of examples:
These heartbreaking stories show that animal experimenters—even
those at supposedly top-tier institutions like UTMB—can't be trusted to abide
by even the minimal standards of the Animal Welfare Act. As long as animals
continue to suffer in laboratories, PETA will continue to be vigilant in monitoring
what experimenters are doing. Animals in laboratories need each of us to stop the cruelty in laboratories at UTMB—and everywhere
urge Shriners International—which has funded UTMB's burn experiments on animals
for more than 30 years—to stop supporting this cruelty.
earned a nomination for "Best Scared-as-S**t Performance" at the MTV Movie Awards for her portrayal of the possessed Nell Sweetzer in The Last Exorcism, produced by our buddy Eli
Roth. Now, before The Last Exorcism 2 hits theaters, she's releasing an exclusive video for PETA that's scarier than
anything even Eli could come up with.
A longtime animal rights activist and vegetarian, Ashley believes that everyone, even if they are scared, should see the videos of PETA's undercover
investigations: "[W]hen you really see pictures and videos of what animals go through on a day-to-day basis,
you can't get those images out of your head."
Halloween may be
over, but every day is a nightmare for animals on factory farms, in
laboratories, and on fur farms. Share Ashley's new video and encourage others
to exorcise cruelty.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ordered the
University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) to pay more than $12,000 in fines for its cruel, incompetent—and sometimes fatal—treatment of animals, citing the
institution for 10 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in its
laboratories between 2008 and 2010. Two of the citations in the penalty were the
result of a 2008 complaint
filed by PETA.
After PETA submitted information about archaic and deadly medical training exercises in which rabbits at UCHC had needles repeatedly
stabbed into their chests, the USDA found that the facility didn't properly
seek non-invasive alternatives nor did it adequately document how the animals were used. The other violations
for which UCHC was cited and fined include rabbit deaths caused by improper
anesthesia and poorly trained employees.
UCHC was previously fined $5,500 by the USDA in 2007 for AWA
violations, including injecting unapproved substances into a monkey's brain and
an incident in which a monkey was dragged so roughly by a metal collar that his
eyes bled. That penalty resulted from complaints filed by PETA Associate Director Justin Goodman, who was then a UConn grad
student leading a successful campaign to end experiments on primates at the
school. Not only were the experiments permanently shut down, but following a PETA
complaint, the laboratory was also ordered to return $65,000 in federal funding.
And that's not all: In 2001, UConn's main campus paid
$129,000 in USDA fines for 99 violations of animal welfare laws. You'd hope the
university would have learned its lesson by now, but as long as animals are suffering in school laboratories, PETA will be working to stop the violence.
Rabbits are frequent victims of animal experimenters because they are mild-tempered and easy to handle, confine, and breed—more than 241,000 of them are abused in U.S. laboratories every year.
Last year, the University of Connecticut's Health Center and
main campus received more than $63.5 million from the National Institutes of
Health, of which more than 40 percent will be spent on animal experimentation. Please
ask the federal government to stop funding cruel and antiquated animal experiments and to put your tax dollars
toward modern, humane, and superior research methods.
Cruelty campaign has flown from success to success, and it's still soaring—three top cargo
shipping companies have joined the still-growing list of carriers that refuse
to transport any animals to be burned, blinded, poisoned, and cut up alive in laboratories!
As reported in Nature magazine, after talks with PETA, UPS adopted a worldwide ban on
transporting animals destined for laboratory experiments. FedEx (already our
hero for its role in helping
Ben the bear get his freedom) and DHL have also confirmed to PETA that they have policies in place that ban
the shipment of live animals to laboratories.
To give you an idea of how big a development this is, FedEx
and UPS are the world's top two largest cargo airlines, and DHL is close
behind. They join the majority of major airlines—including Cathay Pacific, Korean
Airlines, Qantas, and others—that won't transport any animals destined for experiments.
Animals aren't safe from being caged, neglected, and tortured
as long as even one airline will deliver them into experimenters' hands. Please
urge holdout airlines such as Air France and United to step up and refuse to
ship primates to laboratories.
