Animal Welfare

“Barbaric” treatment of Monkeys at German lab publicised by activists

Undercover footage at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) near Hamburg

Undercover footage from the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) near Hamburg has been published by Cruelty Free International and Soko Tierschutz, a German non-profit organisation committed to animal rights.

The German animal testing laboratory stands accused of subjecting monkeys to “barbaric” treatment and keeping unwell dogs in squalid conditions. It is under investigation and calls are being made for its closure, as reported by the Guardian.

The German contract laboratory footage shows dogs, monkeys and cats undergoing toxicity tests.

The monkeys can clearly be seen suffering under the horrendous conditions to which they have been forcibly subjected. Monkeys can be seen being handled violently as the prongs are placed around their necks to restrain them. They are shown captive by their necks in small metal cages exhibiting high levels of stress. It is very ugly.

Dogs too are seen laying in what appears to by their own blood and faeces. The video is not for the faint-hearted.

Barbaric footage in breach of German and EU law

The footage has inevitably provoked angry responses from animal campaigners.

Kate Willett, of Humane Society International described the use of restraints as “barbaric” calling the conditions the animals were kept in as “appalling”.

“The technicians are treating the animals violently. This kind of treatment is ethically insupportable and quite possibly illegal” said Willet.

“Each country develops its own animal care guidelines, but dogs housed in these appalling conditions would not be up to the standards of the US or the UK, and it has serious ramifications for the quality of the scientific results.”

She commented that data collected from the animals would be “virtually useless” since the animals’ physiology would be altered by the stresses they were subjected to.

“It’s time for this type of testing to be relegated to the history bin,” she added. “There are new, non-animal methodologies available for safety testing so to see this type of abuse going on in in the name of science in the 21st century is unforgivable.”

Cruelty Free International called for the closure of the facility by the German authorities saying that the conditions “clearly breach” minimum EU animal welfare requirements. A spokesperson said that “the laboratory was falling short of the three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) mandatory under EU and German legislation” as it was not reducing the suffering and stress experienced by the animals.

“It is unthinkable that this should be happening in a country that has animal protection in its constitution,” said Friedrich Mülln of Soko Tierschutz which was jointly involved in exposing the footage.

LPT employs 175 people at its testing facility in Mienenbüttel, near Hamburg. It is one of the largest private laboratories in Germany.

Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper originally broke this story on 20th September.

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Jill Harris

Jill is a writer, teacher, and passionate vegan. An eclectic author, she has published four non-fiction books and five novels. She began her vegan journey in 2015. She is a graduate and former lecturer at the Open University in psychology. Contact:
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