This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.
Charles River Laboratories (CR) is an international contract research organization (CRO) and laboratory animal breeding company. Firms hire CROs to conduct toxicity animal testing for agrochemicals, petrochemicals, household products, pharmaceuticals and toxins. Charles River was founded in 1947 and has 70 facilities in 70 countries with headquarters in Wilmington, Massachusetts.  CR provides clinical and laboratory research services and related products to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as purpose bred laboratory animals. Customers include companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and animal health industries as well as educational, health care and government institutions.
In the fiscal year ending in December of 2010, the company reported sales of approximately $1.133 billion dollars and had 7,500 employees.
- 1 Animal testing
- 2 Animal cruelty & welfare violations
- 3 Animal breeding & live animal imports
- 4 Quotable
- 5 CR & other organizations
- 6 Mergers & acquisitions
- 7 Lobbying & public relations
- 8 Personnel & board
- 9 Contact
- 10 Articles & sources
Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports
For links to copies of a facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: Charles River, Wilmington, MA  & Charles River, Sparks, NV. 
USDA AWA reports
As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.
Animal cruelty & welfare violations
Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN) is a national research watchdog organization.  SAEN has included Charles River among the worst violators of U.S. laws. Charles River amassed 22 violations in one monitoring period, including an incident which left dozens of dogs with bleeding paws. (Government reports and ranking statistics available upon request.) 
Shamrock Farm live animal imports: United Kingdom
In 1998, almost all of the 2,467 macaques used in British laboratories came through Shamrock Farm. It was owned by Bausch and Lomb (sunglasses, eye wear) and run by Charles River. Shamrock farm closed in 2000 after a 15 month campaign by Save the Shamrock Monkeys. 
Primates were imported from Mauritius, the Philippines and China andpacked in tiny crates, (often too small to stand in) for up to two and a half days. Subsequently, up to 300 monkeys were kept in tiny cages inside of dark Portakabins. The monkeys were quarantined for up to two months before being sold for vivisection. Following campaigns which exposed cruel conditions of monkeys transported on long flights, many airlines and ferry companies refused to transport animals for Shamrock. Shamrock customers included Huntingdon Life Sciences, SmithKline Beecham, GaxoWellcome and Inveresk Clinical Research. 
Splenda: Sadistically Sweet
Splenda is the brand name for Sucralose, an artificial sweetener manufactured by by McNeil Speciality Products, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar and is the first no-calorie based sweetener ever developed. It was predicted to be a highly profitable money maker for British sugar giant Tate & Lyle, who commissioned the research. Thousands of animals, including beagles, monkeys, rabbits and rodents were poisoned and killed in various ways for the 20 year study on Sucralose; known in the United States as Splenda.
Thousands of monkeys, dogs, rabbits, mice and rats were killed during tests in the United Kingdom. Many died of trauma and others suffered from extreme weight loss, convulsions and intestinal disorders. Some of these experiments were conducted at Inveresk laboratories, near Ediburgh, (now merged with Charles River). The British Union For The Abolition Of Vivisection (BUAV) has estimated that tens of thousands of animals have died in the testing of this product.  See also Splenda: Sadistically Sweet.
32 monkeys die from over heating
In CR's Sparks, Nevada facility, thirty-two research monkeys died from over heating due to human error. In a statement issued by the company, the monkeys died on May 28, 2008 due to an "incorrect climate-control operation", which was immediately reported. However, animal advocates contested that CR reported the incident immediately, or even at all. According to Kathy Guillermo of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not open an inquiry until PETA filed a complaint in July.
- "Their statement about fears for their own safety is absurd. They have an abysmal record of animal care. As usual, they are more interested in their reputation than in the animals' safety. According to the whistleblower in the case, the monkeys were literally cooked to death by a heating system failure', which demonstrates a lack of a simple alarm system and/or proper supervision." 
