Here’s a promising development in the midst of the recession: Charles River Laboratories—one of the world’s largest suppliers of animals for experimentation—has announced that it is closing up shop in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. We’re hoping these cutbacks mean that the cruel, callous industry giant will continue to suffer.
With its long history of abusing animals, Charles River Laboratories should really be called Hell’s Kitchen—its facilities have literally cooked live animals to death. News broke last week of a monkey at a Charles River lab in Reno who was “literally boiled alive” last year after he was left in a cage that was put through one of the facility’s high-temperature cage washers (think industrial-sized dishwasher)—despite the fact that lab workers claim that the cage was checked three times (?!). This followed an incident in 2008 when 32 monkeys under Charles River’s “care” were baked alive after a thermostat malfunction—even though the procedure in place to alert staff apparently had been followed. No one even discovered the deaths until the following morning. PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture about that negligent oversight, and Charles River was eventually fined $10,000.
Charles River officials attributed all these horrific and easily preventable deaths to “human error.” We agree. But the human error responsible is the conscious decision that experimenters and their suppliers make every day to go to work and torment animals. Judging from its desperate downsizing, we foresee a future in which the folks of Charles River will need to find a different path of employment.
Written by Logan Scherer