An inspection report from the United States Department of Agriculture has revealed that, back in July, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb accidentally killed a crab-eating macaque monkey when it was left locked in its cage, which was run through the wash cycle.
The monkey’s death makes one wonder what other errors Bristol-Myers Squibb — which indeed uses primates to test its products — might make in its laboratories.
According to NJ.com, the USDA’s inspection report found that the following occurred on July 1 at Bristol-Myers’ facility in Pennington, in central New Jersey:
The dirty cage was moved to the wash room for sanitizing and submerged in near-boiling water. When the cage was lifted from the wash, a Bristol-Myers employee discovered the dead monkey on the floor, the report said.
Jennifer Fron-Mauer, a spokeswoman for Bristol-Myers, describes the monkey’s death as “unfortunate” and says that the company “immediately began an internal investigation” and informed the USDA. “Our company takes great care that the strict policies and procedures regarding the safe handling of our animals — which are designed to prevent these types of incidents from occurring–take place at all of our facilities,” she emphasized.
Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) has filed a complaint against Bristol-Myers with the USDA and called for “additional citations and punitive action, including a fine.” As SAEN executive director Michael Budkie says:
“Horrible acts of negligence like this, which literally boiled a monkey alive, must be severely penalized.”
NJ.com notes that, the very next day, a similar accident occurred in Pennsylvania. Princeton-based Covance Research Products, which is one of the world’s largest drug development services companies, boiled a rabbit in a cage wash. Covance has previously been accused of violating the Animal Welfare Act.
Needless to say, if both companies did not use animals for testing, such horrific accidents would not happen.
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