Warning: Distressing Content
Staff at the German laboratory where monkeys were filmed screaming in pain have said the cruel tests were pointless anyway because they made up the results.
Former employees of the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) in Lower Saxony said they were forced to falsify the results of animal experiments by senior managers.
The former staff members at the LPT animal testing sites in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein also spoke of ‘horrific’ cruelty against rabbits and rodents, and not only against monkeys and dogs as was previously claimed.
Warning: Graphic and Distressing Content
The animal activist organisation Soko Tierschutz, along with Cruelty Free International, uncovered the harrowing abuse which included animals being left bleeding and dying following toxicity testing.
Footage obtained by an undercover worker as part of the joint operation showed beagles having pipes forced down their throats and being given capsules, before they were left bleeding and suffering following the experiments.
It also captured tiny, defenceless monkeys screaming out in pain as workers used metal devices around their necks to restrain them and conduct various tests on them.
Now, it seems these horrific tests were all for nothing, with one former employee stating:
I didn’t just experience this, I also had to do this. I had to falsify documents. When the studies did not show the results we expected, I was told I had to make them more favourable.
Another staff member claimed the results for one particular study involving rats – ‘which resulted in many horrific deaths’ – were falsified, with ‘a lower dosage then [bringing] the desired results’.
Friedrich Mülln, from Soko Tierschutz, said:
These statements just confirm how out of control the system was. We have reported the incidents to the prosecutor for alleged commercial fraud as well as further cases of animal abuse. The witnesses spoke about, for example, the horrific deaths of rabbits as well.
Commenting on the investigation into LPT, Dame Jane Goodall, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, said the footage showed ‘some of the worst abuse I’ve ever seen on testing with animals’.
After the horrifying footage was released, German authorities conducted a spot check of the LPT facility and confirmed the allegations made by the animal activists.
A spokesperson for the local regulation authority Laves – the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety – said after the inspection: ‘We found the cages were far too small, just as the activists claimed.’
The European parliament has since confirmed it is meeting to discuss the allegations made by Cruelty Free International and Soko Tierschutz, regarding animal cruelty and breaches of EU law at the laboratory.
MEP Dr Sylwia Spurek, who will chair the meeting, said the EU must make ‘real guarantees’ to ‘move away from welfare to rights’, adding: ‘It must be a clear action plan with ambitious goals, timelines and resources to achieve these goals.’
We need an EU map on leaving animal testing. And we need it now because progressive societies and countries, progressive international organisations such as the EU cannot wait, they must act quickly when it comes to the life, suffering and safety of animals.
Pharmaceutical giants Boehringer Ingelheim and Merck are said to have suspended their relationships with LPT.
The investigation continues.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).