Home Office Sanctions Charles River Lab After PETA Complaint

For Immediate Release:

24 February 2020


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


Rats Crushed, Given Wrong Dose at Scottish Laboratory; PETA Urges to Revoke Its Licence

Edinburgh, Scotland – In a huge breakthrough for animals and following a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Home Office has formally inspected Charles River Laboratories and sanctioned it for violating animal welfare regulations. PETA uncovered shocking allegations regarding the extreme suffering and death of rats at the company’s Elphinstone location, near Edinburgh, after being approached by a whistle-blower who worked there.

Because of the severity of the incidents reported, PETA is urging the Home Office to revoke Charles Rivers Laboratories’ licence to experiment on animals.

According to the whistle-blower, the company reportedly crushed approximately 100 to 120 live rats – including pregnant females – in a rubbish compressor and administered the wrong dose of a compound to rats who were used in a cancer experiment. It allegedly forced other rats to inhale a highly toxic compound in doses that exceeded the agreed maximum – and consequently, one distressed female chewed off an entire toe. More information about the reported welfare violations can be found  .

“Charles River Laboratories apparently can’t be trusted to follow the minimal laws that protect animals in laboratories, and the punishment should fit the crime

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – notes that across the UK, millions of animals are locked inside barren laboratory cages, poisoned, burned, cut open, traumatised, and infected with diseases while they suffer from extreme frustration and loneliness. Few experiments – no matter how painful or irrelevant – are prohibited by law, and almost all animals used in tests are later killed.

PETA supports the use of scientifically and ethically sound methods that better protect humans, animals, and the environment. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.