A Mayo based animal rights group, People Against Cruelty to Animals (PACA ) is planning a protest outside the Mayo County Council offices in Castlebar on Monday May 9 at 3pm. The protest will coincide with the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council. The group intends to highlight the practice of animal testing at the Charles Rivers laboratories, Bellagelly South, Glenamoy, Ballina. The group has contacted all 30 county councillors and the board members of Mayo County Council via email asking to have the licence for the premises revoked.
Spokesperson for PACA, Saoirse O’Dowd, said, “There are over 200 breeding dogs held at the facility. These dogs are bred specifically for testing, torture basically. Charles Rivers Laboratory is a contract testing company that will test any product on the dogs for a price. They conduct live tests for pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, biotechnology firms, and even cosmetic companies. If people look at some of the pictures leaked from such facilities, they are horrendous. Burns, baldness, blindness, rashes, are just some of the effects the different types of tests on animals at such places. There is not even an exercise yard at the laboratory to walk the dogs.”
She continued, “We only know what has been leaked from these types of labs. Charles Rivers is a private company, so there are no freedom of information requests granted into the welfare of the dogs. There are other methods of testing these products, but testing on defenceless dogs is cheaper it would seem. Many countries, such as Switzerland have outright banned animal testing. Again, like so many situations, our authorities put the moral and public good subservient to profit. On Monday May 9 we will give a voice to the dogs at the laboratory.”