Bay Area lab scolded for putting live rabbit in freezer

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Please contact the Director of the USDA’s Western Regional Office to insist that Pacific Biolabs be severely punished for the negligence which put a living rabbit in a carcass freezer.

Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Western Region USDA/APHIS/AC
2150 Center Avenue
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
(970) 494-7478
[email protected]

Bay Area lab scolded for putting live rabbit in freezer

Kurtis Alexandewr,, Tuesday, November 18, 2014 

A Bay Area testing laboratory was found to be in violation of federal law when a rabbit that was presumed dead was discovered alive in a freezer for carcasses, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Staffers at Pacific BioLabs in Hercules had tried to euthanize the animal, one of thousands used to test pharmaceuticals and medical devices at the company, but the rabbit wasn’t dead when it was put in the freezer, inspectors say.

The alleged breach of the Animal Welfare Act was found during a routine inspection of the company in August. The rabbit’s ultimate fate was unclear.

Inspectors ordered Pacific BioLabs to take steps to prevent a repeat of the rabbit freezing, but did not cite the company.

A national animal rights group has asked the USDA to go further, saying in letter to the agency that the lab caused potential pain and suffering for the frozen rabbit and should be fined $10,000.

“The fatal carelessness of Pacific BioLabs deserves the maximum penalty,” said Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now.

“An incompetent testing lab which cannot even tell if a rabbit is live or dead should not be trusted.”

A representative of Pacific BioLabs declined to comment. 

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