On Friday June 21, 2013, it was made public that the Colorado Serum Company (CSC) was fined $7,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act. In the citation and notification of penalty report, the USDA determined that CSC had failed to provide guinea pigs and rabbits with adequate post-procedural care, which resulted in the death of animals.
Jessica Sandler, senior director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division stated in a press release:
"CSC has long been on PETA's radar for its use of animals—including guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits—in cruel and deadly experiments. Federal documents indicate that each year, CSC subjects hundreds of animals to painful experiments without providing them with pain relief. In August 2010, PETA filed a formal complaint with the USDA for CSC's failure to conduct appropriate searches for alternatives to the use of animals in painful experiments and drew attention to CSC's use of animals in devastatingly cruel experiments in which animals endured substantial pain and distress in the form of blood poisoning, kidney damage, and anorexia—even when non-animal methods were available."
Besides the CSC, in 2012, University of Colorado at Denver was cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act for the following abuses:
- A worker broke a rabbit's back as the rabbit struggled against the worker's restraint. The paralyzed animal was still used in an experiment before she was finally killed.
- Experimenters induced cancer in animals and then ineptly cut off the resulting tumors, leaving the animals—who were given no pain relief—with large, gaping wounds.
- Live mice and rats were found in a freezer where dead animals were discarded.
- Twenty guinea pigs died or were killed after a worker injected them with an antibiotic intended for rats.
- A careless employee threw a box of live animals into the trash, leaving the animals to die slowly.