Animal Advocates Appeal Case Against Santa Cruz Biotechnology

Posted on June 13, 2013

New Agency Investigation Reveals Ongoing Violations of Law at Testing Facilities

For immediate release

Contact:
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Michael Budkie, Stop Animal Exploitation Now

goats-on-farm-article-image-x2SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) on behalf of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) filed an appeal in a lawsuit against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (Santa Cruz Biotech) for illegal abuse and neglect of goats and rabbits. ALDF and SAEN are appealing the court’s May 21 judgment in which the judge dismissed the case in light of an enforcement action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) against Santa Cruz Biotech for federal Animal Welfare Act violations. According to the lawsuit, Santa Cruz Biotech violated California’s state anti-cruelty law and Unfair Competition Law by mistreating animals.

“Santa Cruz Biotech must be held accountable for violating California state laws,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “We are hopeful the court will agree and help us end the illegal suffering of these animals.”

Just last month, the USDA issued an inspection report on Santa Cruz Biotech’s ‘mystery barn’ known as “H7″—a fully-operational facility whose existence was previously denied by Santa Cruz Biotech. In this report, goats were observed with coin-sized lesions on their shoulders, and the facility was cited for significantly departing from approved blood collection protocol. Over the past six years, USDA inspections have cited Santa Cruz Biotech, a for-profit Delaware corporation that confines more than 12,000 goats and 8,000 rabbits, for regularly causing animal suffering by improperly harvesting blood from animals. Last year, the USDA also filed a complaint against Santa Cruz Biotech for 20 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, which could result in fines of up to $200,000. Meanwhile, in addition to federal violations, Santa Cruz Biotech’s abuse and neglect of goats violates state anti-cruelty and unfair competition laws, according to the lawsuit.

“Santa Cruz Biotech deserves a more severe penalty than the USDA is capable of issuing,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN. “This facility should also be held accountable under California animal cruelty laws.”

Copies of the lawsuit and USDA report are available upon request. ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. For more information, please visit aldf.org.