The coordinating prosecutor for the Environment, Antonio Vercher, has decided to open an investigation into the alleged animal abuse committed at the Vivotecnia laboratory in Madrid. It does so, according to sources from the public prosecutor’s office, after the dissemination of a video with harsh images about the treatment that animals allegedly receive for experimentation in those facilities. In addition, this Sunday the Community of Madrid has decided to suspend the research activity of this laboratory after, as a result of a complaint, signs of animal abuse were found after conducting an inspection.
The regional government has explained in a statement that the Ministry of the Environment has made this decision after a video was released on Thursday in which behaviors “that would be a very serious violation of the regulations that regulate the use of of experimental animals in this laboratory of clinical trials ”. The investigation published this Friday by the organization Cruelty Free International (CFI) reveals what appears to be a repeated practice of acts of wanton violence and extreme cruelty to the animals on which the experiments are carried out (monkeys, dogs, pigs, rabbits, rats and mice) by laboratory employees.
The German company, whose headquarters in Spain is located in Tres Cantos (Madrid), carries out safety and toxicity analyzes of drugs and health products, biocides and the cosmetic, chemical and agrochemical industries. His laboratory serves research institutions, many of which have already demanded an official investigation to clarify what happened. The CEO of Vivotecnia, Andrés König, acknowledged on Saturday that some images have been “shocking” and “contrary to the written protocols of the company,” reports Efe.
When the video became known, the Community opened a procedure and immediately sent an inspection to gather information on the known facts for which there was no prior complaint. “After verifying the existence of these facts, the research activity was immediately suspended temporarily, with the express prohibition of carrying out new projects with animals. He also informed the Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of what happened ”, explained the regional government. The Community is in “permanent” communication with the Seprona of the Civil Guard in case it is necessary to open preliminary proceedings and bring the facts to the attention of a court for an alleged crime of possible mistreatment of animals.
On the other hand, the well-being of the animals residing in the laboratory has been ensured, which have been under the care and supervision of the Community of Madrid, and of a veterinarian responsible for animal welfare, while their fate is determined. Their transfer to reception centers with their subsequent adoption is also contemplated, depending on what is established in the regulations for the protection of animals used in experimentation and other scientific purposes. In the statement, the regional executive condemns any type of mistreatment of animals and trusts the ethical principles that govern most animal experimentation studies conducted by research and science professionals.
The video, which is posted on the Cruelty Free International (CFI) YouTube page with advance warnings of its harshness, and which has been edited for publication, shows how animals are routinely subjected to verbal and physical abuse and reflects bad practices carried out in the experiments. The images show the conditions in which the rodents, rabbits, pigs, monkeys and dogs of the center live and also the practices to which they are subjected, in many cases without anesthesia and with obvious signs of suffering.
The publication of these images has provoked criticism from several research centers and organizations, and a civil campaign on the platform Change.org which has obtained more than 45,000 signatures to ask the Community of Madrid to immediately withdraw Vivotecnia’s license and close its facilities in the capital. Dozens of sanctuaries and protectors throughout Spain have signed a joint statement in which they demand that the authorities close the Vivotecnia laboratory in Madrid and take charge of the custody and care of the animals that remain in the facilities, reports Servimedia.
“Some images are especially shocking to me, since they go directly against the written protocols of the company that all the personnel involved must know and respect,” the executive director of the company said in a statement this Saturday. “They clearly do not represent respect for the experimental animal and the avoidance of all possible damage and stress that we have tried to instill from the beginning of Vivotecnia”, added König, who requested a voluntary inspection “as soon as possible” from the competent authority. König pointed out that he had viewed the published images and videos with “great concern”, images that have left him “dismayed and worried” and that do not represent “the day-to-day reality” at Vivotecnia during its 21 years of existence.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.