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Imprisoned and Poisoned at SNBL: A Whistleblower Case

A distraught whistleblower from Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), a notorious Everett, Washington-based animal testing conglomerate, contacted PETA to reveal shocking allegations of mistreatment of animals used in painful and lethal experiments. The whistleblower weighed her concerns for her job and fear of retaliation against the suffering and deaths of animals that she witnessed every day at SNBL and repeatedly appealed to SNBL managers and supervisors to improve conditions for animals in the company’s laboratories. After those pleas were ignored, she felt compelled to contact PETA.

SNBL torments tens of thousands of primates, dogs, rabbits, and other animals every year to test products for other companies. It force-feeds animals experimental chemicals to intentionally sicken and kill them and infects them with debilitating diseases.

SNBL is the third-largest importer of primates in the U.S., purchasing nearly 3,000 monkeys every year from China, Cambodia, Israel, and Indonesia—some snatched from their homes and families in the wild—for use in experiments.

According to the whistleblower, in one experiment at SNBL, monkeys were hooked to their cages with a metal tether through which ice-cold saline solution and test compounds were continuously dripped into their veins. The monkeys were kept like this for many months and reportedly were so cold that they shivered and their teeth chattered non-stop. Monkeys had blood drawn from their arms many times a day, resulting in swelling, redness, and bruising of their limbs. These wounds were considered “routine” and were never treated. After the first few blood draws, the monkeys’ veins were damaged, and workers would poke and dig around in the limb to find others. The monkeys winced, screamed, trembled, and shook, and tried to defend themselves. The whistleblower said, “Eventually, many of the monkeys stop fighting and reacting … it is like the life is gone from them.”

While working at SNBL, the whistleblower observed workers handling the monkeys so violently that the animals suffered bloodied noses, broken fingers and toes, and bruises to their bodies. Their tails were bent or deformed because workers slammed cage doors on them. The employees also allegedly banged loudly on the monkeys’ cages to frighten and intimidate them into being quiet. Managers and supervisors apparently knew of this ongoing physical and psychological abuse of monkeys but refused to stop it.

The whistleblower also reported that monkeys were tied for many hours in restraint chairs with their arms and legs kept entirely immobile as drugs were injected intravenously over the course of a day. The whistleblower said, “The monkeys fight continuously for hours to loosen the ropes … it is just too much for them.” Some monkeys collapsed in the restraint chairs and never recovered.

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 behaviors such as self-mutilation, incessant rocking, and hair-pulling.

Like the whistleblower, federal inspectors have also found cruelty and neglect inside SNBL’s laboratories. U.S. Department of Agriculture 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. SNBL also made headlines in 2008 after a whistleblower revealed that a monkey had been boiled to death when her cage was put into a high-temperature cage-washing machine while she was still in it. In 2010, the FDA cited SNBL for failing to ensure that employees charged with providing care for the thousands of animals at SNBL were properly trained.

SNBL’s customers—the companies for which it conducts tests on animals—include Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Genentech, and Seattle Genetics. Several government agencies—including the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services—have signed contracts with SNBL worth more than $1 million. And, SNBL profits from the importation and sales of monkeys for use in experimentation.

Please take a stand for the monkeys imprisoned at SNBL by calling on airlines to stop transporting primates destined for laboratories.

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  • Catalina McLoughlin says:

    It must be something that we the animal lovers can do, that’s so sad it is beyond comprehensions that people can work there and do NOTHING about it. where are those labs?

  • Michele Mullen says:

    This is unbelievably cruel. Please help these poor animals.

  • Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories says:

    Please stop this & close all laboratories on animal testing . Stop this cruelety on animals

  • Mary Holman says:

    Animal abuse has to STOP! Do these people not have a conscience? they should have tighter laws and penalties for animal abuse|!

  • Kelly Brook says:

    I believe we are seeing the last of what we call ‘human-kind’. everyday something else is revealed of horror shows going on in the name of medicine. Why should the poor monkeys have to be abused because we need a cure of whatever. And the gov. is involved. These horrible law makers could save a lot of money by putting an end to torturing animals for the good of ‘man kind[s]“.

