Posted by WKYC
CONCORD — A Lake County company which specializes in drug research and development has been accused of allowing the deaths of two animals during experiments conducted in 2010.
Ricerca Biosciences, LLC, should be fined the maximum amount permitted by law, said the organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now (S.A.E.N.) in a formal complaint filed Monday with the USDA.
A “monkey was drowned with toxic chemcials in a procedure which was highly painful,” wrote Michael Budkie, executive director of S.A.E.N., which is headquartered in Milford, Ohio. The experimental drug was supposed to be put into the monkey’s stomach, according to both the animal rights group, and Ricerca’s 2010 filings with the USDA.
In a second incident a dog was found dead in its cage the morning following the administration of a single dose of an unspecified drug. The company’s report to the USDA about the incident stated, “had the animal been found to be in distress at the evening observation, appropriate measures would have been taken to relieve the animal.”
Budkie told WKYC in a telephone interview the incidents call into question Ricerca’s entire operation. The Lake County company employs more than 300 people locally and approximately 850 worldwide, and used approximately 1,500 dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, monkeys, and other animals in its experiments in 2010.
Tim E. Tinkler, spokesman for Ricerca, told WKYC the USDA is aware of the two incidents and has cleared the company of any wrongdoing. He said the company was looking again into the details of the animals’ deaths in light of the accusations leveled by the animal rights group.
Tinkler said Ricerca has an Animal Care & Use Committee, which includes a local veterinarian and a member of the community. He said Ricerca, a private company which was founded 25 years ago, has been in full compliance with regulations governing the care and handling of animals.
“Our scientists and technicians are extensively trained in the ethnic conduct of these procedures and the careful handling of the animals involved,” Tinkler wrote in an emailed statement.