Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2nd lab animal dies in ‘pattern of negligence’

(Tsk! Those pesky, forgetful lab employees. They did it again. Another lab monkey gone. . . . Oh, well, plenty more where s/he came from!)

For the second time in five months, a monkey in the dubious “care” of Bristol-Myers Squibb has died. This one, because s/he was restrained and left unattended, according to the story in the Trenton Times yesterday.

The earlier death in a BMS lab occurred when a monkey was left in a cage that was put through the wash cycle. Scalded to death. Hard to believe, right?

The pharma giant was cited by the US Dept. of Agriculture in an inspection report, and a company spokesperson confirmed the Dec. 17 death. She indicated employees “failed to follow established company policies and procedures designed to protect animals in our care.”

BMS’s “care” means the company uses primates to test pharmaceuticals – “a practice that has been repeatedly denounced by animal rights activists,” according to the TimTimes.

Once more, this lab animal death was reported to the media by Michael Budkie, executive director of SAEN (Stop Animal Exploitation Now), which has filed a complaint with the USDA, demanding additional citations and punitive action.

The USDA enforces the 1966 Animal Welfare Act, which the Times reports “is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition and transport, and by dealers, according to the department’s website.”

“When you start to see multiple primate deaths this becomes what can only be described as a pattern of negligence,” Budkie said.

(NOTE: go to www.nj.com/pets and scroll down for a list of 14 “pets” and information about a New York art show featuring animals in images, literature and music.)

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