Whistleblower: Puppies Killed, Beagles and Ferrets Confined Amid Filth at Massive International Laboratory Supplier

For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

North Rose, N.Y.

PETA is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate North Rose–based Marshall Farms, owned by Marshall BioResources, after receiving a whistleblower report that includes photos of beagles and ferrets locked inside filthy, feces-filled cages with dirty food and water containers. Photos are available here.

Marshall Farms, the largest U.S. breeder of dogs for laboratories and ferrets for laboratories and pet stores, sells animals to multiple federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; pharmaceutical companies; and laboratories around the world. As many as 22,000 beagles and other dogs are caged at the facility.

The whistleblower detailed the killing of any puppies who were born “non-standard”—including one with different colored eyes. Other alleged violations include the following:

  • Cages for dogs and ferrets were properly cleaned just once every two weeks. The ferret cages constantly had mold in the feeders, and babies would become stuck in them.
  • During the night, puppies commonly died and large quantities of blood were often found inside their cages. Many of the dogs also suffered from soreness and sustained injuries to their paws because they were forced to live on wire mesh flooring.
  • The facility confined four or five beagles to a single cage, commonly resulting in fights among the stressed dogs.
  • Some staff members roughly handled dogs, resulting in injuries to the jaws of some of them.
  • Management at the facility, aware of when federal inspectors were coming, hid possibly noncompliant activity from them.

“Animals imprisoned at Marshall Farms are confined to filthy, feces-filled cages before they’re sold to be used in violent laboratory experiments,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “PETA is calling on federal officials to take swift action before any more animals die in misery.”

Marshall Farms has a long history of animal welfare violations for failing to provide animals with basic care.

Earlier this year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied a penalty of $18,282 against Marshall Farms for lax workplace safety procedures after an employee’s hand was amputated by an industrial mixer inside its facility.

In 2022, Marshall Farms was ground zero for a widespread canine distemper outbreak. It affected 250,000 baby ferrets and spread potentially life-threatening bacterial infections through its cat and pig colonies in Waverly and North Rose. The outbreak likely stemmed, in part, from the close confinement of highly stressed animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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