Incompetence at Intervet Adds to Deaths by Drowning

For Immediate Release:
June 5, 2023

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Madison, N.J. – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna regarding the recent critical violations of animal welfare regulations at Intervet, the animal health division of pharmaceutical giant Merck, documented in an inspection report filed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

Intervet staff’s long, gruesome history of hamster drownings has now reached a body count of 26. This time, seven hamsters endured frightening deaths as water poured into their cages from broken water bottles, according to a critical violation posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These hamsters, who are fully capable of experiencing fear, undoubtedly spent the last moments of their lives in panic and terror before finally succumbing to the rising water.

Two previous inspection reports detail the incompetence of Intervet staff, which led to the same ghoulish outcome. An August 2022 inspection report documents that staff caused the drowning deaths of another five hamsters, and a report from June 2021 documents that an additional 14 of these animals drowned.

Last year, Intervet experimented on 7,353 hamsters, 2,309 guinea pigs, 1,119 rabbits, 553 dogs, 260 cats, and 89 ferrets, while raking in $80 billion in earnings. Since this pharmaceutical giant somehow can’t find a way to keep hamsters from drowning, it should follow PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal, switch to human-relevant research, and leave animal experimentation behind.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind