Pharmaceutical firms, chemical companies, contract testing facilities, and some cosmetics manufacturers are bad news for millions of animals locked in their laboratories. But when it comes to cruelty, some cause even more pain and misery than others.
To name the worst of the worst, we've looked at the number of animals the companies killed, the most painful and invasive experiments conducted, how far they lag behind industry animal protection standards, their refusal to use available non-animal test methods, and their appalling histories of federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations.
For decades, Big Tobacco used misleading tests on animals—and ignored what was clear from studies on humans—to claim that cigarettes were not harmful to human health. These days, Philip Morris, the number one cigarette manufacturer in the U.S., continues to abuse and kill animals voluntarily to develop new ingredients and products even though the tests are not required, superior non-animal methods exist, and the health risks of tobacco are well known. Read More
In recent years, Philip Morris has funded experiments in which thousands of rats have been forced to inhale tobacco smoke for six hours each day for 90 days to assess the toxicity of various additives, including vanilla and licorice. More than 990 rats were killed in a study in which they were forced to breathe either diesel engine exhaust or cigarette smoke for six hours a day, seven days a week, for two years to compare the relative effects of exposure on their lungs. In a particularly heinous episode, Philip Morris–funded experimenters purchased mice from the National Cancer Institute, painted cigarette tar on the mice's bare skin five times per week for six months, and killed the mice to compare the tumor incidence associated with smoking cigarettes with varying levels of tar.
While many countries—including the U.K., Germany, and Austria—have banned the use of animals for developing and testing tobacco products and some major tobacco manufacturers have stopped animal testing, Philip Morris continues to subject animals to inconceivable suffering and death for the sake of greater profits. Using shareholder activism, PETA continues to push the company away from this cruelty.
You can help! Please urge the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to ban cigarette tests on animals and require that tobacco companies switch to
more effective and humane alternatives.
Marshall Farms is one of the world's largest breeders of beagles, ferrets, minipigs, and hound dogs for sale to experimentation laboratories. The company also sells blood, blood products, and tissue derived from animals. With facilities in the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, South Korea, and India, Marshall is a global purveyor of misery and death. Read More
In the U.S., Marshall has been cited for more than 20 violations of federal animal welfare regulations in the last five years, including housing dogs and ferrets in filthy, decrepit wire cages in buildings infested with mice and flies and failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care. Although U.S. regulations require that cages holding dogs be "large" enough to permit the dog only to stand up, sit down, lie down, and turn around, Marshall failed to provide dogs with even that amount of space—and dogs sustained injuries as a result.
A whistleblower recently worked with PETA India to expose Marshall's Chinese facility for lying to authorities in declaring that the 70 beagles the company was shipping to India were "pets" who would not "be hurt or killed as Lab Animal [sic]," when in fact the dogs were headed to a laboratory where they were slated to be used in cruel and deadly poisoning tests.
Thankfully, Marshall faces intense opposition worldwide. In the U.K., Marshall-owned B & K Universal was blocked from opening a new facility after protests by PETA U.K. and others. And in 2012, Marshall's Italian dog factory farm—Green Hill—was shut down by government officials after allegations that dogs were mistreated.
Many of the dogs that Marshall breeds and sells are used in crude and
cruel tests—required by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA)—in which large doses of pharmaceutical drugs are
pumped into their bodies, slowly poisoning them. Please ask the FDA to
accept superior non-animal methods in place of archaic and unreliable animal
Every year, Pfizer subjects huge numbers of animals to cruel and lethal experiments. In 2011, Pfizer experimented on nearly 50,000 animals—including 2,557 dogs, 1,159 primates, 452 cats, 7,076 guinea pigs, 31,560 hamsters, 5,512 rabbits, 1,680 gerbils, and 161 horses—in its own laboratories. More than 15,000 of these animals were forced to endure painful experiments, and more than 6,000 were denied pain relief. These numbers don't even include mice and rats or any of the animals tormented for Pfizer experiments in contract testing laboratories. Read More
According to a recent federal report, in just one Pfizer experiment, 13 dogs showed painful toxic effects. In another experiment, 81 dogs experienced varying degrees of lameness and pain, which was not treated. In an experiment involving cats, the report notes that 14 cats experienced varying degrees of lameness and pain, which was not alleviated through pain relief. One hundred eleven horses were repeatedly injected with snake venom and subjected to large blood draws. Such painful experimentation can cause horses to become ill, lose weight, and become anemic. No pain relief was provided.
