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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE June 20, 2006

New Survey of Chandler Residents Reveals Strong Opposition to Proposed Covance Animal-Testing Facility

Local Doctor Will Join Physicians Group to Discuss Poll Results at June 20 News Conference in Chandler

CHANDLER, Ariz.—A clear majority of Chandler residents oppose Covance’s plans to build an animal-testing facility on Price Road, according to a new survey that will be released by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) at a news conference on June 20 at 10 a.m. at the Windmill Suites of Chandler, Price Room, 3535 West Chandler Blvd. Deborah Wilson, M.D., a local gynecologist and laproscopic surgeon, will join other PCRM doctors to discuss the results of this telephone poll of a random sample of 399 Chandler residents conducted by The Summit Group.

Covance, a New Jersey-based company that tests cosmetic ingredients, food additives, pesticides, and drugs on monkeys, dogs, cats, and other animals, plans to build a 400,000-square-foot testing facility in Chandler. The survey found that 56 percent of Chandler residents oppose this project, with 44 percent strongly opposed. An overwhelming majority—69 percent of respondents—were more likely to oppose the project knowing that Covance was recently fined by the federal government for physically abusing monkeys in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

“Chandler residents don’t want Covance in their backyard. After all, the federal government has fined Covance for animal cruelty and closed one of the company’s facilities in Virginia because of an outbreak of the Ebola virus,” said Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., a PCRM neurologist and public health expert who will speak at the news conference. Covance’s chances of 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.

Other important survey findings:

  • 51 percent of respondents were more likely to oppose the project knowing that Covance might build an incinerator to dispose of medical waste and dead animals.
  • 58 percent of respondents were more likely to oppose the project knowing that Covance is one of the world’s largest breeders of dogs and the largest importer of monkeys used in experiments.
  • Only 26 percent of respondents were less likely to oppose the facility knowing that it would bring new jobs to Chandler.

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.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

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