Day: May 31, 2021

Austria: 100 dead mice in MedUni laboratory: animal abuser acquitted!

An unusual process took place in Vienna on Monday. A woman ex-zookeeper at a mouse breeding laboratory at MedUni Vienna was accused of cruelty to animals.

Around 100 mice died. The woman is acquitted.

Online today at 1:54 p.m.

The prosecution had accused the woman of neglecting around 100 breeding mice that had died.
“In any case, it was hygienic grievances,” judge Stefan Erdei stated after extensive evidence proceedings.

According to her statements, the zookeeper was de facto responsible for a total of 6,000 mice in 1,900 cages at the Center for Biomedical Research.

She was overwhelmed “at least for months”, the judge found.
It would have been the task of the institute management to “organize it differently”.
The fact that the defendant accepted with her actions or omissions that the mice were tortured can “not necessarily be deduced from the external circumstances”.
In the opinion of the court, the incriminated offense was thus not fulfilled (!!!)

During a tour on November 27, 2020, the dead animals were discovered during inspection in the laboratory.
“It stank terribly. After decomposition. It was a sight of horror. I’ve never seen anything like it, ”recalled the vet who had initiated the investigation on the witness stand.
Dead mice were “both in the corridor and in the cages, partly next to live animals”.
In many of the cages there was a lack of water and food.

The defendant did not accept the accusation raised by the public prosecutor’s office that she had not provided the animals with water and food since November 20.
She admitted that she did not put the food in the designated food dispenser, but simply put it in the cages – not out of malice, but out of a lack of time.
She had to look after thousands of mice by herself, hadn’t had a vacation for eight years and even spent the weekends at the institute.

Last November alone, she would have accumulated 198 overtime: “We were certainly too few animal keepers for the work. I was so stupid and been inside all day and weekend. The researchers have already asked me if I sleep at all because I answered emails at 3:00 in the morning. “

Most of the cadavers involved in the process were mice, which she killed according to the order, the woman described.
Every week she killed 300 to 600 animals “with broken necks or gassing because they were not needed for research”.
In the week in question, she had ended the lives of 450 animals.

For lack of time, she “did not dispose of” the corpses, but “simply left them there”.

Richter stated “sense of mission”

Former colleagues and superiors then reported that the defendant was careful that no one else entered her work area.
The head of the facility stated as a witness: “Despite being asked, she repeatedly refused to take vacations and time off.”

In principle, there would have been “always someone who can stand in for her”.

According to the director, the mice were adequately supplied with water and food: “If I had had the feeling that this was not the case, I would have said it clearly. I wouldn’t have looked away. This person would have been brought to justice and immediately dismissed. ”

Regarding the killings carried out by the defendant, the head of the laboratory commented:“ Animals that do not go into experiments are continuously killed. This is Mendel. That is Mendel’s law. “

In the end, the judge summarized his impressions of the accused as follows:

“You had a sense of mission and considered yourself irreplaceable. This is a mistake that many people tend to make. “

And I mean…People who work in the laboratory and who massacre hundreds of animals every day or who witness others doing it in the laboratory MUST be dull and lacking in empathy, this is basically the basic qualification to be able to do the job at all.
Who breaks the neck of 300 to 600 creatures a week with bare hands and is compassionate in the process?

So it’s nobody’s fault when hundreds of mice starve and die of thirst in an animal laboratory.
This is obviously allowed in animal experiments.

So dear zookeepers in animal research laboratories! you are obviously allowed to behave as you want.
You do not need to fear the judiciary!

A perpetrator-friendly court will always find an exonerating judgment for animal abusers

My best regards to all, Venus

How Perdue and Mercy For Animals found common ground

“Just months after the investigation’s release, Perdue, with praise from Mercy For Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and Compassion in World Farming, committed to the most comprehensive animal welfare policy of any U.S. poultry company.”

The journey from adversaries to allies required conversation and compromise and often caused tension, but ultimately proved rewarding, write Perdue’s Mark McKay and Mercy for Animals’ Leah Garcés.

The following is a guest post from Mark McKay, president of Perdue Premium Poultry and Meats, and Leah Garcés, president of Mercy For Animals.

If you had told us years ago that we would be writing this together –– a president of one of the largest chicken companies and the president of one of the largest animal rights groups –– we would have been incredulous. Historically, meat companies and animal rights organizations have been more foe than friend.

This is certainly how the relationship began between Perdue and Mercy For Animals.

