Animal Legal Defense Fund and Stop Animal Exploitation Now Head to Court in Case against Santa Cruz Biotechnology

Posted on April 22, 2013

For immediate release

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

goatsUpdate:
April 23, 2013:
This morning, the Santa Cruz Superior
Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund
(ALDF) and Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) against Santa Cruz
Biotechnology because there is already a federal action against the
facility pending with the USDA, for violating the Animal Welfare Act.
ALDF and SAEN are  disappointed in this decision, because as laid out in
our lawsuit, we allege that California state laws are also being
violated by the facility. We are considering our legal options moving
forward. We also urge the USDA to vigorously pursue its complaint
against Santa Cruz Biotechnology for the sake of the animals who
continue to suffer there.

April 22, 2013
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Tomorrow, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) presents oral arguments on behalf of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) in a lawsuit against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (Santa Cruz Biotech) for illegal abuse and neglect of goats and rabbits. The lawsuit alleges the animal research facility violated California’s state anti-cruelty law and Unfair Competition Law by mistreating animals. The hearings will determine whether SAEN has legal standing to move forward with the case, and whether state anti-cruelty law applies in addition to federal regulation.

When: Tuesday, April 23, 8:30am.
Where: Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Department 5, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95070.

Santa Cruz Biotech, a for-profit Delaware corporation, supplies antibodies and other research materials to laboratories worldwide, and operates a 44,000-acre animal research facility in California, where it confines more than 12,000 goats and 8,000 rabbits. SAEN, which is committed to ending the abuse of animals in laboratories, has had to make an extraordinary effort and divert crucial funds to publicize Santa Cruz Biotech’s illegal activities and cruelty to animals. Drawing upon evidence from numerous inspections, the lawsuit alleges severe neglect and abuse of the goats from whom Santa Cruz Biotech harvest blood. At the facility, severely malnourished animals were discovered with untreated skin conditions and painful respiratory ailments, and goats had improperly treated broken legs. Another goat was found suffering from a large untreated coyote bite.

Santa Cruz Biotech regularly causes animal suffering by improperly harvesting blood from its animals, according to USDA inspections of the facility conducted over the past six years. The agency has also cited Santa Cruz Biotech numerous times for unlawfully neglecting animals. For example, the corporation was cited for keeping a critically ill goat alive for more than 21 days for blood harvesting, against a veterinarian’s recommendation. The USDA recently filed a complaint against Santa Cruz Biotech for 20 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and the corporation could face a $200,000 penalty.

"Animals are suffering from illegal neglect and abuse at Santa Cruz Biotech," said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. "California’s anti-cruelty laws prohibit this abuse. Despite Santa Cruz Biotech’s attempt to have the case dismissed on procedural grounds, we are hopeful the court will hold this facility accountable under state law."

"This lawsuit is absolutely vital because Santa Cruz Biotech flagrantly and continually violates the law," said SAEN’s Executive Director Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T. "Animals are suffering and dying at Santa Cruz Biotech and this lawsuit is the only thing that will save them."