In November 2023, Labcorp, a vivisection company based in Burlington, North Carolina, US, was fined $9,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for five alleged violations of animal research laws, with four of the citations involving the company’s facility in Madison, Wisconsin. According to the USDA, between 2018 and 2022, six animals were injured (four of whom were then euthanized), with most of the injuries involving broken bones.

The USDA states that two non-human primates sustained “non-reparable orthopaedic injuries” in Madison in late 2018 from improper handling, and they were euthanized. In 2020, a monkey’s femur fracture in Madison was also attributed to poor handling, leading to the animal being killed. In 2021, two monkeys in Madison ended up with broken arms due to poor handling. In a New Jersey Labcorp facility, a monkey was euthanized in 2022 after becoming lethargic and dehydrated.

The animal rights organisation PETA said the fine “is a pittance for the agony animals endured at the hands of incompetent staffers.” Kathy Guillermo, PETA Senior Vice President, said, “Monkeys are caged, mutilated, tormented, and killed in laboratories for pointless experiments that don’t benefit human health. PETA is rallying viewers to stand up against these horrors and join us in calling on UW-Madison to pivot to sophisticated, human-relevant research methods.”

Even though studies show that 90% of all basic research fails to lead to treatments for humans, UW-Madison’s primate centre still imprisons and torments more than 2,400 monkeys for experiments. A six-month PETA undercover investigation revealed that monkeys were held in barren cages and bleak windowless rooms and were so traumatized by extreme long-term confinement that they ceaselessly circled their tiny cages and pulled out their hair.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.