In addition, federal inspections of Pfizer's animal laboratories revealed multiple violations of animal protection regulations. Inside the laboratories, the body of a cat missing for nearly a month was found in a drain line, a dog was scalded to death by the automatic cage washer, and other animals endured stress and untreated infections in a laboratory reeking of excrement. Macaque monkeys had stress-induced hair loss on 50 percent of their bodies, and other animals, in their traumatized condition, chewed and pulled the hair out of their cagemates. Pfizer was also cited for the failure of its animal experimentation oversight body to ensure that experimenters who cut into animals had conducted a search for alternatives.
Like Merck, Pfizer contracted out animal tests to Professional Laboratory and Research Services, which was shut down by federal authorities after a PETA undercover investigation revealed sadistic treatment of animals—including sick and injured animals being denied veterinary care; dogs and cats being slammed into cages, thrown, kicked, and dragged; and dogs and cats being pressure-hosed with a bleach solution.
PETA has repeatedly used shareholder resolutions to hold Pfizer to account for its appalling treatment of animals in its own laboratories and at contract facilities, but Pfizer has rebuffed PETA's efforts and has refused to take responsibility for its cruelty and violations of federal law.
Read about PETA's shareholder resolution campaign.
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) currently requires that new pharmaceuticals be tested using
crude and cruel tests in which drugs are pumped into animals' bodies, slowly
poisoning them. Please ask
the FDA to accept superior non-animal methods in place of archaic and
unreliable animal tests.
While not a testing laboratory itself, Air France is one of the last airlines in the world to still accept blood money to transport primates to deadly fates in laboratories. Each year, it ships some of the tens of thousands of nonhuman primates who are ripped from their homes in the wild or bred on squalid monkey factory farms and flown around the world to be abused and killed in cruel and painful experiments. Read More
While nearly every major airline in the world—including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, US Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Hainan Airlines, El Al Airlines, and dozens of others—has prohibited the transportation of primates destined for laboratories, Air France continues to profit from its participation in this violent industry.
The primates Air France ships to laboratories are separated from their families and locked in dark, terrifying cargo holds—right below the feet of unsuspecting flight passengers—for as long as 30 hours. Then they are delivered to facilities that will poison them, cut them up, and kill them.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2012 nearly 17,000 primates were imported to the U.S. for use in experiments—nearly every single one of them by air from countries in Asia and Africa. As more and more cargo and passenger airlines have refused to transport primates for the animal experimentation industry, laboratories have had difficulty getting their hands on monkeys to mutilate and poison in experiments. However, holdouts like Air France continue to facilitate the cruelty perpetrated in laboratories—and are all the more culpable for the suffering produced.
Tell Air France that you
won't be flying with the airline until it stops transporting primates to laboratories.
Each year, pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) torments and kills tens of thousands of animals—including dogs, nonhuman primates, rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs—in cruel and painful tests in which they have experimental drugs forced down their throats. According to annual reports filed with the federal government, some dogs and monkeys who are used in painful experiments at BMS are intentionally not given any pain relief at all. According to former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, nine out of 10 experimental drugs that appear promising in animal tests go on to fail in human clinical trials. Read More
A concerned insider at BMS recently informed PETA that callousness and negligence in the company's laboratories compound the animals' suffering. The whistleblower reported that a monkey and rat endured terrifying and excruciatingly painful deaths when their cages were run through the company's boiling-hot cage washer—with the animals still inside. Another monkey hanged to death in her cage after she was clipped to the front of it to be weighed and left unattended. After PETA filed formal complaints with federal authorities, BMS was cited for serious violations of the AWA.
As a Fortune 500 company with annual revenues exceeding $19 billion, BMS certainly has the resources to ensure that animals do not suffer so egregiously in its laboratories: It would seem that the company simply doesn't care. PETA has taken its case to BMS' shareholders, filing shareholder resolutions to advance concerns regarding the treatment of animals and to encourage BMS to adopt non-animal testing methods.
Tell BMS to stop abusing animals and to
switch to modern non-animal testing methods.
The three blind mice of the nursery rhyme had it easy compared to the millions of mice who are bred, experimented on, and sold to other laboratories each year by The Jackson Laboratory (JAX). JAX genetically manipulates mice to be predisposed to developing cancerous tumors, to becoming obese, to having depressed immune systems, to experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression, and to developing crippling diseases and other debilitating ailments. JAX has also bred mice who become paralyzed in one or more limbs. Read More
JAX also conducts tests on animals for other companies and universities, including force-feeding animals large quantities of test chemicals, memory tests in which mice are forced to swim in a pool of opaque water and must find a hidden platform to avoid drowning, and pain reflex tests in which mice are placed on hot plates, heated to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, to see how long it takes for the mice to respond to the scorching heat of the plate. What JAX does to animals would violate cruelty-to-animals laws if it occurred outside a laboratory.
Mice purchased from JAX by other facilities—3 million last year—have been addicted to drugs and then forced to suffer from withdrawal symptoms, including headshakes, body tremors, involuntary paw tremors, and writhing. They have sustained severe burns and repeated electroshocks. Experimenters have induced strokes, seizures, and spinal cord damage in mice purchased from JAX.
In addition to the cruelty that is business as usual at JAX, documents obtained by PETA through the Freedom of Information Act reveal JAX's abysmal record of violations of federal guidelines governing the treatment of animals in laboratories. Mice left in precarious situations and forgotten have died from suffocation, starvation, and dehydration, and on multiple occasions, live mice have been found in the carcass bins of freezers meant for dead animals.
Mice are highly sensitive, intelligent, and social animals who suffer greatly in experiments. And yet, mice—along with rats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and "agricultural animals" used in agricultural experimentation—are denied even the minimal standards of care afforded by federal animal welfare law.
Many of the mice that JAX breeds and
sells are used in crude and cruel tests—required
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—in
which large doses of pharmaceutical drugs are pumped into their bodies, slowly
poisoning them. Please ask the FDA to accept superior non-animal methods in place of archaic and
unreliable animal tests.
Mike Addy is the CEO of the notorious military training contractor Tier 1 Group, LLC, which became the poster child for the military's cruel war on animals when PETA released a horrific undercover video of a trauma training drill conducted by the company for the U.S. Coast Guard. The footage showed live goats who had their limbs broken and cut off with tree trimmers, their organs yanked out, and their abdomens stabbed while they moaned and kicked in apparent pain. Read More
Complaints filed by PETA resulted in the USDA's issuing an "Official Warning" to the company for violating the federal AWA by providing the goats it was mutilating with inadequate anesthetics. The disturbing case also prompted members of Congress to request an investigation by the Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General into why Tier 1 Group continues to be awarded contracts despite its history of violations of animal welfare laws.
In 2012, Tier 1 Group—which has been cited for violations of the AWA for years—cut apart, shot, stabbed, and killed more than 1,000 pigs and goats in archaic trauma training drills like the one seen in the undercover video. That constitutes approximately 10 percent of the 10,000 animals each year who are tormented in training exercises for military personnel.
Tier 1 Group, other contractors, and the DOD itself continue to conduct these cruel exercises even though more than three-quarters of the U.S.' NATO allies have confirmed that they do not use any animals for military medical training—and even some U.S. military facilities have replaced animal laboratories with superior lifelike simulators that breathe, bleed, and "die."
And DOD regulations actually require that alternatives to animals be used when available, but this policy is not being enforced.
Thankfully, in early 2013, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the DOD to create a strategy and timeline for completely replacing animal use in its training drills with modern non-animal methods. Tier 1 Group likely won't be receiving multimillion-dollar contracts to torture pigs and goats much longer.
PETA continues to call on government officials to take immediate action to completely replace the use of animals in military medical training with humane and superior non-animal methods.
Takeshi Yamakawa is the CEO of Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL) USA, Ltd., a contract testing laboratory that torments tens of thousands of primates, dogs, rabbits, and other animals every year in painful and lethal experiments to test products for other companies. SNBL also imports hundreds of primates into the U.S. every year. Read More
Several SNBL insiders have contacted PETA to report abysmal conditions and egregious abuse. A whistleblower who had worked at SNBL for years leaked photographs and video footage depicting sick and injured monkeys suffering from deplorably cruel and invasive experiments. Earlier, a whistleblower revealed that a monkey had been boiled to death when her cage was put into a high-temperature, mechanical cage washer while she was still inside it.
