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THE DIRTY DOZEN: 12 Worst CEOs for Animals in Laboratories

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.

12. Martin J. Barrington, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris)

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.

11. Scott Marshall, Marshall Farms Group Ltd.

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.

10. Ian C. Read, Pfizer

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.

9. Alexandre de Juniac, Air France

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.

8. Lamberto Andreotti, Bristol-Myers Squibb

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.

7. Edison Liu, The Jackson Laboratory

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.

6. Mike Addy, Tier 1 Group, LLC

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. 

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 nearly 80 percent 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.

Following discussions with PETA, both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard announced policies substantially scaling back their use of animals and requiring that more personnel now be trained exclusively with advanced simulators and other non-animal methods.

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.

5. Takeshi KC Yamakawa, Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories USA

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.

4. Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck

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.

3. Sherilyn McCoy, Avon

For more than two decades, Avon was one of the largest and best-known companies on PETA’s cruelty-free cosmetics list. But in 2012, PETA 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 apparently 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.”

2. Joseph Herring, Covance

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.

1. James C. Foster, Charles River Laboratories

James C. Foster, Charles River Laboratories

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.