Poll Finds Broad Opposition to Covance’s Animal-Testing Plans
A new opinion poll reveals that a clear majority of the residents of Chandler, Ariz., oppose Covance’s plans to build an animal-testing facility in their town. The results of the survey, which was conducted by the Summit Group and commissioned by PCRM, were released at a June 20 news conference in Chandler, a small town on the outskirts of Phoenix.
At the event, three PCRM physicians joined PCRM executive director Mindy Kursban, Esq., to discuss the survey and explain the public health hazards and animal welfare issues raised by the proposed 400,000-square-foot facility, which could affect the entire Phoenix community.
“This facility is not necessary, not healthy, not humane, or kind,” said Deborah Wilson, M.D., a local gynecologist, laparoscopic surgeon, and PCRM member.
Covance, a New Jersey-based company that tests cosmetic ingredients, food additives, pesticides, and drugs on monkeys, dogs, cats, and other animals, was recently fined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for physically abusing monkeys in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
The survey polled 399 Chandler residents and found that 56 percent oppose the Covance facility. The poll also revealed that 72 percent of respondents were more likely to oppose the project knowing that Covance, operating under a different name, had a facility closed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because Ebola-infected monkeys were brought into the building.
To build, Covance needs permission from the Chandler city council. But the company’s chances for approval were hurt by recent revelations that the facility may use an incinerator that could release toxins into the atmosphere. The proposed facility is located near a public school.