For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Greenbrier, Ark. – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna regarding a just-obtained federal document indicating critical animal welfare violations at Bertek Inc. in Greenbrier, Arkansas:
Using rabbits, dogs, and cats as feeding troughs for ticks and fleas is horrifying enough, but the animal experimenters at Greenbrier-based Bertek Inc. can’t even abide by minimal animal protection regulations. According to a just-posted federal inspection report obtained by PETA, Bertek placed large numbers of larval ticks on rabbits who were confined to tiny enclosures in which temperatures soared to over 87 degrees. According to the report, the rabbits “develop welts from the ticks that last 24 hours after removal of the engorged ticks, indicating significant irritation”—but Bertek failed to provide the rabbits with any “pain management or other measures” to alleviate their discomfort. Also, the enclosures were smaller than what is legally required, restricting normal postural adjustment and movement.
The feds also determined that Bertek’s animal experimentation oversight body hadn’t even adequately reviewed protocols for using live rabbits and cats to feed fleas and ticks—and thus failed to ensure that pain and distress to the animals were minimized.
Last year, Bertek used 549 dogs, 390 rabbits, and 18 cats in experiments and confined an additional 17 dogs who had not yet been used in experiments. These animals feel pain and value their own lives just as much as the company’s executives do—so Bertek should commit to using non-animal methods to rear fleas and ticks.