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Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals at Santa Cruz Biotechnology
by Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 11:25 AM
“Thousands of animals are suffering from illegal neglect and abuse in this lab to bolster corporate profits. Allowing Santa Cruz Biotech to get away with breaking the law and harming animals sets a dangerous precedent for the safety of all animals exploited in testing facilities,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF.
According to inspection reports, Santa Cruz Biotechnology houses approximately 10,000 goats and 6,000 rabbits as well as horses and cattle not regulated by the USDA. (Anthro/

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Contacts: Michael Budkie, SAEN
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF

First-Ever Lawsuit Under California Cruelty Law Filed Against Animal Research Lab in Santa Cruz

Animal Protection Groups Charge Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals

SANTA CRUZ – The first-ever lawsuit against an animal research lab under California's state cruelty law and unfair competition laws was filed here in early January in a complaint with the California Superior Court of Santa Cruz County against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., for violating state animal cruelty and unfair competition laws by failing to properly care for their animals according to numerous Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspections.

National nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed the suit on behalf of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN). In 2012, the settlement in ALDF‘s lawsuit against the Santa Cruz chick hatchery Cal-Cruz Hatcheries, Inc., marked the first time the state’s unfair competition law was successfully used in an animal cruelty case. Copies of the lawsuit are available upon request.

According to ALDF, SAEN is committed to ending the abuse of animals in laboratories. An extraordinary effort from SAEN and diversion of the advocacy group’s funds has been required to publicize Santa Cruz Biotech’s illegal activities in order to protect the animals. This mistreatment of animals allows the company to reduce production costs and violates California’s Unfair Competition Law as well as the state’s animal cruelty law, said ALDF.

Santa Cruz Biotech, a for-profit Delaware corporation that supplies antibodies and other research materials to laboratories worldwide, operates a 200-acre animal research facility in Santa Cruz, California, where it confines 10,000 goats and 5,000 rabbits.

APHIS investigations have documented multiple violations over the past six years at Santa Cruz Biotech, and have repeatedly cited the corporation for unlawful neglect of goats. Emaciated and severely malnourished animals were discovered with untreated skin conditions and painful respiratory ailments, and one goat had an untreated broken leg. Another goat was found visibly suffering from an untreated coyote bite. Under California cruelty laws, facilities must not take blood from unhealthy animals, nor overdraw blood from any animal.

Investigations also cite the facility for keeping a seriously ill animal alive for more than 21 days for blood harvesting despite a veterinarian’s recommendation of euthanasia. Earlier this year, APHIS filed a complaint against Santa Cruz Biotech for 20 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the company could face a $200,000 penalty. “The USDA has been unable to end the suffering of animals at Santa Cruz Biotech,” said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., executive director of SAEN. “This lawsuit is the only way to make this criminal lab follow the law.”

“Laboratories like Santa Cruz Biotech are not above the law,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “Thousands of animals are suffering from illegal neglect and abuse in this lab to bolster corporate profits. Allowing SC Biotech to get away with breaking the law and harming animals sets a dangerous precedent for the safety of all animals exploited in testing facilities.”

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by Susan Dunne. Kenton, OH
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 11:34 AM

Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director, Western Region USDA/APHIS/A

I urge the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and the Director of the Western Region USDA/APHIS/A, Dr. Robert Gibbens, to take immediate action upon Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCB) and remove all animals who are suffering from untreated or insufficiently treated illnesses, before the condition of any additional animals can deteriorate to a fatal level.

I further urge Secretary Vilsack and Dr. Gibbens to fully investigate all SCB laboratories and to assess the stiffest penalties allowable under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act.

[Your name]


Update: January 17, 2013 --

First-ever Lawsuit Under California Cruelty Law Filed Against Animal Research Lab in Santa Cruz; Animal Protection Groups Charge Federal Investigations Reveal Severe Neglect of Animals

Update: January 14, 2013 --

Santa Cruz Biotech has LIED to USDA inspectors — actually denying the existence of 841 goats! Many of whom suffered unreported and untreated illnesses!

