|NEWS RELEASE||September 7, 2006|
More than 1,300 Chandler Residents Sign Statements of Opposition to Covance Animal-Testing Facility
Signatures Collected by Doctors’ Organization in Neighborhoods Surrounding Proposed Site Reveal Enough Opposition to Trigger Referendum on Covance Pro
CHANDLER, Ariz.—More than 1,300 Chandler residents in neighborhoods surrounding the site of a proposed Covance animal-testing facility on Price Road have signed statements of opposition to the project. The statements of opposition, which are being circulated by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), highlight the animal cruelty issues and public health concerns raised by the proposed 591,000-square-foot Covance facility, which may include an incinerator to dispose of toxic animal carcasses. All signatures were collected within three miles of the Price Road location.
The number of signatures indicates enough local opposition to trigger a referendum after a formal petition process. Covance, a New Jersey-based company that tests cosmetic ingredients, food additives, pesticides, and drugs on monkeys, dogs, cats, and other animals, is seeking approval from the city council for a zoning change that would allow the company to build on a 38-acre site on Price Road. Under Arizona law, 10 percent of the number of electors who participated in the last election in a city may propose a referendum on zoning changes. Based on Chandler’s most recent election in May, about 1,260 signatures would be required to place a referendum opposing zoning approval for the Covance project on the ballot.
“Chandler residents are appalled by Covance’s animal cruelty, and they don’t want Covance’s animal carcass incinerator spewing pollution in their backyards,” said Mindy Kursban, Esq., PCRM’s executive director. “The people who signed these statements of opposition know that Covance is wrong for their community, and they know that Chandler can do better.”
A recent opinion poll commissioned by PCRM found that 56 percent of Chandler residents oppose the Covance project. The poll found strong local concern about the fact that Covance was recently fined by the federal government for physically abusing monkeys in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. Last month, PCRM uncovered new U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports showing violations of the Animal Welfare Act at five other Covance facilities around the country.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.