German Animal Testing Laboratory Allowed To Reopen After Court Battle
WARNING - THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS DISTRESSING IMAGES AND FOOTAGE OF ANIMALS
The world was understandably shocked when images emerged of a German animal testing laboratory.
The Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Mienenbuttel, Lower Saxony, became the focal point of great anger after an undercover animal activist managed to get a job there and filmed the conditions in which the animals are kept.
The lab ended up being shut down.
However, a recent court battle has allowed the science centre to reopen with a new set of restrictions that are aimed at protecting the animals.
According to German broadcaster NDR, the Hamburg judicial authority said the laboratory can open its doors again as long as they have a new managing director, a new animal welfare officer and new animal research supervisors. The lab will also have to report on the animal's welfare and explain how their health is tracking.
The lab hasn't resumed operations just yet, but it will be allowed to do so when all the new provisions are installed.
Animal rights organisation Soko Tierschutz is furious that the decision has been allowed and will continue to campaign to have the facility shut down permanently.
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Spokesman Friedrich Mülln is calling on companies who deal directly with the lab or organisations that use their research to stop doing so and blacklist them.
He told German newspaper Tag24: "It is a scandal that Hamburg is apparently being appeased by cheap personnel damage from the LPT and not even waiting for the criminal proceedings, in particular, because of allegedly falsified animal research studies for over a decade."
Two former employees spoke out about the abuse they saw of rodents and rabbits, not just monkeys, cats and dogs. They also repeated Mülln's allegations that results of experiments were falsified with the knowledge of senior staff.
One said: "I didn't just experience this, I also had to do this, I had to falsify documents. When the studies did not show the results we expected, I was told I had to make them more favourable."
A second former employee added: "Tests were carried out with potential dangerous substances, particularly bad for the environment. In one study with rats, which resulted in many horrific deaths, the results were falsified. A lower dosage then brought the desired results."
The lab denied all knowledge of falsified documents. A spokesperson said in a statement to German TV show FAKT: "Information and / or evidence of counterfeiting is unknown to us. Such acts are excluded because of the tight control system required in our company."
When news of the lab spread across the world in October last year, a petition was launched to shut it down, which gathered more than 1.2 million signatures.
Featured Image Credit: CEN