  • Peri McMillan says:

    I am outraged that these defenseless animals are tortured and yes, I call what’s being done to them torture. Why is this being allowed? It’s bad enough that they’re kidnapped from their homes to be experimented on and that’s not even mentioning the horrendous things done to them while being caged up by evil disgusting people. This needs to stop!

  • Marie-Christine Husk says:

    Horrible! archaic! cruel! despicable! uncontrolled!

  • Jo-ann troy says:

    It breaks my heart to see all this suffering . Why can’t National Geographic which is a wlell known and respected organization not have documentaries showing the reality of how we really treat our animals in labs . They have the power and the influence to make a difference .

  • Le pelletier says:

    No more acceptable ! Stop this !

  • köllner gab says:

    please stop it !!!

  • Jenna T says:

    This is absolutely sickening. I don’t care if these researchers have gone through years of education, they are still obviously too simple minded and ignorant to comprehend how unacceptable and wrong this is. This is very, very sad and I hope to see all animal testing come to an end in the future. What kind of life is this for these animals?

  • marly says:

    STOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bella says:

    this is so sad it made me cry. i wish that they would stop testing on monkeys an other animals they dont have to test on animals to be a successful companys.

  • Carol says:

    I find it appalling that this type of cruelty is going on with such “tiny” fines for animal cruelty! You can judge a society by the way it treats animals, and this proves that our Powers That Be are sorely lacking in the Basic Kindness that EVERY living creature on our planet deserves. A moment of kindness for these poor creatures would help to ease their terrible loss of Freedom. Shame on the people who work in these places, and the people who make it possible!

  • F. Jackie Loose says:

    Please stop this unnecessary experiments on any animal! NOW! Disgusting and cruel!!

  • Ann-Cathrin Schmidt says:

    STOP IT!!!

  • linda badham says:

    MAY YOUR GOD FORGIVE YOU !! I AND MOST OF THE WORLD WON’T, NOT THAT IT MATTERS TO YOU AS NOTHING THATS TO DO WITH SUFFERING SEEMS TO. I BET YOU SLEEP EASY TOO.

  • yvonne paul says:

    absolutely shocking,do all you can to close the place down,wish I could do something but cheque on it’s way

  • natalia verdera says:

    stop cruelty !

  • Christina says:

    Our voices count. Speak out people!

  • Schiaffini Monica says:

    It’s now to stop this orrible action!!! Animals are LIFE!!!!

  • bala says:

    terrible.inhuman.you are illtreating animals who can’t speak or show their emotions.real cowards.

  • Christine says:

    The photos and videos alone should be enought for the airline companies to refuse to transport primates destined for laboratories. STOP NOW!

  • Vivian Beckerle says:

    Is there a petition or letter prepared for use in contacting the airlines? I find this so upsetting. When humans submit to tests, it is, usually, with knowledge. These poor animals cannot agree to the testing done on them and it is horrifying that they get such bad treatment.

  • ksuszek says:

    I don’t understand what these experiments result in, other than the torture of animals! What does surgically attaching a metal rod to a monkey’s back and injecting freezing liquids prove? How could that possibly “help” humans??!!

  • Al and Betsey Ricciardi says:

    We are sickened by the work that hidden cameras reveal in the photos/videos at SNBL. It doesn’t matter who your boss is, who pays you, or if you are the owner(s) of SNBL. At some point in your life, you will have to pay the reaper for the suffering that you are causing to living animals. Whether is be through a disease, such as cancer, or something else…you will pay the ultimate price. Please take a moment to open your hearts and souls as you drive back to your homes and families at the end of everyday. Then, take a moment to “listen” to whomever is your God. He is telling you something that you do not want to hear.

  • Lori says:

    How awful. I pray that this torture ends someday. God never intended for any animal to exist this way.

  • Catherine Martinez says:

    OMG…How can we help these monkeys? NOW???

  • Loretta McKenna says:

    Sicko’s… I wonder how they would like it if the situation was reversed…keep fighting guys to get the word out there, awareness and education is key to change !!!

