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INVESTIGATION: Horrific chinchilla breeding mill supplier to labs and pet-trade exposed

Experimenters using chinchillas from MCR have had their eardrums punctured with knives, bacteria injected into their ears, holes drilled into their skulls, and been electroshocked.

PETA: A PETA undercover investigation into Moulton Chinchilla Ranch (MCR) — a massive breeding mill near Chatfield, Minnesota, that kept approximately 1,000 chinchillas confined to wire-floored cages in a shed reeking of ammonia — found that these sensitive exotic animals were denied not only everything natural and important to them but also the basic necessities of life, including effective veterinary care for chronic infections and severe, life-threatening injuries that caused them to suffer and even die…

MCR’s owner consistently denied animals veterinary care and pain relief for devastating and even fatal wounds. One chinchilla, named Charlene, was found with a mutilated foot. The breeder denied her veterinary care for this excruciating injury, which left a bloody stump with the bones exposed. However, PETA’s investigator rescued her and immediately took her in for emergency veterinary care. Her leg had to be amputated.

The abscessed mammary tissue of another chinchilla, named Tina, had swollen to the size of a cherry tomato and—after days without treatment — eventually burst. Instead of getting her veterinary care, the breeder just sprayed her open wound with iodine — which did nothing for her excruciating pain. A chinchilla named Clara was given no pain relief for several open gashes across her abdomen that exposed the tissue beneath her skin.

Yet another chinchilla had a raw, bloody wound at the base of his tail. MCR’s owner left him without veterinary care for weeks, until he finally died. Many chinchillas at MCR suffered from chronic eye diseases or injuries.The breeder said that one ailing chinchilla — whose bulging eye had apparently lost vision — had “a little bit of an infection,” but he left him to languish without care. Other chinchillas’ eyes were sealed shut with a putrid discharge, sunken into their sockets, or severely swollen and filled with pus…

In October 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited MCR — as it has done over 100 times since 2013 — for failing to provide two chinchillas who had an eye discharge with adequate veterinary care, but this warning wasn’t enough to inspire the breeder to get the animals help. Almost six weeks later, their eyes were sealed shut… Veterinary care wasn’t the only vital thing MCR’s owner failed to provide—he withheld water from dozens of chinchillas for at least five days…

Chinchillas’ large, expressive ears make them popular targets for invasive hearing and ear infection experiments. Experimenters using chinchillas from MCR have punctured their eardrums with knives, injected bacteria into their ears, blasted them with loud noise for hours on end, drilled holes into their skulls, and electroshocked them if they pressed a lever at the “wrong” time in search of food.

MCR has sold chinchillas for over 50 years, including to laboratories and the pet trade. The animals who make it out of this disgusting warehouse alive are bound for ghastly experiments and pet stores across the country and beyond… Chinchillas sold in the pet trade suffer, too… Impulse buyers are unprepared for the complex needs of these exotic animals… Consequently, chinchillas purchased as “pets” are often neglected or even abandoned…

Chinchillas from MCR have been used by experimenters at the National Institutes of Health; in the Navy; at Harvard Medical School; at the universities of Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, and Miami; and at many other schools in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and China. MCR also sends dozens of chinchillas to pet stores and distributors like Reptile Express near Fort Myers, Florida. Join PETA in demanding that they help end the cruelty that they’ve been perpetuating by keeping this mill in business. SOURCE…

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