For more than two decades, experimenters at the National
Institute on Aging (NIA, part of the National Institutes of Health) and the
University of Wisconsin–Madison
(UW–Madison) starved caged
monkeys—depriving them of a whopping 30 percent of needed calories—to see if
this would increase their longevity. Now, the vivisectors at NIA have announced that the extreme, prolonged deprivation had no
effect on the monkeys' life span.
The NIA studies, funded by taxpayers, started in 1987, and
the UW–Madison studies
began in 1989. At both facilities—and also at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, where similar experiments are being conducted—the monkeys, in addition to being
kept chronically hungry in a semi-starved state, were imprisoned in tiny barren
cages and condemned to a lifetime of isolation, without even the simplest
benefit of any cage mates. As journalist Gina Kolata described in The New York Times:
For 25 years, the rhesus monkeys were kept
semi-starved, lean and hungry. The males' weights were so low they were the
equivalent of a 6-foot-tall man who tipped the scales at just 120 to 133
pounds. The hope was that if the monkeys lived longer, healthier lives by
eating a lot less, then maybe people, their evolutionary cousins, would, too.
When the studies at UW–Madison were first made public in 2009, PETA filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the university's egregious violations
of the Animal Welfare Act. In addition, PETA complained to the UW–Madison Institutional Animal
Care and Use Committee, but our concerns were dismissed.
Now, after decades of condemning intelligent, sensitive
monkeys to protracted suffering, the vivisectors have admitted that their
experiments not only failed to make their point but also were poorly designed:
The monkeys were fed a diet that was 28.5 percent sucrose (i.e., empty
calories). So, in addition to being ethically inexcusable, the experiments were
But no matter what the experimenters were trying to prove,
it was wrong to cage and starve these monkeys. All so-called "calorie-restriction
experiments" (that's vivisector lingo for "starving animals")
should be banned now. Primates are extremely intelligent animals who form
intricate social relationships, experience the same wide range of emotions that
we do, and exhibit a capacity for suffering similar to ours. Rhesus macaque
monkeys have been shown to use tools, count, and communicate complex
information. Monkeys can also express empathy, and they possess a sense of
fairness—something that many experimenters seem to lack.
Ssppeeeeddyy|cc by 2.0
We each have a role to play in helping monkeys and other
primates suffering in laboratories. Please urge the federal government to stop wasting
our tax dollars on cruel and pointless experiments on animals.
In response to a series of significant animal welfare
violations and complaints filed by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) has taken the rare step of fining the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) almost $12,000 for repeated violations of the federal Animal Welfare
Act. ONPRC imprisons, sickens, terrorizes, and mutilates thousands of monkeys
each year in experiments with impunity, so it's good to know that the facility
will be punished for causing animals to suffer more by failing to uphold even
The violations, which took place in 2009, included the escape of nine monkeys from the facility as well as the deaths of five other monkeys from a variety of
causes, including from dehydration, being injected with unapproved compounds, and improper procedures performed by an inadequately trained employee.
Following the escape, PETA called on the USDA to investigate and issue a fine
In 2007, PETA conducted a shocking undercover investigation, which exposed horrific laboratory conditions at ONPRC. The next year, the USDA
issued an "official
warning"—the precursor to a fine—to ONPRC. Internal documents obtained by PETA had revealed
that a sick pregnant monkey died after being denied veterinary care, that a
surgical sponge was left in a baboon—causing an abscess—and was discovered only
after he was killed for an experiment, and that experimenters mistakenly
performed surgery on the wrong monkey. After repeatedly finding negligence and
callous disregard, federal investigators are finally speaking the only language
that ONPRC understands: dollars and cents.
Take a stand for the animals imprisoned at ONPRC. Ask the National Institutes of
Health to stop funding cruel and useless nicotine experiments on animals at ONPRC and
Following a vigorous PETA campaign, Air China has confirmed
that it's joining nearly every other airline worldwide by refusing to transport
monkeys to laboratories. The airline's decision comes
less than 24 hours after PETA asked its Facebook and Twitter followers to call
Air China Cargo's main office at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport
and demand that the airline stop shipping primates to laboratories—a move that prompted
thousands of phone calls to the company.
