Why is Toxikon Getting Away with Cruel AWA Violations?

Mike Ryan, October 23, 2019

About 45 minutes outside of Boston in Bedford, MA is a corporation called Toxikon that primarily does invasive and often deadly animal experiments. (Yup, the same kind that most Americans abhor and believe should be ended.)

It’s not unusual for a company like Toxikon to be caught violating federal animal welfare laws and regulations, but this stood out to us: Despite being caught violating laws on multiple occasions, the only punishment they’ve received as of late are mere verbal warnings.

Above the Law

Even though the last few verbal warnings have included a threat to fine them in the future, those fines never materialize. In April 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) warned Toxikon that they would face fines for future Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, but Toxikon has incurred three more AWA violations since that date, and no fines have been levied to our knowledge.

These violations aren’t trivial, either. They’re often “critical”, and some have involved animal deaths and blatant negligence to captive primates. 

APHIS inspectors look about as effective as WWF referees here. It’s not clear to us whether APHIS is unable or unwilling to hold Toxikon accountable, but it needs to change.

What We’re Doing

We sent this letter to APHIS explaining the disturbing pattern of lax enforcement, and asking APHIS to fine Toxikon for the violations they’ve committed since their last “verbal warning”.

This is where you come in

Let’s get their attention together. Tell the USDA–APHIS Center for Animal Welfare to do their job and penalize Toxicon. You care about these animals even if Toxicon doesn’t. Please take a moment to add your name to our petition today. Thank you!