Close laboratory performing "barbaric" tests on animals kept in "squalid" conditions.

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On the 15th October 2019 The Guardian newspaper reported that LPT Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology GmbH & Co. KG Hamburg, Germany "subjected monkeys to barbaric treatment and kept animals in squalid conditions".

"Undercover footage at the Hamburg Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) published by Cruelty Free International and Soko Tierschutz showed monkeys being handled "violently" by technicians. Some of the monkeys appeared to be alone in metal cages measuring less than a cubic meter and are seen spinning in circles, indicating high levels of distress. Dogs are pictured laying in what seemed to be their own blood and faeces. " 

Kate Willett, of Humane Society International, said the use of restraints was "barbaric" and described the conditions animals were kept in as "appalling".

"The technicians are treating the animals violently," she said. “This kind of treatment is ethically insupportable and quite possibly illegal. Each country develops its own animal care guidelines, but these are appalling conditions.

Any data collected from the animals would be "virtually useless", she said, since their physiology would have been altered by the stresses they were experiencing.

"It's time for this type of test to be relegated to the history bin," she added. "There are new, non-animal methodologies available for safety testing, to see this type of abuse going on in the name of science in the 21st century is unforgivable".

The Guardian reported that "since 2015, nine inspections have taken place at the facility, seven of which were unannounced. One unannounced visit took place on 8 October when evidence of the abuse was reported to authorities, and another a week later.

Inspectors observed that 44 monkeys were kept “in far too small cages” and reported “long-term harm and considerable suffering”.

Cruelty Free International said the conditions “clearly breach” minimum EU animal welfare requirements and called for the closure of the facility.

“By failing to adopt methods that could reduce the suffering and stress experienced by the monkeys, dogs and cats, LPT are falling short of the three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) mandatory under EU and German legislation,” a spokesperson said.

“This cannot be tolerated, and we are calling for this laboratory to be closed and [for] a full investigation by the German authorities.”

Soko Tierschutz, a charity campaigning for animal rights, said the footage demonstrated a “horrendous mixture of suffering and cruelty” and that the practices breached German and EU legislation.

“It is unthinkable that this should be happening in a country that has animal protection in its constitution,” said the charity’s Friedrich Mülln. “We call on the German government to take immediate action to close LPT and to end these cruel and outdated poisoning tests.”

EU directives state that animals which are not naturally solitary should not be individually housed and must be provided with sufficient space to allow for “a wide range of normal behaviour”.

In July the European commission said there were “numerous failings” in German domestic law regarding the minimisation of the number of animals used in experiments and called on the country to “correctly enact” EU directives".