For nearly a year, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside a Virginia laboratory owned and operated by Covance, one of the largest animal testing companies in the world.
PETA’s investigation revealed that workers at Covance were striking, choking, and screaming curses at confused and terrified monkeys. Our investigator saw injured and sick monkeys who were deprived of veterinary care and primates who were slammed into their cages and sprayed with pressurized hoses.
As a contract research corporation, Covance will test any product—including chemicals, drugs, pesticides, cosmetics, and other household products—on animals for any company with enough money to pay it to do so. As part of these tests, small monkeys are forced to endure a crude procedure called “gavage,”in which thick plastic tubes are forced up their nostrils and down their throats in order for experimenters to pump experimental substances into their stomachs.This procedure causes the animals to choke, gag, and sustain bloody noses.These types of cruel tests are often designed to see how much of a substance will make the monkeys sick, and they explicitly forbid veterinary intervention, even if the animals begin to exhibit symptoms of extreme pain or discomfort.
Primates are normally very social animals, but in Covance’s laboratory, they are isolated in tiny barren, stainless-steel cages. Many monkeys bit their own flesh and pulled out their own hair as a result of being locked in this environment.
In recent years, Covance has been cited for additional violations, including leaving dogs to suffer from preventable dental disease; allowing monkeys to be housed outdoors in frigid weather, which resulted in frostbite; failing to notice that a monkey’s leg had become trapped in the back of a cage, which caused the animal to be unable to access food for several days; and keeping primates in isolation, which fails to meet the basic psychological needs of these highly social and intelligent animals.
The good news? Demand is declining for Covance’s cruel services, and the company has since closed the Virginia laboratory where PETA’s investigation took place! Covance has also announced that it’s closing another animal testing facility that PETA had vigorously campaigned against and is laying off employees elsewhere.
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