Hercules lab admonished 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
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Hercules lab admonished for putting live rabbit in freezer

From Santa Cruz Sentinel, Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Hercules testing laboratory has been found in violation of federal animal welfare law after a lab worker allegedly put a live rabbit in a freezer earlier this year, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Personnel at Pacific Biolabs, located at 551 Linus Pauling Drive, failed to verify that a rabbit was dead after trying to euthanize it and placed it in a carcass freezer, according to a report taken during a USDA inspection in August.

Company representatives did not return a request for comment.

The USDA has called for Pacific Bioblabs to take steps to prevent another animal from meeting the same fate at the lab but did not cite the company.

National animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now is demanding harsher action against the Hercules company, and asked the USDA to issue Pacific Biolabs the maximum fine of $10,000 per infraction of the Animal Welfare Act.

"Negligence at this lab caused unnecessary suffering to this rabbit," SAEN executive director Michael Budkie said.

"If the laboratory is so incompetent that they can't even tell if the animal is dead, do you want to be taking a drug or using some medical procedure that was tested in this facility? I don't," he said.

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