Covance Pays PETA Europe £145,000

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Sad MonkeyIn the final chapter of Covance’s futile efforts to bar PETA Europe from publicising video footage of animal abuse in a Covance facility, the company agreed to pay PETA Europe £145,000 to cover legal fees and costs.

Shortly after PETA US went public with the results of an 11-month investigation that documented appalling physical and psychological abuse of monkeys inside a Covance laboratory in Vienna, Virginia, Covance filed an injunction to prevent the shocking video footage from being shown.

In 2005, a UK judge dismissed that case, characterising the video as “highly disturbing”. The judge also commented on the “rough manner in which the animals [are] handled and the bleakness of the surroundings in which they are kept”, matters which he said “cry out for explanation”.

In contrast to the abuse uncovered, Covance’s Animal Welfare Statement claims that the company treats the animals in its facilities with “care and respect”. The judge called the difference between Covance’s claim and the reality exposed by the investigation “a comparison between two different worlds”, and he went on to say that to the extent that Covance “has fostered a misleading impression, PETA Europe is entitled to correct it publicly”.

In the US, Covance’s censorship attempts also failed; the company was forced to withdraw motions for both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction aimed at preventing PETA US from showing the video footage. Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture cited and fined Covance for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Activists in Chandler, Arizona, have also fought against Covance’s proposed construction of a new animal-testing facility, giving the billion-dollar conglomerate a run for its money.

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