Lab used by Lilly, peers accused of animal cruelty

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An animal-welfare group believes workers at a North Carolina research lab have abused dogs, cats and rabbits.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a video Wednesday that it says was taken by one of the group’s undercover investigators. Video clips show people roughly handling animals, including one person purposely letting a cat grasp a fence with its claw before yanking it.

PETA says the disturbing video was shot at Professional Laboratory and Research Services Inc. The company has a facility in Corapeake, N.C., near the Virginia state line.

The lab has tested flea and tick preventatives and other products for numerous companies, including Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.’s Elanco Animal Health division, as well as Sergeant’s, Bayer, Merck, Schering-Plough, Pfizer, Novartis, and Merial.

Company president Helen Sonenshine said she was appalled by the video and is reviewing it closely for possible employee firings. U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections show no recent violations at the lab.

The local district attorney says he also is reviewing the video.

PETA said its investigation found that lab employees kicked, threw, and dragged dogs; lifted rabbits by their ears and puppies by their throats; violently slammed cats into cages; and exposed animals to toxic chemicals.

“As long as Elanco/Eli Lilly employs PLRS, it shares responsibility for the suffering of animals who are hosed down with bleach, slammed about like bits of wood, and left to suffer without medical care," PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a prepared statement. "PETA is asking anyone who cares about their animal companions to avoid any products made by Elanco/Eli Lilly."

Lilly officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Elanco has used the lab in the past.

“Elanco has previously conducted work with PLRS; however, Elanco is not currently conducting live phase animal research there,” Ted McKinney, senior director of corporate affairs for Elanco, said in a prepared statement. “More broadly, animals are necessary for pharmaceutical research, as the FDA requires the use of animals in testing of experimental medicines. This pre-clinical work continues to be essential to test the safety and efficacy of medicines before testing them in people.

“Where animals must be used, measures are taken to assure that the fewest numbers of animals are used and that their discomfort and distress are minimized. Research animals at Lilly are cared for under the close supervision of veterinarians and trained animal caretakers, and we maintain the highest standards of animal care and use."



  • Are you Kidding Me?
    @Science with a brain - are you saying that the video footage of this has been altered? The actual visual portions? Since you have the name science with a brain, surely you know that for lab animals there are certain standards of care that are required, and this lab has fallen short. Manufacturers seek out these labs much the same way insurance companies seek out some IME doctors - because they get what they want - a study that says their products are "safe" when used as directed. It's twisted science that keeps bad products on the market & causes even more economical harm in the form of studies that need to be re-done, more animals harmed, pets and people getting ill and dying. It's a "no brainer" in this case...
  • Watch very carefully
    I hope my comments will stay up but I don't figure they will. Yes the videos do show horrible stuff but if you watch these videos and listen very carfully you can tell they are faked and dubbed over. In fact I believe the single female committing the abuse to both the dog and the cat are in fact the PETA plant. Those were not filmed with a hidden camera they were filmed by another person and she knew she was on tape. False evidence like this hurts good hard working people for absolutely no reason.
  • animal abusers move on to humans
    Compassion starts with the most defenseless among us and then develops into empathy for ourselves, human beings. All who love and protect animals are concerned about the well-being of children...but those who abuse animals nearly always move up to abusing children and adults...there is no "either-or" about compassion. Compassionate people care about all living creatures. It's not about loving humans OR animals. It is both.
  • More important issues
    Although it's sad to see little bunnies being picked up by their ears, I prefer to save my moral outrage for more important issues, like children who are abused and neglected every day.
    • torture chamber
      Did anyone not see the picture on PETA's webiste of a rabbit with a canister of ticks strapped to its skin, in order to 'grow' the ticks? Insects burrowing into live skin and reproducing, and no relief possible for the rabbit? Why??? Are ticks that hard to find? Disturbing, horrible, torture for no reason, this is not research, this is a SAW movie that these animals are living through every day. Oh, and gizmo and Meat!!!(head), you guys are total morons. Please stay away from living things, if you can.
    • These aren't Lilly researchers
      It seems some of the posts here missed the fact that this is a lab that was PREVIOUSLY CONTRACTED by Lilly. Previously. Contracted. This doesn't excuse the fact that this video shows things that make me want to punch out a few humans, were I a violent man.
    • continued
      if you pay close attention to the tape, you can tell that it has some statments edited out. but people are entitled to their beliefs. if you think that is abuse, you should go look at people who are fighting dogs and people who don't feed their dogs so they can hunt with them
    • yes
      exactly, all these PETA members are up here trying to draw attention to their organization. PETA kills animals. In fact, they were prosecuted for it before. You are right, its perfectly fine for dogs and cats to be picked up by their necks; hell thats how they were moved when they were puppie/kittens. There is only one case of animal cruelty in that video and that employee should be fired. But, other than that, it seemed like everything was decent, not great, but decent. But, I totally agree with you gizmo.
    • Unreal
      PETA is a wonderful organization. Anyone who doesn't cringe at the sight of the video; simply has no heart. No animal deserves to be treated like that.
    • The Lab of Horrors!
      gizmo in indy
      this video showed animal cruelty at its finest! If this is how you treat animals... I have a real problem with people of the likes of you! PETA does wonderful work... Somebody needs to be a watch dog for the animals... Hope it is not someone of the likes of you... moron!
    • Gross
      This whole thing is disgusting...."High standards of animal care" does not include causing any of them discomfort or "minimizing" pain, Lilly Researchers!...seriously, you're disgusting!
    • Rabbits support back
      Rabbits are NEVER to be picked up by their ears.Hind legs must be supported with other hand or they willkick and break their backs.

      I don't have any love for PETA but love rabbits
    • uhhh...
      Just because PETA are extremist wingnuts doesn't mean those animals weren't mistreated.

      I watched the video. Seemed pretty gross to me.
    • PETA Brainiacs
      What wonderful people! They don't even know what they're watching! 1= Rabbits are SUPPOSED to be grasped/picked up by their ears! not yanked or anything like that, but firmly grasped at the root of the ears & it helps immobilize them from kicking 2. Puppies & kittens, too, are perfectly fine being picked up by the scruff of their necks. If PETA has so much free time, they need to find REAL jobs doing REAL work to actually CONTRIBUTE to society!!!

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