Former employee lawsuit over treatment of dogs
A former CR employee filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Reno that the company forced him out over age discrimination and his opposition to the treatment of dogs at the facility. Guy Grimsley, age 65, was hired in 2007 to work at Charles River's Sparks, Nevada facility. According to Mr. Grimsley, the firing was due to his position on "unlawful and wrongful animal testing," which he had vowed to oppose. Grimsley, who has a doctorate in pathology and immunology, had been recruited by CR in 2006. In May of 2006 he learned that the lab was planning to conduct experiments involving "severe dog tethering," which they knew he would oppose. Mr. Grimsley had informed the company of European standards requiring dog runs rather than cages. According to Mr. Grimsley, officials had also instructed staff to lie to clients about the dogs' living conditions. Grimsley maintains that he was "summarily terminated" without notice in October. A recent performance evaluation had described his work as "outstanding." 
Multiple violations, monkey & rabbit maiming
According to SAEN, CR violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)  over 20 times in 2006 and another 11 times in the first half of 2007, even after an official warning by the USDA in 2005. Government documents revealed a 2006 incident at a CR site in Philadelphia, where rabbits developed 4 ½ inch skin lesions without veterinary treatment. There were also serious issues about painful experiments without anesthesia. An episode at a Massachusetts site demonstrated that one primate had serious mental pathologies. In 2006, CRL amassed over 20 violations in the areas of veterinary care, Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC), feeding, housing, sanitation, environmental enhancement, and report filing. USDA/APHIS Animal Care inspection reports reveal four incidents in CR's Nevada laboratory, where negligent handling of resulted in injuries severe enough to warrant amputation of a monkeys’ fingers in 2007. Other 2007 citations included primary enclosures, sanitation, housing and unqualified personnel. (Government reports are available upon request.) 
Photos reveal stark conditions
Photographs obtained from the USDA through the Freedom of Information Act in 2008, revealed cramped and barren conditions "with the potential to cause madness" at CR's Sparks facility. According to SAEN executive Director, Michael A. Budkie:
- “These enclosures are nothing more than tiny stainless steel barred boxes. If the goal is to cause insanity in primates, then I am sure they are probably succeeding.”
In the wild, a rhesus monkey may traverse as much as one square mile in a single day.
See also section 1 on facility information & progress reports.
Animal breeding & live animal imports
Charles River is the world's largest supplier of laboratory animals. It has been described as the 'General Motors of the laboratory animal industry.' 
In 2006, 26,638 primates were imported into the US; a 44% increase over 2004. The three companies responsible for over 75% of all of these imports were Covance Laboratories, SNBL and Charles River at 5,359 monkeys that year. Cynomolgus macaques made up 92% followed by rhesus macaques, marmosets, squirrel monkeys and other macaques. Half of all primates were imported from China. 
- "There isn't a single genetically manipulated mouse that has been used yet to produce a drug that cures a disease." Kathleen Murray, Charles River (world's largest laboratory animal breeding company). 
CR & other organizations
As part of its "Humane Care Initiative," the "Charles River Prize" was established in 1977 "to recognize distinguished contributions to laboratory animal science and to promote educational growth in that field." Recipients must be members of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in the field of animal testing. The award is $2,500 and a plaque. ,  The AMVA reliably lobbies against animal welfare issues and legislation in favor of industry concerns. See also AVMA, sections 1 & 2.
Mergers & acquisitions
During the fiscal year ending December 27, 2008, the company acquired NewLab BioQuality AG and MIR Preclinical Services. 
Lobbying & public relations
Americans for Medical Progress's (AMP) board of directors consists of senior executives and other representatives employed by the pharmaceutical and vivisection industries. Board members represent multinational, billion dollar corporations as well as universities and institutions receiving government grants for vivisection.  AMP runs media campaigns targeting animal rights, welfare and health advocacy groups. See also Americans for Medical Progress.
