British primatologist Dame Jane Goodall has branded the treatment of primates at the lab where animal activists allegedly found monkeys strapped in metal harnesses “the worst I have ever seen”.
The scenes, allegedly filmed at the German laboratory in Mienenbuttel in Neu Wulmstorf, Lower Saxony made international headlines after a joint investigation by Soko Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International.
Video Credit: CEN/Cruelty Free International and SOKO Tierschutz
The activists say they filmed the footage after a one of them went undercover as a worker having got a job at the lab.
After the footage was released, authorities in the Harburg region conducted a spot check of the LPT (Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology) facility and confirmed the allegations made by the animal activists from Soko Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International.
Commenting on the investigation into the German Laboratory LPT, Dame Jane Goodall, who found the Jane Goodall Institute and who is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, said: “The footage shows some of the worst abuse I’ve ever seen on testing with animals.”
Friedrich Mulln from Soko Tierschutz said: “In 2013, we also tried to get a job there, but were not successful. From December 2018 to March 2019 the undercover investigator worked in the lab.”
The worker reported seeing toxicology testing on the animals including beagles, monkeys, cats and rabbits reportedly carried out for companies in Germany as well as worldwide.
The undercover worker said the animals were kept in horrific conditions. Beagles reportedly had pipes forced down their throats and were given capsules, and were left suffering and often bleeding following the experiments.
Mullen said: “The animals were even still waggling their tails when they were being taken to be killed, the dogs were desperate for human contact.”
Mulln said: “The worst treatment was kept for the monkeys. The macaques bread of monkeys are small, relatively light primates, which are often used for animal experiments at LPT.
“They are kept in cramped conditions in small cages. Many of the animals have developed compulsive tendencies and are seen going round in circles.”
Photos show the monkeys strapped to seats in rows on the wall, others have their heads in restraints and are shown desperately trying to escape. According to the undercover activist, the animals are treated with violence by the workers, who are not trained animal carers.
Dr Goodall has drawn particular attention to the plight of the monkeys kept at the facility: “Some of the monkeys were lying huddled on the wire floor of their tiny prisons, while others showed stereotypical behaviour, turning in circles, pacing fast back and forth indicative of extremely high levels of stress.
“Some cowered at the approach of a human showing pronounced fear response and sometimes screaming. Each monkey had a metal collar around the neck. Some shots showed monkeys forced to stand upright, legs tied together, and arms outstretched, virtually crucified.
“One shot showed a monkey’s mouth being forced open while a tube was pushed down into the stomach and liquid injected into the tube.”
She added: “The overall impression left by this film footage suggests that their treatment means nothing less than systematic abuse for these animals.
“The footage has not been made in a small, obscure enterprise operating, far away from any legal regulations, in a remote corner of the world. The LPT Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology GmbH & Co. KG works within one of the leading and most wealthy member states of the European Union.
“LPT presents itself as an ‘excellent and experienced partner in the area of contract research in accordance with national and international guidelines.
“In summary, what I have seen in this video is some of the most callous, inhumane and brutal behaviour by humans towards the primates, dogs and cats kept at this laboratory. It is nothing but living hell. Such a situation does not belong in the 21st century and must be stopped.
“No more invasive biomedical testing should be performed on sentient and complex animals like primates, dogs and cats. Even rats have been proved highly intelligent and capable of feeling fear and pain. Animals can’t talk for themselves, so we need to be their voices and bring their plight out into the daylight.”
The lab is now undergoing further investigations and faces having its licence withdrawn should the allegations turn out to be true.
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