PETA alleges Denver testing lab is killing animals in violation of federal law | Business
This morning, PETA filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling for an immediate investigation into cruel and deadly veterinary vaccine potency tests on hamsters at Denver-based Colorado Serum Company (CSC).
Despite PETA's repeated letters and phone calls alerting CSC that the obsolete test for Leptospira vaccines on hamsters was replaced by a USDA-approved non-animal test in 2006, the company continues to kill hundreds of hamsters each year.
In the complaint, PETA alleges that the painful tests conducted by CSC, located at 4950 York St., are in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act, which states that the use of animals should only be approved when alternatives are not available. In the tests, the hamsters receive no pain relief.
"Colorado Serum Company has shown a blatant disregard not only for animal suffering, but apparently also for laws that protect animals in laboratories," says Jessica Sandler, director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division. "Nearly 2,000 hamsters have died in excruciating pain because CSC appears to be flouting the law and the USDA apparently looked the other way."
PETA has obtained CSC's USDA-required annual reports from 2005 through 2009, which reveal that the company has simply copied the same information that it used to justify its use of animals in the vaccine potency tests in 2004 in every report through 2009—the most recent one available—despite the fact that the non-animal test has been available since 2006. In references to federal regulations regarding when animals are and are not required to be used in regulatory tests, each CSC annual report obtained by PETA states that CSC "found no new information which would allow a change in our approach to these issues," even though a simple Internet search or brief conversation with the USDA would have readily revealed information about the modern replacement for the test on hamsters.
Submitted by Samantha Dozier and Robbyn Brooks, PETA