News: Related News

Charles River Labs (CRL) charged with animal cruelty

September 7, 2009 • Posted in Related News

Two chimpanzees, Ashley and Rex, died unnecessarily, and a third, Topsy, suffered while in the care of Alamogordo Primate Facility’s government-contracted operator, Charles River Labs (CRL), and veterinarian Dr. Rick Lee, according to charges filed by the Otero County (New Mexico) District Attorney.

Charles River Labs and Dr. Lee were charged with three counts of animal cruelty in the deaths of Ashley and Rex and the neglect of Topsy. The DA investigation was prompted by In Defense of Animals (IDA), which provided evidence from its network of whistleblowers at APF.

Unfortunately, the charges were dismissed on a legal technicality having nothing to do with the merits of the case.

The complaints alleged that the chimpanzees did not receive care and were left with untrained, unqualified night security guards.


  • Ashley, 16 years old, suffered a wound during a fight with another chimpanzee that eventually led to her death.
  • Rex, 16 years old, died after being left semi-conscious and vomiting after being anesthetized for a routine physical examination.
  • Topsy, 26 years old, lost nearly half her blood from a wound, but managed to survive.

For more information on these charges, visit


In Defense of Animals (IDA)

Alamogordo Daily News, September 11, 2004

NOTE: Project R&R submitted letters to the editor of the Boston Globe asking for accountability from Charles River Labs (whose corporate headquarters are located just outside of Boston) on these allegations.


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