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Allegations of Abuse in Animal Testing

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 11 Apr 2019 | comments*Discuss
Allegations Abuse Animal Testing Covance

Despite animal testing being rigidly regulated in the United Kingdom (UK) and in many other places around the world, allegations of abuse have darkened the public's perceptions of animal testing. Allegations have occurred in numerous countries and have shown the dangerous and cruel side of animal testing. Fortunately, the reaction in most cases has been swift, with strong repercussions from the government and an intense backlash from the public. The unfortunate aspect is that these isolated cases of abuse are often taken as representative of all researchers who use animal testing to perform experiments.

In the United Kingdom (UK)

In a case during the late 1990s, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recorded a video of animal abuse at the Huntingdon Life Sciences facility in the UK. Employees were recorded striking dogs and yelling at them as well as simulating sex acts during the taking of blood samples. The consequences included the licence for the HLS being removed for a period of six months and the staff involved were all fired and prosecuted for their part in the abuse.

United States

One controversial case occurred in California, where a monkey that was bred at the University of California, Riverside, had his eyelids sewn shut and a unique device placed on his head. The two conditions were created to satisfy the requirements for a sight-deprivation experiment. It was only during a raid on the facilities by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) that the monkey was removed. In defence, the university alleged that damage to the monkey's eyelids was, in fact, caused by the ALF's veterinarian. The university also alleged that the head device was purposefully damaged by the ALF as a means to further their cause.


In a widely publicised 2004 case, a journalist secretly took footage of employees in Covance, a facility in Germany, which is a large centre that performs animal testing on primates. In the footage, staff could be seen forcing monkeys to dance to extremely loud music while handling them roughly and yelling at them. Monkeys were also kept alone in tiny cages with minimal to no natural light or environmental stimulation. After allegations of abuse surfaced, other scientists referred to the treatment as horrendous, which demonstrated the widespread disapproval in the scientific community. In addition, the ability of researchers to withdraw accurate data is severely compromised if animals are in a stressed state. As such, the results from the testing in Germany would have been inaccurate.

Unfortunately, abuse does occur and sadly, this abuse and subsequent media coverage tends to amplify the problem into one that is falsely assumed to include all animal testing facilities. It is hoped that improved transparency, accountability and regulations will ensure that those who do abuse animals are held fully responsible. Regulatory agencies exist to ensure that animal testing facilities respect the laws and rules in place to safeguard animal welfare. At the same time, there is some onus on the media to offer coverage of both sides. This means providing an accurate depiction of the majority of researchers who do follow the laws and regulations regarding animal testing. It also means that those who do abuse animals during experimentation should still be held responsible, both legally and in the public eye. Find out about organisations that regulate animal testing.

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Animal Testing still has it's benefits, just because some testers abuse the testee doesn't mean that all tetsers are bad. Without animal testing, how would we have the medicines and cures for stuff today
Sammie - 10-Apr-19 @ 5:22 PM
if you hurt animals, you hurt people. there are pedophiles in prison wasting away that you can test on why animals
giraffesarepeopletoo - 27-Feb-19 @ 2:39 PM
Animals shouldn't be abused in any cases.They have feelings like we do.I wouldn't like it if someone took me from my home and caged me.There are now alternatives to animals that get better results.BAN ANIMAL TESTING!!!
TurtleNoAbuse - 21-Feb-19 @ 6:04 PM
i think animals should be tested on because the frogs are gay and we need to exterminate them
slaldmann - 28-Sep-18 @ 2:15 AM
Animal testing is a terrible thing if the animal is harmed or tortured and kept in a cage its whole life. However, I do believe that the animals help us find cures for humans who have incurable diseases. As long as there are strict limitations on what the researchers can do on the animals, I think it is alright in certain situations. I would rather have testing done on an animal then on a person who has a soul. Now there is no doubt that they should not be tortured or harmed, but I would rather them have limitations on animal testing instead of irradiating it completely because human lives are far more important than an animals life.
charlieg - 4-Mar-18 @ 9:04 PM
I believe that animal testing should be banned too
sar bear - 12-Jan-18 @ 8:49 PM
Evidence shows animals have feelings and intelligence that are the basis of their subjective experience and of the same rights as humans. They deserve equal respect and protection. They are not our slaves.
Slick - 21-Dec-17 @ 4:29 AM
i agree with you, Berrycat, cause the animals deserve love, kindness and joy not torture.
bass clarinet player - 7-Mar-17 @ 7:48 PM
I believe that animal testing should be banned. It is unfair to put the poor animals in that position.
Berrycat - 6-Mar-17 @ 6:23 AM
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