Imprisoned and Poisoned: A PETA Whistleblower Case

Imprisoned and Poisoned: A PETA Whistleblower Case

A distraught whistleblower from Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), a notorious Everett, Washington-based animal testing conglomerate, contacted PETA to reveal shocking allegations of mistreatment of animals used in painful and lethal experiments. The whistleblower weighed her concerns for her job and fear of retaliation against the suffering and deaths of animals that she witnessed every day at SNBL and repeatedly appealed to SNBL managers and supervisors to improve conditions for animals in the company’s laboratories. After those pleas were ignored, she felt compelled to contact PETA.

SNBL torments tens of thousands of primates, dogs, rabbits, and other animals every year to test products for other companies. It force-feeds animals experimental chemicals to intentionally sicken and kill them and infects them with debilitating diseases.


SNBL is the third-largest importer of primates in the U.S., purchasing nearly 3,000 monkeys every year from China, Cambodia, Israel, and Indonesia—some snatched from their homes and families in the wild—for use in experiments.

According to the whistleblower, in one experiment at SNBL, monkeys were hooked to their cages with a metal tether through which ice-cold saline solution and test compounds were continuously dripped into their veins. The monkeys were kept like this for many months and reportedly were so cold that they shivered and their teeth chattered non-stop. Monkeys had blood drawn from their arms many times a day, resulting in swelling, redness, and bruising of their limbs. These wounds were considered “routine” and were never treated. After the first few blood draws, the monkeys’ veins were damaged, and workers would poke and dig around in the limb to find others. The monkeys winced, screamed, trembled, and shook, and tried to defend themselves. The whistleblower said, “Eventually, many of the monkeys stop fighting and reacting … it is like the life is gone from them.”

While working at SNBL, the whistleblower observed workers handling the monkeys so violently that the animals suffered bloodied noses, broken fingers and toes, and bruises to their bodies. Their tails were bent or deformed because workers slammed cage doors on them. The employees also allegedly banged loudly on the monkeys’ cages to frighten and intimidate them into being quiet. Managers and supervisors apparently knew of this ongoing physical and psychological abuse of monkeys but refused to stop it.

The whistleblower also reported that monkeys were tied for many hours in restraint chairs with their arms and legs kept entirely immobile as drugs were injected intravenously over the course of a day. The whistleblower said, “The monkeys fight continuously for hours to loosen the ropes … it is just too much for them.” Some monkeys collapsed in the restraint chairs and never recovered.

A USDA report from 2011 documented that 78 percent of the monkeys at SNBL are caged alone—in violation of federal law—unable to touch or interact in any way with other monkeys. This is so distressing to monkeys that they develop stress-induced abnormal behaviors such as self-mutilation, incessant rocking, and hair-pulling.

Like the whistleblower, federal inspectors have also found cruelty and neglect inside SNBL’s laboratories. U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection and investigation reports reveal hundredsof violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The company was recently assessed fines of $31,000 and $12,900 for denying veterinary care and adequate pain relief to suffering animals and failing to ensure that experiments were not duplicated. SNBL also made headlines in 2008 after a whistleblower revealed that a monkey had been boiled to death when her cage was put into a high-temperature cage-washing machine while she was still in it. In 2010, the FDA cited SNBL for failing to ensure that employees charged with providing care for the thousands of animals at SNBL were properly trained.

SNBL’s customers—the companies for which it conducts tests on animals—include Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, Genentech, and Seattle Genetics. Several government agencies—including the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Health and Human Services—have signed contracts with SNBL worth more than $1 million. And, SNBL profits from the importation and sales of monkeys for use in experimentation.

Please take a stand for the monkeys imprisoned at SNBL by calling on airlines to stop transporting primates destined for laboratorie

Actors’ Partnerships With Revlon Net Them ‘Kind Choices’ Award

Actors’ Partnerships With Revlon Net Them ‘Kind Choices’ Award

Actors’ Partnerships With Revlon Net Them ‘Kind Choices’ Award


Los Angeles, CA — When actors Emma Stone and Olivia Wilde chose to partner with Revlon, they were signing on to represent one of the country’s first mainstream cruelty-free cosmetics companies. In 1990—more than 10 years before either Stone or Wilde landed her first acting role—Revlon agreed to PETA’s request to permanently ban all product testing on animals. In the intervening decades, it has held fast to that pledge. And for choosing to promote only cruelty-free cosmetics, Emma Stone and Olivia Wilde have both earned a Kind Choices Award from PETA. They will each receive a framed certificate and a card signed by PETA staffers.

“Emma, Olivia, and Revlon have our thanks for encouraging millions of fashion-forward young women to choose makeup that’s luxurious, not lethal,” says PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “Cruelty-free companies such as Revlon make it easy for all of us to get a glamorous look without harming a hair on a bunny’s head.”

Some companies, such as L’Oreal and Johnson & Johnson, still test their personal-care and household products on animals despite the availability of more sophisticated methods. No law requires that cosmetics be tested on animals in the U.S., and modern non-animal methods are available to assess product safety.

Visit PETA’s website for a full list of cruelty-free companies and products.