Santa Cruz Biotech continues to brazenly KILL animals and BREAK the law! Stop them NOW!

The Santa Cruz Biotech lab (SCB) has continued to flagrantly violate the Animal Welfare Act—leading to more animal deaths—even after previous violations led to the filing of a federal complaint by the USDA.

Federal complaint charges date from July 24, 2007 through May 2, 2012. And more recent inspections reveal continuing serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including:

— a goat euthanized for an undiagnosed lung abscess

— a goat lost 23 percent body weight due to an inability to eat properly after a rattlesnake bite to the face

— a goat losing 17 percent body weight in three weeks after receiving inadequate treatment

The Secretary of Agriculture – Tom Vilsack – and the Director of the USDA’s Western Regional Office – Dr. Robert Gibbens – need to ensure full prosecution and immediately confiscate all animals in need of veterinary care.

Additional details on this case can be found at:
by G
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 4:52 PM
Apparently, given the comments on this Ars article, their industry reputation is pretty bad.

I remember when the goats were shoved down the throat of Santa Cruz. Will there be any accountability for the (former) cheerleaders?
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 7:55 PM
SOAL is a newly arrived environmental group created to fight the installation of a biotech goat farm on prime farmland approximately five miles north of Santa Cruz. S.O.A.L. feels that the 1600 resident goats, who will provide anti-bodies for cancer research, should not have been allowed on prime growing land and do not constitute an actual agricultural use. On May 21, 1998, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance allowing the farm to remain. S.O.A.L. has vowed to fight on and Santa Cruz Biotechnology, the goat farm's official name, must now submit a master plan to the Supervisors.

Jodi Frediani is the founder and can be reached at 426-1697. Jonathan Wittwer, former chief deputy of Santa Cruz County Council, is the secretary. His phone number is 475-0724. S.O.A.L.'s address is 365 Lake Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062.
by Background, 2001
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:03 PM
Back Ranch Road.
Note the bituminous sandstone dikes exposed in the road cut; one of the larger, abandoned asphalt quarries in Santa Cruz County is located along Back Ranch Road. Until recently, Santa Cruz Biotechnology operated a large goat ranch up this road for medical research, but the California Coastal Commission shut down the operation amid concerns about runoff contaminated by manure.

Source: The Geology from Santa Cruz to Point Año - USGS
by Metro Santa Cruz
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:19 PM
John and Brenda Stephenson are the sole owners of Santa Cruz Biotechnology, a local antibody manufacturer headquartered at 2145 Delaware Ave. The problems began in February [1996] when the Stephensons purchased a 200-acre North Coast ranch and brought in 400 goats to raise as living antibody factories.
by Jun 26, 2012
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:28 PM

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by Aug 23, 2012
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:29 PM

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by Sep 26, 2012
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:29 PM

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by Oct 31, 2012
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:31 PM

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by Dec 18, 2012
Friday Jan 18th, 2013 8:31 PM

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by AuntieImp
Sunday Jan 20th, 2013 7:37 PM
If I remember correctly these folks showed up originally as a UCSC Genetic Engineering farm project with city permission and blessing and within a few years they had totally contaminated the Riparian area near Antonelli's Pond or thereabouts.
by John E. Colby
Tuesday Jan 22nd, 2013 10:48 PM
If it is, federal grants received by UC Santa Cruz may be jeopardized. This might be a lever in shutting down Santa Cruz Biotech and any other firm abusing animals which might be liked to UC.
by NIght of the Lepus
Friday Feb 1st, 2013 3:39 PM
This really makes me angry. I for one will not tolerate this kind of abuse to animals in our santa cruz community. thank you to those who are bringing this abuse to our attention. please let the indymedia community know about protests coming up regarding this issue. Let's shut these bastards down! NOT ACCEPTABLE!!