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

Media Coverage

Making the 'worst' list

From the Star Ledger

Thursday, February 08, 2007

An animal rights watchdog group has compiled a list of what it calls the 20 worst research laboratories in the United States, and two Covance facilities rank high on the list.

Covance, based in Princeton, contracts out drug development services to pharmaceutical companies. The company's labs in Virginia and Pennsylvania had a higher-than-average number of violations of the Animal Welfare Act during a nine-month period of 2005 reviewed by Stop Animal Experimentation Now, a Cincinnati advocacy group. The violations, culled from U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports, included improper veterinary care and inadequate housing or facilities, among other categories.

The watchdog group said the University of Pennsylvania fared worst in its study with 77 violations, or more than twice the amount of the No. 2 offender, Harvard. Covance's labs came in third and seventh. Labs for Merck and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey also made the list.

Covance dismissed the list as a "publicity stunt" meant to derail animal research.

"At Covance, we have a 50-year track record of meeting or exceeding the government's standards, and in treating these animals with respect," the company said in a statement. "When there have been issues, we have responded quickly and thoroughly and will continue to improve our care of animals wherever possible."

Merck referred to its animal testing policy, part of which contains the statement: "As a matter of principle, Merck adheres to the highest standards for humane handling, care, and treatment of animals used throughout the company's laboratories."

-- Jeff May

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