[East Valley Tribune]
Lab technicians in scrubs and surgical masks remove the small gray
monkeys one by one from the dozens of cages lining the laboratory
walls inside Covance's Madison, Wis., facility. Their thick black
gloves protect them from the cynomolgus macaque monkeys' claws and
teeth while waiting their turn at a table where the monkeys are given
a drug or chemical being tested.
Some monkeys are fitted with collars that secure them in a boxlike
restraint that holds the animals' heads in place. A technician then
pries the monkey's mouth open to make way for a syringe full of pink
Other monkeys are placed in clear plastic tubes — about a
foot-and-a-half long and about 4 inches in diameter — to keep them
still while technicians make an injection into their legs.
The procedures takes a few minutes before the animals are returned to
The scene, observed by a Tribune reporter, looks similar to a portion
of a video mailed to 23,000 Chandler residents in late September that
animal rights groups claim is evidence Covance abuses research
animals. The video is part of a campaign to keep the drug-testing
company from building a planned facility in Chandler.
The video, along with a year of organized opposition that has included
regular protests and letter and e-mail campaigns, has brought a global
controversy to Chandler over the company's use of animals for testing.
Opponents haven't given up, however, and have held weekly protests
during busy weekends near the Chandler Fashion Center and recently
began picketing at a shopping center close to the company's new site.
PETA, a controversial national group and outspoken opponent to the
global drug tester, has distributed thousands of videos all over the
world showing what it claims are examples of monkeys being abused
inside Covance's facility in Vienna, Va.
And another animal-rights group, Washington, D.C.-based Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine, recently mailed portions of the
PETA video to Chandler residents with a message from Scottsdale
surgeon Deborah Wilson urging them to voice opposition to the
Company officials have not yet announced when construction will begin
and have not yet applied for any city building permits.
Contact Chris Markham by email, or phone (480) 898-6486