PETA filed a formal complaint today with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling for an immediate investigation into painful, deadly, and, we believe, illegal veterinary vaccine potency tests on hamsters at Colorado Serum Company (CSC) in Denver.
The persistent folks in PETA’s Regulatory Testing Division have repeatedly written and called CSC to make sure its officials are aware that in 2006 the USDA approved a non-animal test in place of an obsolete and lethal method of using hamsters to test the Leptospira vaccine. The Animal Welfare Act states that the use of animals should only be approved when alternatives are not available, but CSC is killing hundreds of hamsters a year, without providing them with any pain relief—more than 1,850 of them in just the past four years.
And catch this: According to CSC’s annual reports, the company “found no new information which would allow for a change in our approach to these issues,” even though a simple Web search would have clued someone in. In fact, CSC has done nothing but copy the same information that it used in 2004 to justify its use of animals into every report through 2009!
We’ll keep on top of this case. If you’re sick of pointless cruelty to animals or want to know more about superior test methods, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey