PETA Urges Pharmaceutical Company and Others to Reconsider Ties to New York State Cat and Dog Supplier and Lab
For Immediate Release:
June 21, 2017
David Perle 202-483-7382
Plymouth, Minn. – In a letter sent this morning, PETA called on Plymouth-based Merial to reconsider obtaining animals from Liberty Research, Inc. The request follows a PETA eyewitness investigation at the Barton, New York, animal dealer and contract laboratory that resulted in video footage and photographs of dogs and cats who were denied adequate veterinary care, killed in slow and stressful ways, and not separated from other distressed animals, who injured them.
In recent experiments at Liberty Research—which tests veterinary products on dogs and cats—animals were injected with drugs and exposed to viruses and then killed or used for additional tests. A worker drilled into the skulls of 30 dogs—some of whom hadn’t been adequately anesthetized and whimpered during the process—and injected distemper virus into their brains. An insecticide and massive doses of an opioid were also injected into dogs, even though well-established animal-free testing methods exist for these substances.
“These dogs and cats are just like the ones who share our homes, and Liberty Research should be shut down for treating them like pieces of disposable laboratory equipment,” says PETA Research Associate Dr. Emily Trunnell. “PETA is calling on Merial and Liberty Research’s other customers to review our evidence and decide whether they will continue to fund this hellhole.”
In the laboratory, cats were kept in severely crowded, barren conditions in windowless buildings. A cat named Jade, who was briefly paralyzed by seizures, was left without treatment for nearly four weeks before a worker finally gave him a fatal injection in his heart—while he was still sensitive to pain. It took other workers more than seven minutes and four injections to kill a fully conscious, gasping, and bloodied dog.
In addition to Merial, Liberty Research’s other recent customers include Bayer, Merck, Zoetis, and other veterinary zoological companies, along with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and schools such as Michigan State University and the universities of Pittsburgh, Florida, and Louisville.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.