says video shows cat, dog abuse at NC lab
N.C.— An animal-welfare group believes workers at a North Carolina
research lab abused dogs, cats and rabbits, and the activists released what
they said was undercover video of caretakers handling the animals violently.
A local prosecutor
and the company's president are now taking a close look.
scene of the video released Wednesday by People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals, a beagle cowers in the corner of its cage as a person approaches,
derisively describing the dog's condition before snatching it by the back
of the neck: "They act like they've been abused."
clip shows an employee at Professional Laboratory and Research Services
Inc. purposely letting a cat grasp a fence with its claw before yanking
it in an apparent attempt to rip off its nails, according to PETA's account
of the video. In another portion, a caretaker drops a dog back to the ground
before pushing it into the cage with a foot. Another scene shows a dog squirming
through a tooth removal as workers acknowledge that the sedation drug is
a couple years past its expiration and may not be working very well.
Sonenshine, the company president who is not involved in day-to-day operations,
confirmed that the video was taken at the company's facility and included
footage of company employees. Officials were reviewing the footage, and
Sonenshine said the company will fire anyone if they have done anything
contrary to protocols on how to treat animals.
am disgusted. I am appalled," she said after viewing the clips. "This
is not what we're about. We're about the health of the animals."
inspections show no sign of recent violations. PETA referred videos, photos
and a narrative to local prosecutors. District Attorney Frank Parrish said
his office is reviewing the report and will follow up with further investigation
to determine whether or not criminal charges should be filed. "We
will certainly be very thorough about looking at these issues," he
company, with a facility in Corapeake, N.C., near the Virginia border, is
hired by pharmaceutical firms to test animal care products such as flea
preventatives. PETA said that one of its investigators was hired as an animal
caretaker and worked from December 2009 until this month.
worker and video depict squalid conditions of animals living in their own
excrement. PETA contends that workers sprayed the animals with harsh chemicals,
lifted rabbits by their ears and puppies by their throats, and violently
threw cats into their cages.
believes the company violated several parts of The Animal Welfare act, including
improper veterinary care, improper handling of animals and improper cleaning
procedures. It has filed or plans to file complaints with both regulatory
agencies and law enforcement.
seems to be the guiding principle at this laboratory," said Kathy Guillermo,
vice president of laboratory investigations at People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals. "The only time the animals get some attention is when something
painful or invasive is done to them."
animal rights group also complained about the testing procedures used at
the site. Workers at the facility grew ticks on the rabbits even though
PETA says there are non-animal methods that have been in use for years.
simply no excuse," Guillermo said.