Tell MCA Denver to Stop Using Pigeons and Stick to Art

Tell MCA Denver to Stop Using Pigeons and Stick to Art

MCA Denver’s “Thinking About Flying” exhibit is doing wrong by pigeons. They are
sending these extraordinary, intelligent, and highly social birds—who mate for
life and form strong bonds with other pigeons—home with any visitor to the
museum who asks, on the premise that the people will release the birds and see
if they can find their way back to a rooftop loft. Will anyone eat a pigeon?
Keep them in a tiny box for life as a “pet”? Or, if released, will the birds be
at risk, as “racing pigeons” always are, of running into power lines, getting
lost, and not knowing how to feed themselves—of being picked off by a hawk or
running into bad weather that downs them, among other hazards?

pigeons’ remarkable navigation abilities and intelligence, many birds die when
they fly into unexpected bad weather, are poisoned, or are attacked by predators
while trying to return to their lofts. If they must land because of injury,
exhaustion, or high winds, they will often starve to death because they were
born in captivity and haven’t a clue how to fend for themselves out there. The
decision by the artist and MCA Denver to encourage that the birds be taken to
strangers’ homes in crates, with the strangers then trusted to release them from
unfamiliar locations up to 100 miles away, only compounds these risks.

Pigeons also have complex and fragile social relationships. This
exhibition exploits these bonds by intentionally separating pigeons from their
mates, babies, and eggs; allowing them to be transported to the visitors’ homes;
and placing them in the care of people with whom they’re not familiar, which
creates intense anxiety for the birds. It is also irresponsible to trust museum
visitors who have no experience with pigeons to provide the proper concern and
care. This misguided endeavor, tragically, will result in incidents of abuse and
neglect, whether deliberate or not. This would be analogous to the museum
lending out dogs to visitors and then having these people release them in the
neighborhood in the hope that the dogs, who often have a keen ability to find
their way home, will find their way back to the museum.

The pigeons are
not another inanimate medium to be manipulated or voluntary participants in this
experimental installation but are sentient beings who are desperate to return
home to their mates, eggs, and offspring—and often don’t make it.
Contact Adam Lerner, director of MCA Denver, and urge the museum to
cancel this exhibition immediately and adopt a policy that prohibits the
exhibition of artwork that includes the use of live animals, the killing of
animals, or the bodies of animals killed specifically for the production of a
work of art.

Group’s Documentation of Physical and Psychological Threat to Two Elephants Leads to Rare Action

Group’s Documentation of Physical and Psychological Threat to Two Elephants Leads to Rare Action

Dover, Del. — After filing two complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding the physical safety and psychological well-being of two elephants, PETA has learned that the agency has now filed formal charges against the Cole Bros. Circus. The circus is scheduled to perform in Dover from August 31 to September 1. PETA had pointed out that two elephants, Tina and Jewell, were forced to travel and perform despite being hundreds of pounds underweight and were sent to an unlicensed exhibitor with a long history of violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The more than 10 charges filed against Cole Bros. by the USDA include failure to provide adequate veterinary care to the elephants and failure to hire personnel capable of caring for them.

In 2009, the USDA felt that the case was so serious that the agency confiscated Jewell and also removed Tina. However, Cole Bros. continues to use other elephants in old-fashioned circus acts, and PETA recently sent the USDA alarming video footage taken at the Cole Bros. Circus in Lanesboro, Mass., on June 17 that shows a handler who repeatedly struck an elephant using a bullhook (a rod with a solid steel-pointed end that resembles a fireplace poker), including forcefully hitting the animal twice in the face. Also in June, the USDA cited an elephant exhibitor with Cole Bros. for multiple violations of the AWA, including the use of “excessive force while tugging at” an elephant by digging a bullhook into her flesh.

“We hope that the USDA’s action against Cole Bros. puts circuses on notice that if they treat animals cruelly, justice will be sought,” says PETA Director Delcianna Winders. “We ask the public not to take children to animal circuses because attendance supports suffering.”

For more information, please visit

A list of the violations named in the charges follows.

The violations of the Animal Welfare Act for which the USDA has filed formal charges against the Cole Bros. Circus include the following:


  • Failure to provide adequate veterinary care to an underweight elephant with a prominent spine and sunken body image
  • Failure to have records for vet exams and tuberculosis tests
  • Failure to handle an elephant in a way that minimizes the risk of harm to the public and the elephant
  • Failure to employ personnel capable of caring for elephants
  • Failure to house elephants at a facility that could provide for their needs
  • Failure to follow recommendations of an elephant specialist—a willful violation
  • Failure to store medications properly
  • Transporting elephants to another person who was not equipped to care for them against the recommendation of an elephant specialist
  • Inadequate enclosures
  • Handlers who lacked training and knowledge and weren’t regularly onsite


  • Employing a handler who lacked training, knowledge, and experience
  • Selling tigers without a dealer license
Donna Karan bunny butcher

Donna Karan bunny butcher

Despite knowing about the suffering that goes into every fur-trimmed coat,
hat, and bag, Donna Karan has made the cruel decision to use the skins of dead
rabbits in her clothing lines.

Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy
wire cages, and fur farmers use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods
available. Foxes, minks, coyotes, and rabbits—and even dogs and cats—are
bludgeoned, genitally electrocuted, and often skinned alive for their fur.

One of the best ways that you can help animals who are beaten and tortured
for their fur is to tell Donna Karan executives that you’ll boycott the
designer’s collections until she stops using fur. Many top designers—including
Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Liz
Claiborne—have chosen to create wonderful work without using animal fur.

Top Five Shocking Animal Experimentation Facts

Top Five Shocking Animal Experimentation Facts

Did you know that millions of animals—including dogs and cats just like the ones with whom you might share your home—are tormented in U.S. laboratories annually for cruel experiments? While this fact might have surprised you, here are the top five shocking animal experimentation facts that you should know:

  1. More than 100 million animalsare poisoned, burned, crippled, and abused in other ways in U.S. labs each year.
  2. No experiment is illegal, no matter how cruel, irrelevant to human health, redundant, or painful.
  3. Ninety five percent of animals used for experiments are excluded from the only federal law offering any sort of protection.
  4. Even when valid alternatives to animals are available, the law doesn’t require that they be used.
  5. Ninety two percent of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.