Animal rights protest in Baie d’Urfé – ITR Laboratories targeted
Animal rights protest in Baie d’Urfé – There was a noisy protest on a Friday afternoon in Baie d’Urfé in front of ITR labs. The number of protestors swelled to 150 at one point according to organizer Rob Boisvert of 269 Life, a self-described “Animal Liberation Front.” When The Times arrived, there were only about 75 protestors, many of whom held placards. Protestors politely stayed on one side of Clark Graham Ave. while police and guards were numerous on the other.
“This protest is in regards the W5 report on Saturday exposing the animal abuse going on in this place on top of the abuse animals go through being tested,”said Boisvert referring to the ITR Laboratories Canada Inc on the other side of. “Eventually we’d love to shut this place down. We don’t need animal testing anymore. There is no need for animal testing.”
Boisvert promised to be back for more protests. Most motorists and truck drivers passing by the protest honked their horns in support, adding to the noise.
The W5 report featured clandestine videos filmed inside ITR. An email received by The Times from Last Chance for Animals (LCA) refers to “numerous violations of the Animal Welfare and Safety Act, the Regulation Respecting the Safety and Welfare of Cats and Dogs, the Act respecting the Conservation and Development of Wildlife and the Regulations Respecting Wildlife in Captivity.”
“LCA is demanding enforcement for: Animals thrown, slammed, suspended by their ears or limbs, and struck in the face; Animals subject to painful and distressing procedures in full view of other animals in violation of Canada Council on Animal Care guidelines; Beagles and macaques denied any chance of exercise and socialization with humans or other animals, in some instances for the duration of a nine-month study (at the end of which the animals were killed); Technicians (are) instructed not to take note of hair loss in macaque monkeys developed through the stress of confinement in inappropriate housing.”
The Times was unable to reach anyone from ITR, but found the following text (edited for brevity) on the company website:
“Our mission is to bring new medicines into the world which relieves patient’s suffering from serious diseases. To do that, we must undertake the testing we do. It saves human lives.”
“The tests we conduct are vital to bringing new medicines into the world. We are committed to freeing patients from suffering by supporting drug development and improving medical technologies. Our goal as a company is to help in the development of treatments for a wide array of diseases and ailments including cancer, malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and Alzheimer’s disease. ITR Laboratories Canada does not test cosmetics or house hold products as they are not part of our mission to develop new medicines.
“Animal-based research is an ethical requirement of developing pharmaceuticals that are safe and effective for humans and animals and is mandated worldwide by regulatory agencies such as Health Canada, the FDA, the EMA, and the WHO. These tests are vital to bringing new medicines into the world and our commitment to our clients, to our employees and to society remains clear and strong: we strive to go beyond the requirements of regulators, especially when it comes to animal care.”
ITR is a subsidiary of a Japanese company that employs some 750 people worldwide.
W5 bills itself as “Canada’s most popular current affairs and documentary program.”
269 Life is named after a calf, simply called “269,” was rescued on its way to the slaughterhouse in 2013.