The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services has announced that Santa Cruz Biotechnology, a company that has been using hundreds of live animals to produce antibodies for experiments and repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in the process, will lose its dealer’s license at the end of this year.
Santa Cruz has been accused of numerous animal welfare violations over a period of many years for egregious acts including poor treatment of rabbits and goats used to generate antibodies, failure to provide adequate veterinary care, and hiding a barn of over 800 goats from inspectors.
Although Santa Cruz “neither admits nor denies” that it violated the AWA, the company was fined $3.5 million—the largest animal welfare fine in USDA history. The company’s dealer’s license will be revoked effective December 31, 2016. Through that date, it will be allowed to sell or use only those products that were in its inventory as of August 21, 2015. After December 31, Santa Cruz’s license revocation will take effect, at which time it will be unable to sell or use these products.
NAVS applauds this welcome—if long overdue—decision by the USDA.