CORAPEAKE, N.C., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Contrary to a report in today's Virginian-Pilot, a comprehensive inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of NC-based Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS) has found no evidence of animal neglect or abuse. The USDA finding follows People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) September release of a contrived video that inaccurately depicts the conditions at PLRS, in a malicious attempt to force the small business to close its doors.
Two USDA veterinarians visited PLRS on September 13 and 14, 2010 and conducted a thorough medical review of every animal at the facility. Their inspection revealed no evidence of abuse or neglect. In addition, USDA performed a routine inspection of the facility on July 7, 2010 – during the time PETA's operative was working there – and found no evidence that would corroborate the group's baseless claims.
"PLRS was the target of a premeditated smear campaign by PETA, a group that opposes all forms of biomedical research," stated veterinary parasitologist and PLRS Vice President Dr. Larry Cruthers, Ph.D. "PETA's contrived video was engineered to mislead the public about PLRS and the company's strong commitment to animal welfare and regulatory compliance. The USDA's inspection report shows there is no proof to PETA's unfounded accusations."
In the company's 24-year history, it has never been the subject of an enforcement action by USDA. The USDA has rigorously inspected the PLRS facility on an annual basis, using trained, experienced USDA veterinarians. Since the company's founding, multiple veterinarians have been called upon to inspect and treat PLRS' animals. Sponsors who funded the tests also made regular visits, including veterinarians employed by these same sponsors, without any complaints of animal neglect such as those alleged by PETA.