Bay Area Testing Facility Gets Away With 'Murder,' Charges National Watchdog Group; USDA Gives Pacific Biolabs 'Paper Slap on the Wrist' for Dumping Live Rabbit Into Carcass Freezer

Press Release
From Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"



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VERY URGENT NEWS ADVISORY
Friday, January 16, 2015
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN  513-703-9865 (cell)  saen@saenonline.org

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has penalized a Bay Area testing laboratory with only an "'Official Warning" for negligence after the lab dumped a rabbit  – still alive – into a carcass freezer, and a national research watchdog group said it is shocked.

"The USDA has literally allowed Pacific Biolabs to get away with murder," said Michael A. Budkie,  A.H.T., executive director of SAEN, which monitors the nation's research laboratories.  "The lack of a meaningful penalty in this case is shocking."

The USDA cited Pacific Biolabs for the incident in an August 19, 2014 inspection report as a violation of standards for "animal handling," in connection to the rabbit's death.

But according to SAEN, the USDA has not gone nearly far enough. 

SAEN had called for additional citations for unqualified personnel (shouldn't "qualified personnel" be able to tell if a rabbit is alive?)  and inadequate veterinary care programs and the maximum federal fine in an Official Complaint to the USDA. 

In the complaint, SAEN said: "In light of the drastic incompetence of Pacific Biolabs – and the potential pain and suffering caused to a rabbit who was put into a freezer while still alive – (we) must insist that you take the most severe action allowable under the Animal Welfare Act and immediately begin the process of issuing the maximum fine allowable against Pacific Biolabs at the completion of your investigation:  $10,000 per infraction."

"SAEN has a message for this criminal facility – Pacific Biolabs is on our radar now, and we have launched our own investigation," added Budkie.  "The USDA is the least of Pacific Biolabs' worries now."

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