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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Media Coverage

Activists’ Rabbit Role in Doubt

By Bradford L. Miner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bminer@telegram.com

Friday, September 22, 2006

Capralogics head suspects business link

HARDWICK— The owner of a local biotechnology company said yesterday he has trouble believing that animal rights activists were responsible for an overnight raid Sept. 6 during which 23 New Zealand white rabbits were released from their cages.

Stanley D.T. White, founder of Capralogics, 235 Czeski Road, said the incident being investigated by local police and the FBI may have more to do with a soured business relationship and resulting litigation than with animal rights.

He declined to give the specifics of the litigation, which he indicated was ongoing.

Since 1994, when the small company was established, it has used goats, sheep and rabbits to produce antibodies for medical research.

“Regardless of the statements posted on the Animal Liberation Front Web site, we have a reputation and a financial interest that depends 100 percent on having healthy, happy, stress-free animals,” Mr. White said. On the Web site, a poster purporting to be from an unnamed animal rights group claimed that Capralogics mistreats its animals.

Mr. White said he also doubted the authenticity of some of the photos posted on the organization’s Web site.

“I can vouch for all our employees, and state categorically that no pictures were taken by a Capralogic employee, as the statement on the Web site claims. Some of the pictures may have been taken by a guard with a security detail that once worked here, but does not work here now,” he said.

Mr. White said the statement posted on the Web site contained many incorrect statements.

“First of all, Capralogics is a very small, local company and there is no Capralogics affiliate company in the United Kingdom and Gus Dalgliesh and Jon Heaney are neither employees nor directors of Capralogics."

The two men and Anthony Haines were named in the communiqué on the ALF Web site as being Capralogics employees.

“I worked with them on a previous project, and as it turns out we’re mutually being sued by a former client and the litigation is getting ugly, and this incident could well be a manifestation of that business dispute,” Mr. White said.

He said that during the duration of the “high-value project” there was a round-the-clock security detail at Capralogics for about six months during 2004.

“They were here 24/7, had complete access to the entire facility and were taking pictures during that time for documentation,” Mr. White said.

“I highly suspect this to be the source of at least some of the photos that were taken at Capralogics, because we have a very small staff, virtually no turnover, and I personally know everyone who works here,” he added.

Mr. White said some photographs were not taken at the Capralogics lab, specifically the ones of rabbit carcasses being disposed of in the woods.

Taking issue with other statements, Mr. White said, “We are not a vivisectionist facility, quite simply, because no surgery is performed here. The animals are inoculated with proteins to produce antibodies and we subsequently draw blood. It would be akin to giving someone a flu shot and then coming back and drawing a blood specimen to see that antibodies had been produced.”

He said the lab is very highly regulated as to how much blood may be drawn from each animal.

“Beyond that, it’s to our advantage to keep the animal healthy, happy and alive for a long period of time producing these antibodies,” he said.

“Again, imagine if you and I were living in a bus station. In such a highly stressful environment there’s a good chance that we might get sick and die. To produce a high quality antibody, I have to have healthy animals, living in a stress-free environment,” he said.

For entirely selfish reasons, he said, for the reputation of the company and its continued financial success, he has to ensure the health of the animals producing the antibodies.

Mr. White said the rabbits have access to both fresh air and sunshine, and the rabbit barns “do not smell like rabbit barns” because of the degree to which the rabbits are kept comfortable.

“If there is a downside, as it’s been shown, it’s relatively easy to break in to the facility. It’s not like they were being housed in a locked, highly secure laboratory,” he said.

He said the goats at Capralogics have the same degree of freedom as the rabbits.

Mr. White said that while he has no proof, he believes the self-proclaimed animal rights activists who claimed responsibility for the raid are actually pawns in a business disagreement.

Because of the nature of the incident, he said, the FBI is actively involved in the investigation.

While Mr. White said Capralogics has “nothing to hide” and is highly regulated by the federal government, a national research watchdog organization has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture claiming several violations of federal law.

“The staff of this laboratory clearly have a total disregard for the pain and suffering inflicted on the animals in their care,” said Michael A. Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit animal protection organization.

In a news release, Mr. Budkie said that in light of conditions revealed by photos attached to an account of the raid posted on the Animal Liberation Front Web site, a complaint has been filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Potential breaches of federal law, he said, could include violations of regulations for veterinary care, pain relief, and reporting of painful experimentation.

The SAEN complaint asks that the USDA “prosecute Capralogics to the fullest extent the law allows.”

Mr. Budkie said the communiqué from those who carried out the Capralogics raid that was subsequently posted on the Animal Liberation Front Web site was “strongly critical of the treatment of the animals at Capralogics, and used photographs taken by a lab employee to prove its case.”

The communiqué on the Web site asserts: “The photos submitted with this communiqué, taken by a Capralogics employee, show the way rabbits are treated by this terrible company. Their bodies are restrained in headlocks, their skin shaved off so they could be injected with various compounds. When their experiment concludes they are terminally bled, meaning they are cut and left to bleed until their life has drained away.”

While providing an account of the raid, the activists responsible for the incident at Capralogics did not say how they came by the photographs they claim were taken by a company employee.

Karen Foley, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte, said the district attorney’s office is not involved in the investigation.

Also see:

Facility Reports and Information
Capralogics Inc, Hardwick, MA

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