Federal inspectors have also found cruelty and neglect inside SNBL's laboratories. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection and investigation reports reveal hundreds of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The company was recently assessed fines of $31,000 and $12,900 for denying veterinary care and adequate pain relief to suffering animals and failing to ensure that experiments were not duplicated. In 2010, the FDA cited SNBL for failing to ensure that employees charged with providing oversight for the thousands of animals at SNBL were properly trained.
Violations have shown that SNBL has failed to provide suffering animals with safe and adequate housing, veterinary treatment, and proper pain relief measures. During one three-week period, 20 monkeys died from "extreme weight loss" and "emaciation." One monkey became so ill that she lost 32 percent of her bodyweight within 25 days of the experiment. Seven weeks into the chemical test, she had become sickened to the point of losing her appetite entirely. Despite this massive weight loss, the monkey continued to be dosed with the test chemical. She became lethargic and dehydrated, suffered from diarrhea, and had infected wounds on her body and tail. After three terrible months, she was finally put out of her misery and euthanized. A USDA report from 2011 documented that 78 percent of the monkeys at SNBL are caged alone—in violation of federal law—unable to touch or interact in any way with other monkeys. This is so distressing to monkeys that they develop stress-induced abnormal behavior such as self-mutilation, incessant rocking, and hair-pulling.
Help keep primates away
from SNBL by asking
airlines that still transport them to laboratories to stop their participation
in the violent industry.
Every year, pharmaceutical multinational Merck subjects tens of thousands of animals—including dogs, monkeys, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, sheep, rats, and mice—to cruel and painful experiments in which they are poisoned, infected, mutilated, and killed. Animals are force-fed massive quantities of Merck's experimental drugs—even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admits that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail or cause harm in human trials. Merck is also one of a tiny handful of shameful places that continues to conduct invasive experiments on chimpanzees even though it is widely acknowledged by scientists worldwide that they are not needed to develop or test drugs to ensure human health. Read More
Merck has been cited repeatedly for abuse of animals in its laboratories, including caging highly social primates in isolation, using inadequate procedures for anesthesia, failing to provide veterinary care, and failing to consider alternatives to painful procedures on animals. Merck also failed to document whether pain relief was given to dogs who were used in painful experiments, and the company has even been cited for misrepresenting the number of animals used in painful experiments in a report submitted to the federal government.
Merck contracted out animal tests to a company called Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS), which was shut down by federal authorities in 2010 after a PETA undercover investigation revealed sadistic treatment of animals, including sick and injured animals who were denied veterinary care; dogs and cats who were slammed into cages, thrown, kicked, and dragged; and dogs and cats who were pressure-hosed with a bleach solution. Merck had contracted with this facility since at least 1996.
PETA has repeatedly used shareholder resolutions to hold Merck to account for its appalling treatment of animals in its own laboratories and at contract facilities, but the company has rebuffed PETA's efforts and has refused to take responsibility for its cruel and illegal behavior.
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) currently requires that new pharmaceuticals be tested
using crude and cruel tests in which drugs are pumped into animals' bodies,
slowly poisoning them. Please ask the FDA to accept superior non-animal methods in place
of archaic and unreliable animal tests.
For more than two decades, Avon had been one of the largest and well-known companies on PETA's cruelty-free cosmetics list. But PETA recently learned that when Avon decided to expand its business into China, the company started paying for tests in which chemicals are dripped into rabbits' eyes and rubbed onto animals' bare skin. Avon did not challenge the Chinese government's demand for painful animal tests—which only duplicate safety information already gleaned from non-animal tests—but simply rolled over and paid for the tests. Moreover, Avon did not inform PETA or consumers that its policies had changed and continued marketing its products as "cruelty-free." Read More
Avon had banned all tests on animals in 1989 following PETA's massive worldwide campaign against the company, in which millions of door-hangers labeled "Avon Killing" were distributed—a play on the company's "Avon Calling" brand. Since then, Avon had enjoyed the support of PETA and millions of consumers who choose to buy cosmetics from companies that don't harm animals.
Truly cruelty-free companies such as Urban Decay and Paul Mitchell have taken a stand and chosen to pull out of the Chinese market until regulations in that country no longer require tests on animals, a shift that PETA is now facilitating.
You can help. Take PETA's Pledge to Be Cruelty-Free today and vow to buy only products that have not been tested on animals.
