In late 2008, an undercover worker infiltrated the world's most exposed animal testing laboratory, Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). Here, they watched as monkeys were shipped 40 hour journeys from a filthy breeding farm in Vietnam, and arrived cowering in their boxes at HLS [click here to see the full 2008 exposé].
AstraZeneca, among other customers, had contracted HLS to carry out experiments on their behalf. Monkeys were kept in bare metal cages with almost no stimulation, many had skin and health problems, and some were seen to have escaped their cages. Monkeys were forcefully removed from cages, and strapped into specially-made restraining chairs, where toxic fumes were pumped into their lungs. The animals were so scared that they prolapsed, collapsed or vomited their own faeces. Some monkeys were found with missing limbs – they had either chewed them off or ripped them on the shoddy caging.
>> Huntingdon Life Sciences and AstraZeneca
HLS is a laboratory infamous for being the world's most controversial, having been exposed seven separate times in just over ten years. They have been caught out punching puppies in the face, violently shaking animals, falsifying experimental test data, cutting open monkeys while still alive, and routinely flouting animal welfare standards [see all exposés here]. HLS are the only laboratory to have had their license revoked for animal cruelty and remain the most notorious animal testing laboratory in Europe [read more about HLS here]. As a recent customer, AstraZeneca are keeping HLS open by providing vital income during a time when HLS are struggling financially. We are asking them to stop dealing with HLS once and for all.
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In late 2008 HLS were exposed yet again, during which time Astrazeneca were personally funding experiments on primates. Not only did the breeding farm in Vietnam not meet basic UK animal welfare standards, but the conditions of the animals when housed inside HLS was extremely poor; some monkeys were missing limbs, had skin problems or other infections. Monkeys routinely escaped from cages, resulting in some being raped. The monkeys were excessively stressed during procedures, which will undoubtedly affect experimental results. You can see the full report here: http://shac.net/HLS/exposed/2008
During a recent inspection of HLS' Cambridgeshire facilities, you claimed the animals 'did not suffer'. As a company that experiments on animal yourselves, you will be well aware that all animal experiments in England are licensed by the UK government – and these licenses are given out upon a judgement of suffering level – from 'mild' to 'substantial'. Therefore, to claim that animals do not suffer inside HLS is absolutely absurd. I would suggest you visit HLS without notice, as I am sure you will witness a very different picture.
As a company that claims to achieve excellence and reliability in drug research, I am surprised to learn that you contract experiments inside a laboratory that has had their license revoked and exposed falsifying test data for clients. I would like to use this opportunity to request that you cease your contracts with this horrendous laboratory and invest in more reliable sources of data research.