In July 2008, PETA received an anonymous letter reporting that “many monkeys” had died at Charles River Laboratory’s (CRL) Sparks, Nevada, facility because of a heating system malfunction. We immediately filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which opened an investigation. After the incident, CRL was fined $10,000 for the death of 32 monkeys—and then went right back to selling and experimenting on millions of animals.
Jumping forward to earlier this year, another horror story broke from behind the walls of a CRL lab in Reno, Nevada. Employees at this facility carelessly ran a monkey through a high-temperature cage washer and boiled him alive. CRL was once again fined, this time for $4,000.
Now news outlets across the country are reporting on the combined $14,000 in fines for the deaths of these 33 monkeys—who were forced to endure the excruciating pain of being cooked alive because of employee ineptitude—and people everywhere are crying out for tighter regulations.
Compared to the usual slap on the wrist that abusive companies receive, these fines are hefty. But for a billion-dollar corporation with a long and sordid history of violating federal animal protection laws—and the iniquitous distinction of being the world’s largest tester and supplier of animals for use in experimentation—they’re like parking tickets. CRL is responsible for the imprisoning, poisoning, mutilating, and killing of literally tens of millions of animals—from mice to dogs to monkeys—in its own laboratories and those of its customers.
While the deaths of these monkeys have shined some light on the horrors that occur inside CRL, it is the everyday operations of this company and others like it that cause animals the most suffering and death.
Lets’s hope that CRL’s recent closing of a testing facility in Massachusetts is a sign of things to come for the entire nasty company.
Written by Logan Scherer