In 2015, Mercy For Animals released an undercover video of a Perdue chicken farm showing abuse by contract workers. All too commonly, companies go into defense and denial mode when faced with such footage.


But if you flip the coin, a business can find opportunity in this sort of exposure. It is a rare moment when a company humbly embraces the harder — but ultimately more rewarding — path.

Perdue knew that what the video had shown represented not only an opportunity but also a responsibility to animals, customers, and consumers to uphold the company’s standards.

So Perdue picked up the phone and did something meat companies rarely do: It called Mercy For Animals.

A stunned Mercy For Animals sat at the other end of the call.

Here was Perdue thanking the organization for the investigation that had exposed animal handling contrary to the company’s standards — and promptly acting to remedy it. Perdue also invited Mercy For Animals, along with other animal advocacy organizations, to a discussion about continual improvement to animal-raising practices.

Perdue Farm

First we needed to build trust. The divide was great, and no past collaborations of this kind existed to guide us.

But over time, through honest and open communication, we found that we had more in common than we had thought. Often, when facing the so-called opposition, people focus on areas of disagreement and difference rather than common ground. In this case, both organizations recognized our shared goals and understood our duty to work together.

But working together had its pitfalls. Mercy For Animals risked looking like a sellout. Perdue took a risk by admitting it had “gotten away from the farm.” That’s a lot of risk — and tension — bundled into one situation. But sometimes taking risks pays off enormously

Mark McKay
Permission granted by Perdue Premium Poultry and Meats

Our conversations were challenging, especially in the beginning, but the tension felt reassuring. Tension is the sense of the gap between where we are and where we’d like to be. This tension facilitates conversation and drives change.

Just months after the investigation’s release, Perdue, with praise from Mercy For Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and Compassion in World Farming, committed to the most comprehensive animal welfare policy of any U.S. poultry company. Perdue didn’t claim to be perfect but charted a path toward industry leadership and continual improvement in animal welfare.

Leah Garcés
Permission granted by Mercy For Animals

Each year, through ongoing conversation, Perdue moves up the ladder of animal welfare; nearly 52% of Perdue’s conventional farms are now windowed — and as the No. 1 supplier of USDA organic chicken, Perdue provides 25% of its chickens with outdoor access.
Perdue made a promise, and Mercy For Animals works closely to provide feedback through informal meetings and participation in Perdue’s Animal Care Summit.
The relationship is sustained by our firm mutual commitment to ongoing progress.
Everyone involved is benefiting.
Each year, Perdue publishes an animal care report and hosts a conference to report progress toward existing goals and share new ones, and invite feedback and ideas for continual improvement.

Chickens benefit from Perdue’s dedication to the Better Chicken Commitment, a set of animal welfare standards supported by animal advocacy groups. This commitment requires companies to meaningfully reduce animal suffering by giving chickens more space and a better environment, minimizing their suffering during slaughter, and using breeds not prone to painful and debilitating conditions.

Man arrested after undercover video reveals alleged abuse at Perdue chicken supplier - The Washington PostImages of a alleged Perdue supplier. (Courtesy MFA)

We hope the food industry and those working to improve it will be inspired by our collaborative approach. The journey from adversary to ally requires conversation, sometimes compromise, and certainly discomfort for both sides.

But without these — and the coming together of different stakeholders — no one wins. We must always search for the place where our goals align.
This is the critical path to progress that will lead us all to a better food future (!!!)

And I mean…The pattern is familiar: An animal rights group films an undercover video that allegedly captures animal abuse at a well-known meat supplier; then…
1) the supplierr denies the video is accurate, or
2) tries to spin it for its own purposes; for meat-lovers the world over reluctant to give up their favorite dishes, life goes on.

After a video released showed apparent mistreatment of chickens at Perdue, an agribusiness giant, this pattern may be changing.

First, Perdue claims that these are isolated cases and that the worker has been laid off. Hands and guilt are washed away

Perdue did not condemn MFA’s potentially embarrassing efforts.
The company praised the undercover investigation and the subsequent involvement of the police.

Instead, Perdue even expressed its gratitude to MFA and the chicken company appeared ready to work with a group that is interested (and believes) they can get them out of business.

Mercy for Animals (MFA), founding member of the World Federation for Animals (WFA) and an organization which aims at the “end of factory farming”, claims that all parties involved will benefit from this deal.

Some believe it, some don’t.
Not because some reject the small steps and others don’t.
But because many years of experience have shown us that the meat industry is not trustworthy and not fair.
And because, last but not least, the meat industry has always achieved its goals with deviousness and fraud.

My best regards to all, Venus