Laboratory Closing One of Its Breeding Facilities—PETA Urges Innovation

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2 min read

In a win for animals, Charles River Laboratories—the world’s largest breeder of animals for use in experiments—recently announced that one of its facilities would close as a part of a streamlining effort.

Based on a “species inventory,” this particular facility apparently held roughly 50,000 mice. A spokesperson for the company told news outlets that the Frederick, Maryland–based facility’s closure is part of a plan to increase the efficiency of the company’s operation.

Charles River conducts painful tests on animals for companies that produce industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives, and pharmaceuticals. It also has an appalling history of animal-welfare violations, including (among other things) failing to provide animals with veterinary care, failing to provide suffering animals with pain relief, and using shoddy surgical methods. At its Nevada facility, 32 monkeys were baked alive when a thermostat malfunctioned and no one noticed. Another monkey was scalded to death when her cage was run through a high-temperature cage washer while she was still locked inside.

The company’s shameful record has earned its CEO the number two spot on our list of the 12 worst CEOs for animals in laboratories.

If Charles River is worried about reform and efficiency, the company—which is responsible for one out of every two animals tormented in laboratories—should take this opportunity to join the 21st century and switch to non-animal testing methods.

While scientists around the world now acknowledge that non-animal tests are faster, cheaper, and more reliable than those using animals, this company seems to be doubling down on its commitment to mistreating living, feeling beings—it even hosted the inaugural “Charles River World Congress on Animal Models in Drug Discovery & Development” earlier this year! Even Covance—another infamous contract testing company, whose CEO occupies the top spot on our “Dirty Dozen” list—has partnered with PETA’s 2014 company of the year, Emulate, to adopt organs-on-chips technology for use in the drug-development process.

As it stands, Charles River remains in the Dark Ages, treating sentient beings as mere tools and simultaneously preventing real scientific progress.

You can help animals who are being exploited by this company.

A laboratory is no place for any animal, including primates imported by Charles River, who are either bred in captivity on factory farms or taken away from their families in the wild. By refusing to transport primates to laboratories, airlines can do right by animals and disrupt the pipeline that puts them in living hells. Urge them to do just that:

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