Please also take a
moment to let Avon know that you are disappointed in its backsliding and that
you will no longer buy its products as long as they are tested on animals:
Sherilyn McCoy, CEO
777 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10017
As the world's largest breeder of dogs destined for suffering and pain in experiments—and as the biggest importer of primates for experimental purposes in the U.S.—Covance and its chief executing officer, Joseph Herring, peddle misery and death. Covance is a contract testing company that tests everything from drugs to industrial chemicals to cosmetics ingredients for client companies. In Covance's tests, animals have caustic chemicals dripped into their eyes and experimental substances applied to their raw and abraded skin. They have been forced to ingest or inhale deadly toxins, and experimenters have intentionally induced cancer in animals. Read More
Thankfully, a number of Covance facilities have recently shuttered and downsized because of lack of demand for the company's cruel services. But its wholesale abuse of animals continues. In recent years, Covance has been repeatedly cited for violations of federal animal protection law. Monkeys have been housed in such frigid conditions that they developed frostbite. A rabbit was scalded to death when the cage in which she was housed was run through a cage washer—while she was still locked inside. One dog who had a chronic food-restrictive device implanted in her body had lost 30 percent of her body weight during a Covance study, but she was provided with no documented medical care for her severe weight loss. A dehydrated monkey had not eaten for several days, and it was eventually discovered that it was because her leg was trapped in the back portion of her cage. Another monkey had been caged alone for nearly eight months, with no shred of explanation for why this monkey was being denied companionship.
PETA's shocking undercover investigation of Covance's now-defunct Vienna, Virginia, laboratory—which prompted federal citations and a fine for violations of federal animal protection law—revealed that workers struck, choked, and tormented monkeys and that sick and injured monkeys received no veterinary care. Video shows hard plastic tubes that were violently forced up the nostrils and into the stomachs of terrified juvenile monkeys, causing choking, gagging, and daily bloody noses. Primates were driven mad by psychological trauma and the barren laboratory conditions and circled frantically in their cages, pulled out their own hair, and chewed on their own flesh.
PETA continues to expose Covance's dirty secrets and push the company to do better.
Help keep primates away
from Covance by asking
airlines that still transport them to laboratories to stop their participation
in the violent industry.
James C. Foster, CEO of Charles River Laboratories, is the worst CEO for animals in laboratories. Charles River makes its profits by breeding and selling millions of animals—from mice to monkeys—for use in cruel and invasive experiments in laboratories around the world. The world's largest breeder of animals for use in experiments, Charles River supplies one of every two animals used in experimentation—which means that the company has a hand in fully half of all the pain, misery, fear, and distress endured by animals in laboratories. The company is the second-largest importer of nonhuman primates into the U.S., bringing in thousands of monkeys who have been stolen from their homes in the wild or bred on decrepit monkey factory farms. We don't know how Foster sleeps at night. Read More
Charles River also conducts painful tests on animals for companies that produce industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives, and pharmaceuticals. In these tests, the animals are force-fed test compounds, have experimental chemicals smeared onto their shaved skin, and are forced to inhale toxic substances. The animals may endure severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, seizures, paralysis, and bleeding from the nose, mouth, and genitals before they ultimately die or are killed.
A summary of Charles River Laboratories' AWA violations reads like a criminal indictment: inadequate veterinary care; failure to provide suffering animals with pain relief; inadequate housing, causing a high incidence of foot injuries in dogs; shoddy surgical methods resulting in the misery and eventual death of a dog; and failure to investigate non-animal alternatives to experiments involving severe suffering. Rabbits with skin lesions 4.5 inches deep were given no medical care, and unqualified personnel caused such severe injuries to monkeys' fingers that the digits had to be amputated. At Charles River's Nevada facility, 32 monkeys were baked alive when a thermostat malfunctioned and no one noticed. A monkey was scalded to death when her cage was run through a high-temperature cage washer—while she was still locked inside. Charles River posts annual revenues in excess of a billion dollars, but the company has apparently failed to institute simple safeguards to ensure that animals aren't being burned and baked to death.
PETA continues to call on Charles River Laboratories to clean up its act, but clearly the company places profits before progress and compassion, and it does not even attempt to keep its callousness and greed a secret. It has stated in its annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that "new technologies ... models, methods, and systems that would replace or supplement the use of living animals as test subjects in biomedical research" are a "risk" to its business.
Help keep primates away
from Charles River Laboratories by asking airlines that still transport them to laboratories
to stop their participation in the violent industry.
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.