Biotech Company Accused of Having 1 Vet for 10,000 Goats and 6,000 Rabbits

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) didn’t like what it saw at Santa Cruz Biotechnology (SCB) when it visited the facility in July 2007.

The company―a worldwide leader in sales of antibodies, biochemicals and labware to researchers―has offices in Paso Robles, Sun Valley, Idaho, and Heidelberg, Germany. At its U.S. headquarters in Santa Cruz, SCB also rides herd on nearly 19,000 animals it uses for research.

In 2007, the USDA posted inspection reports that claimed violations of department regulations, inadequate veterinarian care, and a failure to handle animals in a way that “did not cause trauma, overhearing, excessive cooling, behavioral stress, physical harm, or unnecessary discomfort.”

Last week, the USDA filed a 10-page complaint against SCB, citing “willfull violation” of the Animal Welfare Act and listing six more inspections loaded with allegations stretching back to 2007. Medical records of sick animals were found to be incomplete, and stories of sick and injured animals were documented. Goats had untreated broken legs, were grossly underweight, were lame, and suffered awful skin and hair loss.

In an inspection report filed earlier in the year, it was noted that a single veterinarian attended to 10,000 goats and 6,000 rabbits―and wasn’t very happy about it. The vet told investigators that, in addition to being responsible for the animals, she had administrative chores “and was unable to keep up with the work load.”      

The USDA complaint sought a formal hearing of the charges, requested a cease and desist order and asked for civil penalties.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

USDA Files Complaint against Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Alleging History of Violations (by Jessica M. Pasko, Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Complaint against Santa Cruz Biotechnology (pdf)

USDA Investigation of Santa Cruz Biotech Stemming from 2010 Findings Is Still Ongoing (by Jessica M. Pasko, Santa Cruz Sentinel)

USDA Investigating Santa Cruz Biotechnology (by Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel)

2010-2012 Inspection Report for Santa Cruz Biotechnology (U.S. Department of Agriculture) (pdf)

2011 Annual Report for Santa Cruz Biotechnology (U.S. Department of Agriculture) (pdf)

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