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CLICK HERE to sign the petition calling for prosecution of ITR and all individuals responsible for this cruelty!

 

 

 Mena Suvari Speaks Out Against Animal Cruelty at ITR

 
Newly Released Footage at ITR Exposes Cruel Neglect of Macaque Monkeys

 

 
On October 13, 2017, newly released footage from LCA’s 2016 undercover investigation at ITR Laboratories Canada shows horrifying evidence of neglect. While cleaning the cages of macaque monkeys at ITR, LCA’s investigator discovered four monkeys begging for water. One of the monkeys grabbed the hose held by LCA’s investigator and motioned it towards her mouth indicating her need for water. All four monkeys cried desperately for water and drank insatiably when offered the hose. LCA’s investigator discovered the water main was improperly set up and the monkeys had not been receiving any water for an undetermined amount of time. This inexcusable carelessness left the monkeys under ITR’s care to suffer from severe dehydration.
 
LCA’s footage shows further evidence of ITR’s grave neglect and mistreatment of animals. LCA continues to work tirelessly to obtain justice for the animals at ITR, however, the Canadian government is shamefully refusing to take action. Following the investigation, LCA filed complaints with three governing bodies in Canada that oversee animals and agriculture, MAPAQ, MFFP, and MERN. One department failed to respond and two departments denied any wrongdoing on ITR's part and refused to hold ITR responsible for its horrific actions against animals. The Canadian government is failing to protect animals by ignoring blatant cruelty and allowing animal abusers to walk free.
 
Canada is currently the only G8 country without federal government inspectors with the power to enforce rules governing the treatment of animals. Until the use of animals in research and testing is eliminated, the government must, at the very least, protect these animals from egregious cruelty. Elizabeth May, a Member of Parliament and the leader of Canada’s Green Party, has agreed to sponsor a petition to require the licensing and regulation of all Canadian laboratories, suppliers, and teaching institutions where animals are used for experiments.
This is a small first step towards ending the nightmare experienced by millions of animals that are used in research.
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO
 
  1. Canadian residents, please sign and share this government petition sponsored by MP Elizabeth May, calling for protection of all animals used in research. The petition is open for signatures until January 19, 2018.
  2. Everyone, please contact Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau here, and Canada’s Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould here and urge them to implement regulations that will protect animals in laboratories, like the ones at ITR. Let them know the Canadian government’s failure to regulate the treatment of animals used in research is unacceptable. 
 

Read More: Facts About Vivisection and Alternative Methods

During summer and fall of 2016, LCA conducted an investigation at ITR Canada Ltd., a contract toxicology research facility in the suburbs of Montreal, Quebec that performs laboratory studies on beagle dogs, mini-pigs, and macaque monkeys. Throughout the investigation, LCA documented an ongoing pattern of animal abuse and neglect in clear violation of provincial animal protection laws and animal testing guidelines.

 LCA’s investigation revealed:

  • Animals thrown, slammed, suspended by their ears or limbs, and struck with such force that the impact can be heard on the investigator’s recording;
  • Open wounds and swollen infections left untreated or inadequately treated;
  • Animals subjected to painful and distressing procedures in full view of other animals;
  • Beagles and macaques denied any chance of socialization with humans or other animals, and further denied any opportunity to exercise, in some instances for the duration of a nine-month study (at the end of which the animals were killed);
  • Macaques denied access to sufficient drinking water;
  • Technicians instructed not to take note of hair loss in macaques, despite the hair loss resulting from repetitive behaviors developed through the stress of confinement, and despite guidelines requiring that behavioral well-being indicators be measured;
  • Inadequate housing where animals were confined without appropriate bedding or a dry, flat area to rest; where animals were exposed to constant loud noises and harmful levels of gasses due to the build-up of urine and feces behind their cages; and where animals risked being caught in the cages’ wire grilling;
  • Beagles unable to ever fully turn around because they were constantly tethered with a catheter inserted between their shoulder blades;
  • An anecdotal instance of a macaque left unsupervised while restrained in an inhalation device and subsequently suffocating to death.  

beagle wearing infusion jacket cropped

The boldness with which many of the instances of abuse took place––often in full view of supervisors and, in the case of beagles in an inhalation study, in a room with a surveillance camera––suggests that technicians were confident they would not be reprimanded for their behavior.  ITR supervisors made no moves to prevent further abuse or to correct systematic neglect of the animals.

Possibly the most intrinsic abuse with lab animals occurs merely in the way they are housed for most of their lives. Animals in all of the studies documented by LCA were housed singly in barren wire cages, without opportunities for exercise or socialization.  This social deprivation was exacerbated by the animals’ ability to see distressful procedures carried out on the others in the room. 

Dogs, macaques, and pigs are all social animals, and depriving them of the chance to interact with humans or with members of their species, especially when none of the tests LCA witnessed called for the animals to be isolated for extended periods of time, is inexcusable

Macaques are highly social animals and live in extended family groups in the wild.  Their suffering from isolation and use in painful experiments has been documented to show that 10-14% of individually housed monkeys mutilate themselves.