Personnel & board
- James Foster - Chairman, President & CEO
- Thomas Ackerman - Executive VP & CFO
- Nicholas Ventresca - Senior VP, Information Technology & CIO 
- James C. Foster - Chairman, President & CEO
- Nancy T. Chang, Ph.D. - Managing Director, OrbiMed Advisors
- Stephen D. Chubb - Former Chairman, CEO, Matritech, Inc.
- Deborah Kochevar, DVM, PhD - Dean, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University
- George E. Massaro, Director & Vice Chairman, Huron Consulting Group, Inc.
- George M. Milne, Jr., Ph.D. - President of Central Research, Pfizer, Inc.
- C. Richard Reese - Chairman & CEO, Iron Mountain, Inc.
- Douglas E. Rogers - Partner, Blackstone Healthcare Partners, LLC
- Samuel O. Thier, M.D. - Professor of Medicine, Harvard University Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital
- William Waltrip - Ret. Chairman & CEO, Bausch & Lomb, Inc. 
251 Ballardvale Street
Wilmington, MA 01887
Phone: 978 658-6000
Web address: http://www.criver.com/en-US/Pages/home.aspx
Articles & sources
- Americans for Medical Progress
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Animal testing
- Food and Drug Administration
- Humane Movement
- Huntingdon Life Sciences
- National Primate Research Center System
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Policy Directions Inc.
- R.J. Reynolds
- Splenda: Sadistically Sweet
- U.S. Government's War on Animals
- Charles River at a Glance, Charles River, June 2009
- ey Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. Financials, Hoovers, accessed July 2011
- Facility Reports and Information: Charles River Laboratories, Inc., Wilmington, MA, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, accessed July 2011
- Facility Reports and Information: Charles River Laboratories, Inc., Sparks, NV, SAEN, accessed July 2011
- Description of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, Wiserearth, accessed November 20, 2008
- Micheal Budkie, Pharmaceutical/Testing Companies Among Nation’s Leaders for Federal Violations, Says Watchdog Group, SAEN, February 2007
- Shamrock Monkey Farm: The Campaign, Animal Rights Bit Torrents, January 2006
- Shamfacts, Shamfacts, accessed February 2009
- Mike Hamilton Sweetener Slaughter: 12,800 animals die for no-calorie pills, Daily Mirror, August 2001
- Scott Sonner 32 research monkeys die in accident at Nevada lab, Associated Press, August 2008
- Fired researcher claims animal cruelty at NV lab, Associated Press, September 2008
- Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, U.S. Department of Agriculture, December 2009
- Charles River Violations Mount in Monkey & Rabbit Maiming, Press Release, SAEN, February 2008
- Micheal Budkie Watchdog Group Releases Photos from Charles River Lab: Criticizes Stark Conditions, Press Release, SAEN, December 2008
- C. Roland Christensen, Business Policy: Text and Cases, January 1982 p. 54, ISBN 9780256014518
- An Introduction to Primate Issues: Importation of Primates on the Rise, HSUS, accessed November 2009
- Animal Experimentation: Product Testing, Biomedical Research, Non-Animal Research, Kinship Circle, accessed January 2009
- JAVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, October 2003
- Awards & Scholarships, Charles River, accessed January 2009
- Charles River Laboratories and Inveresk to Combine to Create a Leading Global Partner to the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry, CR News Release, July 2004
- Euronex: Charles River Laboratories, New York Stock Exchange, accessed January 2009
- Board of Directors, Americans for Medical Progress, accessed January 2011
- Annual Lobbying by Policy Directions Inc., Center for Responsive Politics, accessed July 2011
- Description: Charles River, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
- About us: Corporate Governance - Board of Directors, Charles River, accessed February 2009
- Description: Charles River, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
- Micheal A. Budkie Major US Labs Illegally slaughter and maim animals: USDA fails to enforce federal law, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, June 2009
- Michael A. Budkie Research Watchdog Names Charles River to ‘Worst Labs’ List: As Medical Experts Accuse Lab of Negligence & Incompetence, SAEN, February 2007
- PETA Names the 10 Worst CEOs for Animals in Laboratories, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, accessed December 2009
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