Laboratory workers charged with cruelty
(Warning: This video contains disturbing images and profanity.)
A North Carolina grand jury has returned indictments for 14 felony counts of cruelty to animals against four workers at a private research laboratory in North Carolina.
PETA, which first brought to light abuses at Professional Laboratory Research Services (PLRS), said the indictments mark the first time in U.S. history that laboratory workers have faced felony cruelty charges for their abuse of animals in a laboratory.
PLRS was the subject of a PETA undercover investigation last fall.
Those indicted were Mary Ramsey, who had been employed as a PLRS supervisor, and Jessica Detty, who were each charged with five counts, and Christine Clement and Tracy Small, who were each indicted on two counts.
The accused, PETA says, are among those caught on the video above, kicking, throwing, and dragging dogs; hoisting rabbits by their ears and puppies by their throats; slamming cats into cages; and screaming obscenities at animals.
One of those named is the worker seen trying to rip out a cat’s claws by pulling the animal from the fence onto which he or she clung, PETA said.
The state charges follow extensive citations by federal officials for violations of animal welfare laws. The lab was closed last year, and more than 200 dogs and 50 cats were surrendered.
For nine months, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside the facility, located in Gates County, in rural northeastern North Carolina.
PLRS tested insecticides and other chemicals used in companion-animal products for Bayer, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Schering-Plough (now Merck), Sergeant’s, Wellmark, and Merial.
The PETA investigation found that toxicity tests were just part of what the animals endured. Laboratory workers cursed at animals, used pressure hoses to spray water (as well as bleach and other harsh chemicals) on them; and dragged dogs through the facility.
Dogs at PLRS spent years in cages, either to be used repeatedly in tests or to be kept infested with worms for some future study, PETA says.
To cut costs, PETA says, PLRS killed nearly 100 cats, rabbits, and dogs. The company had decided that some of these animals’ six daily cups of food were too expensive.
PETA says the case is only the second criminal prosecution in the U.S. of laboratory workers for animal cruelty. The first also stemmed from a PETA investigation — that of the infamous Silver Spring Monkeys in 1981.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
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