All the animals documented by LCA’s investigator were killed at the end of the studies they were used in, except the macaques. This species is commonly subjected to multiple studies over the course of their lives, which can be as long as thirty years.

 placing pig in sling for dermal study while pig screams 4

Researchers are required to justify their use of animals in medical studies, with the goal of minimizing animal suffering. However, during our investigation, LCA documented a shocking violation of this principle. In one instance, a dermal study designed to test a gel or ingredient intended to be applied topically to human skin involved rubbing a substance on the skin of mini pigs to test how the pigs’ skin would react. When it became apparent that the substance was causing a severe degree of burning and irritation to the animals, technicians asked for the study to be stopped and the veterinarian and management agreed. However, the study sponsor was unwilling to stop the tests and instead instructed management to change the parameters of the study and to force feed the substance to the pigs. Multiple animals were put through the distress of having a tube forced down their throats, and a foreign substance injected into their stomachs for a study that could not possibly produce any relevant or usable results. The disturbing callousness of ITR management in allowing this treatment to occur violates the most basic ethical standards to which medical researchers are expected and required to adhere.

LCA has filed official complaints with Le ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation (MAPAQ), Le ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP),  Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN).  These ministries are responsible for enforcing violations of the Animal Welfare and Safety Act (CQLR c. B-3.1), the Regulation Respecting theSafety and Welfare of Cats and Dogs (CQLR P-42, r.10.1), the Act Respecting the Conservation and Development of Wildlife (CQLR c. C-61.1) and the Regulations Respecting Wildlife in Captivity (CQLR C-61.1, r. 5).

Provincial animal welfare laws do not exempt lab animals from provisions protecting animals from neglect and the types of abuse witnessed by our investigator. The treatment documented at ITR shows a blatant disregard for the well-being of the animals in the care of the facility, and we are calling for charges to be laid against ITR’s management. 

Expert Statements:

Margaret Whittaker, Animal Behavior Consultant, Behavioral Advisor to the Old World Monkey Advisory Group of the AZA:

“After viewing this video, it is my professional assessment that the monkey wearing the red collar is of extreme concern; her situation must be addressed to alleviate her suffering. I also believe that many of the other monkeys are at risk of developing behavioral pathologies and suffering from the techniques used at this facility. I believe that significant changes must be made by this facility in order to protect the animals’ physical and psychological well-being.” 

 Dr. Jessica Ganas:

“As highly social animals that live in large multi-male/multi-female groups in the wild, housing animals in a lab in the conditions listed above is inherently cruel. The effects of these conditions have caused the animals to exhibit abnormal behavior such as stereotypies, and extreme body hair removal. No social animal should be subjected to such living conditions. Psychological and social behavior indicated monkeys suffering.” -

Dr. Ganas has over twenty years experience working with primates in both a lab and wild setting. She received her PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology where she studied wild mountain gorillas in Uganda for her dissertation. Additionally, she has worked at three different captive and semi-wild primate research centers in the United States, primarily studying the social behavior of rhesus macaque monkeys.

In recent decades, scientific advancements have made many medical tests involving animals obsolete. All stakeholders should be working tirelessly to move away from using animals wherever alternatives exist; many tests commonly performed on animals can already be replaced. The scientific community has a moral obligation to end its reliance on animal models when more effective, efficient, and ethical methods of testing exist.

Help stop the cruelty!

CLICK HERE to sign the petition calling for prosecution of ITR and all individuals responsible for this cruelty!

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Where ITR Gets Its Animals

ITR obtains the beagles and mini pigs used in its gruesome experiments from Marshall Farms, one of the largest breeders in the world of these species and others used in animal testing. Marshall breeds animals for one reason: to sell them to labs for painful and deadly medical experiments. Marshall operates in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Marshall is notorious for its long and sordid history of animal cruelty. In the past five years alone, they’ve racked up more than 20 citations for violating U.S. animal welfare regulations. Their filthy buildings were found to be infested with mice and flies, while the animals within were confined to tiny wire cages and denied proper veterinary care. The dogs were kept in cages so cramped, they could not even lie down or turn around.

Worldwide Primates in Miami, Florida supplies ITR’s macaques, and is known for the pain and suffering inflicted on its primate victims. Owner Matthew Block was sentenced to 13 months in prison in 1993 for his part in the KGB-linked attempted smuggling of the “Bangkok Six” orangutans from Singapore to Moscow. Four of the orangutans died from the ordeal.

Worldwide Primates Arial View from Youtube videoWorldwide Primates in Miami, FL

Marshall Farms PropertyMarshall Farms in North Rose, NY

Read more about animal welfare violations at ITR here

 

 

 

 

LCA Investigation of ITR in the News:

CTV/W5 - Click Here

The Star: Click Here

The Concordian: Click Here

Montreal Gazette:  Click Here

Care2.com:  Click Here

iHeartRADIO Canada: Click Here

Viva Media: Click Here

Wilde Dreams:  Click Here 

eh vegan:  Click Here

 

 

 

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