A video has emerged showing disturbing alleged animal abuse at a Montreal-area research facility. The footage in the video was accumulated during an undercover investigation over 2015 and 2016 by animal rights goup Last Chance for Animals (LCA) at ITR Canada Ltd, a contract toxicology facility in Baie D’Urfé.
This glorified animal-prison is home to research groups of pigs, beagles and macaque monkeys who are used in repeated chemical trials. The pigs and beagles are all killed at the end of their studies, while crueller still, the macaques can live out their entire miserable thirty-year life spans as subjects of relentless tests at the facility. The video can be found here, but be advised it may not be suitable for all audiences.
We use the term “alleged abuse” here, as a formal investigation is underway and no charges have been laid, however after watching the video no self-respecting human can argue that the actions taking place in this facility are anything but vile, torturous and immoral.
Low-lights of the video show beagles forced to inhale noxious gases for allegedly eight hours at a time, while being beaten by a technician for no apparent reason other than to be conditioned to expect pain no matter what and presumably cause less fuss during the trials. Many of thee dogs live with tubes permanently pumping chemicals into their small bodies.
One instance shows severe burns on the backs of pigs, after a pharmaceutical skin cream trial. Observing these results the technicians, veterinarian and management agreed to request that the trial be stopped. However, the study’s sponsor company refused, instead demanding that the irritant skin cream be “force fed down their throats… a foreign substance injected int their stomachs for a study that could not possibly produce any relevant or usable results”. What the actual fuck.
The animals, all of which are typically social species, are kept in cages at ITR which meet the bare minimum for confinement requirements of this sort of facility. Furthermore, LCA alleges that none of the studies conducted at ITR explicitly required the animals to be confined in this way: kept from ever seeing one another or the sun or fresh air ever again.
LCA has launched formal complaints with the provincial ministries responsible for enforcing animal protection laws. Formal investigation will hopefully put an end to the tests conducted at ITR, however it is no surprise that animal testing is at best unpleasant, and at worst straight-up torture. Along with the day-to-day horror of the studies, LCA also observed technicians deliberately withholding damning test results (such as the macaques’ self-mutilation due to stress), animals being “thrown, slammed, suspended by their ears of limbs, and struck with such force that impact can be heard” (LCA) as well as anecdotal evidence of deaths caused by pure neglect.
It is easy to live our comfortable lives, telling ourselves that these research facilities exist, but there are regulations in place to ensure that animal subjects are put through as little discomfort as possible. Like we all have this communal dream-lie where after a year they all get released to a beautiful sanctuary, probably somewhere in the maritimes, where we can even go and pet them sometimes when we’re feeling blue and it’s therapeutic for everyone.
And maybe we can justify our dream-lie by thinking that perhaps animal testing is a necessary evil- after all, would it be better to test skin creams on the backs of our very own children? But the fact of the matter is that scientific advancements and new technologies have rendered most animal testing obsolete. Furthermore, it’s not just the tests themselves that are the issue, but as LCA’s footage from ITR shows, the animals “are often victims of unrelated abuse and mistreatment” (Newswire) throughout their lifetime at such facilities.
For the animals trapped in ITR who will never go outside again or see another living soul but their technician- torturers again, who will hear only the shrieks of others like them from out-of-sight cages, it does not matter that the dream-lie sanctuary does not exist because they are dead already. They are either living out their life-sentence as long as their tiny bodies will endure, or their carcasses are in a garbage bag (literally) in Baie D’Urfé somewhere.
To do what you can to stop the suffering, you can sign the LCA petition below,
and ask our law enforcement to do something about it.