  • Julius Spencer says:

    CLOSE THEM DOWN – NOW.

  • Kristine Minnocci says:

    I understand the need to test medications, but, but it is not humanely correct nor intelligent for the educated people that administer this type of testing. There must be other methods that are not impairing to any creature. The suffrage is inexcusable and needs to be stopped.
    The government needs to control this and companies should not be permitted to do this is America or any country.
    This was not the purpose of why these animals were put on this earth to be treated by humans like this. Mankind again shows to be the most destructive creature on earth.
    Stop the experiments and research in another way.

  • Inna Hue says:

    please stop these acts.

  • Paris says:

    AND I THOUGHT ADOLF HITLER HAD DIED…AND ALL THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS DID NOT EXIST ANYMORE…WHAT HAPPEN….WE WERE HORIFIED BY WHAT THE GERMANS HAD DONE DURING THE WAR…BUT ARE WE BETTER ?

  • James Koenig says:

    Why are wild monkeys allowed to be brought into the US without regulations? It sounds like the US is involved in the pet trade industry like Asia does. Endangered Species are captured for pets. The US instead tortures the pet monkeys in laboratories. Animal welfare is at stake here and nobody is doing anything about it.

  • Zizi says:

    This is unconscionable, cruel, abuse of helpless creatures. Their unspeakable suffering goes beyond the pale and must come to an end!
    We all need to reach out to our senators and representatives in Congress to say that the public will not tolerate taxpayer dollars being wasted by governmental agencies, by cruelty that is not punished by shutting down these industries that cause so much suffering, even after they have been made to pay hefty fines.

  • deb says:

    how dare we, evil does persist

  • weberstave says:

    This information has so sickened me that I feel that Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories should be shut down until they use more reliable, high-tech, non-animal solutions to testing products.

  • Raghav Mahalingam says:

    I am appalled at the treatment of these intelligent creatures…please shut down this lab.

  • Konstantinos Koutalis says:

    Animal testing must be stopped for ever!!!!
    How can these “people” torture innocent animals? How do they sleep afterwards?

  • Beryl Furman says:

    One day we’ll have no other possibilty than to destroy ourselves – unless we change.

  • Jim Koenig says:

    Why are wild monkeys allowed to be brought into the US without regulations? Sounds like the US is involved in the pet trade industry like Asia has. Endangered Species are captured for pets. The US instead tortures the pet monkeys in laboratoties.

  • Sherri Eilertson says:

    This is appalling…there is no information worthy enough to justify the emotional abuse and pain that these animals are forced to endure. These experiments should be halted and these animals should be allowed to live as they were intended….not at the hands of selfish, money mongers under the guise of science….disgusting!

  • armand smith says:

    why are people doing this . Has to be stopped. It serves no purpose.

  • Elizabeth Hassett says:

    I find it hard to believe there are human beings that allow this inhumanity to go on, shame on us all!

  • ray says:

    if there were no laws it would be humans to.please list companies that use this lab so I don’t buy there products

  • trish says:

    Sad and sick how people can hurt animals!!!

  • Marta M says:

    Please stop abusing the monkeys or any other animal for your abusive experiments!

  • Vicky says:

    It’s horrific to think that this atrocious cruelty still goes on. Surely if more people knew about it they would boycott the airline? A lot of people don’t think that this still goes on and it ought to be made public. Thank you to the whistleblower who allowed this to come into the open.

  • Lisa says:

    Heartbreaking, i dont really know what to say among the tears especially when the monkey rubbed his eye as if crying and the poor one attached to that hidous metal tube and shivering just makes you want to grab them all and rescue them, makes you feel very helpless, i hope to god PETA trys to shut this place down, how can us humans accept this in the name of medicine.

  • Rat King says:

    I’m outraged about this unbarable situation! Experiments have to stop immediately on ALL animals! The human being has no right to enslave and torture other living creatures! Inhumane two-legged beasts are stealing this right for to steal the lives of other creatures – and this is a crime! This abused planet is already paying a high price for the human default!

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