Percita|cc by 2.0
PETA's work to bring about this policy change dates back to
last year and has included pleas to company officials, complaints to the
government, phone and email protests and a demonstration at
Air China's office at Los Angeles International Airport. Last month, PETA filed
a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after a
laboratory-bound monkey escaped aboard an Air China flight. The USDA cited the airline, China's largest and their flagship carrier, for violating federal animal welfare laws and warned that
subsequent violations could result in civil penalties or criminal prosecution
for Air China.
This victory is also due to the thousands of members and supporters
who responded to PETA's action alert—resulting in at least 24,000 e-mails to
Air China's offices around the world—and to everyone who flooded Air China's
offices at JFK airport with calls asking the airline to stop shipping monkeys
China is the source of more than 70 percent of monkeys imported to
the U.S. for use in cruel experiments—and with Air China no longer
participating in this bloody trade, experimenters will find it harder to get
their hands on more victims.
There's still more work to be done! Please take a minute now
to urge the tiny handful
of airlines that still transport monkeys to laboratories to join Air China and its peers in adopting a policy against transporting primates
destined for experiments.
Just six months after PETA announced that it had purchased stock in BIOQUAL—the company formerly known as "SEMA"—to urge it to phase out the
use of chimpanzees in experiments, the Washington Post reports that the company is doing just that.
BIOQUAL's announcement comes 25 years after Jane Goodall called for the closure of SEMA after undercover video footage released by PETA
revealed abysmal conditions in the lab. Baby chimpanzees were locked inside tiny
steel boxes in complete isolation and exhibited signs of insanity, rocking
incessantly in their dark cages. The misery of the SEMA chimpanzees is
documented in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's landmark book Free the Animals.
Until this development, little but its name seemed to have
changed at BIOQUAL. PETA recently used the Freedom of Information Act to secure
descriptions of BIOQUAL's experiments on chimpanzees. We learned that in one
experiment, six infant chimpanzees—some as young as 9 months of age—were taken
from their mothers, caged individually, exposed to a virus, and subjected to
months of painful liver, bone marrow, lymph node, and intestinal biopsies. This April, we
pointed out in official comments submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that these and other
experiments on chimpanzees at BIOQUAL were considered unnecessary by the Institute of Medicine in its landmark report on the scientific validity of experiments on
chimpanzees, and we called on the NIH to discontinue its funding.
Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, with psychological and physical needs that are strikingly similar to our own. They
are intelligent, have unique personalities, and are capable of experiencing
profound suffering. However, this has not saved them from being imprisoned,
stripped of their autonomy, and used in invasive and sometimes painful
experiments. The U.S. is the only developed country that continues to use
chimpanzees in invasive experiments, but the pending Great Ape Protection and
Cost Savings Act would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees and retire more
than 600 federally owned chimpanzees.
Please tell your congressional representatives that all chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories should be
sent to reputable sanctuaries and allowed to live out their remaining years in
In response to a complaint filed by PETA in May, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited Air China for violating federal
animal welfare laws. PETA's filing stemmed from an incident in which a monkey being
shipped to a laboratory escaped
from his cage during an Air China passenger flight at New York's JFK International Airport. The
monkey was part of a shipment of more than 100 macaques, crammed four to a crate,
who were headed to notorious South Carolina–based laboratory supplier and
experimentation facility Alpha Genesis, which itself has been cited for 14
violations of federal animal welfare laws over the last two years, including
violations for socially isolating monkeys and confining them to tiny barren
Air China was cited not only for transporting the monkey in
an unsecured enclosure but also for handling monkeys in a way that might cause
them harm—the tread mark of a shoe was found on the damaged crate, indicating
that someone may have kicked or stepped on it. Air China was also cited one month prior when a laboratory-bound monkey sustained injuries after being transported in an
enclosure with dangerously sharp edges.
Please join PETA in calling for Air China to join nearly
every major domestic and international airline—including American, Delta, China
Southern, Hainan, Lufthansa, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, El Al, and dozens of others—in refusing to transport primates to laboratories,
where they are caged, tormented in painful experiments, and then killed.
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.