labs in Pennsylvania and Virginia rank among the worst research
laboratories in the nation with a federal law violation every week.
SAEN’s audit of hundreds of U.S. research labs places
Covance’s two facilities - caught violating federal law 42 times in nine
months - in third and seventh places on the list of the worst U.S.
research facilities for violations of federal law.
Inside Covance facilities, government investigators
found starving dogs, inadequate use of pain relievers after surgeries,
and indications that primates were losing their minds. Other violations
were in the areas of inadequate veterinary care, animal care committees,
and testing companies are violating federal law on a regular basis and
endangering the health of the American public as a result,” said Michael
A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “It should surprise no one
that unsafe drugs make it to market to cause harm to the unsuspecting
public when laboratories can’t even follow the basic requirements of the
Animal Welfare Act.”
Government reports reveal that Merck violated federal
law eight times during a nine-month period in 2005, and also, continued
to break federal regulations in 2006. In 2005 Merck had four violations
by the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC), three
violations of requirements for environmental enhancement for primates,
and one in housing/facilities.
troubles accelerated in 2006 as the lab racked up ten IACUC violations
in only three months. One infraction involved an allegedly illegal
surgery which drilled holes into the skull of an animal and penetrated
the brain. Other key issues at Merck involved using hundreds of guinea
pigs in experiments with unrelieved pain.
Several of the violations at Merck centered around the
way in which experimentation is reported to the USDA. Multiple major
surgical procedures were performed on animals without USDA approval, and
experiments which clearly caused unrelieved pain and distress were
reported as though no discomfort was felt by the animals.
SAEN’s work to put public pressure on Merck and
Covance resulted in substantial media coverage in the New Jersey Star
Ledger which exposed these criminal corporations to the American people.
Check out this story and others in the Media Coverage section of the
SAEN website: www.saenonline.org.