Alice research lab gets fined
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Alice research lab gets fined
By M. Trevino, Alice Echo News Journal, July 28, 2016

Research Laboratory Slapped with $31,500 Fine by Fed Regulators After Negligent Deaths of 18 Primates

The animal testing laboratory Covance Inc. in Texas – headquartered in New Jersey – has had a significant fine of $31,500 levied against it by federal regulators after a series of negligent primate deaths at its Alice facility, according to a research watchdog group.

Federal documents obtained reveal that Covance has been fined $31,500 by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act connected to the deaths of 18 primates, said Stop Animal Exploitation NOW (SAEN), a national research watchdog group that monitors research facilities for violations of law and animal abuse.

The USDA document, said SAEN, discloses that five of the primate deaths occurred when monkeys were transported from the airport without being offered water, despite the fact that the monkeys had received no water during the flight which brought them into Texas.

Another federal report documents the hyperthermia deaths of 13 monkeys at the Covance Research Products facility in Alice after repeated thermostat malfunctions. A USDA inspection dated Nov. 20, 2014 details those 13 primate hyperthermia deaths in two separate incidents.

SAEN had filed a complaint with the USDA about the hyperthermia deaths, which called for the maximum penalty of $10,000 per infraction per animal, which could easily have qualified Covance for a six-figure fine.

"The negligence which allowed primates to die of thirst during transport and to literally be cooked to death on two other separate incidents deserved the maximum penalty,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “The market value of the monkeys exceeded the fine issued by the USDA."

"These incidents clearly demonstrate the callous disregard that Covance has for the lives of these monkeys," added Budkie. "Covance would not even allow these debilitated monkeys to be given water to keep them alive."

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