There are only a few months left until two years have passed since the images obtained within Vivotecnia were published. Two years. And the reality for the animals that continue to be locked up inside the laboratory is still pain, suffering and death. When we gathered in front of the doors of Vivotecnia in April 2021, many of us hoped that things would be resolved in a different way, that the animals would come out of that hell and could live far from those who harassed them, locked them up and caused them suffering. . But it was not like that.
What exactly has happened in this time and at what point is the case currently? At a legal level, Vivotecnia is immersed in a judicial process that is in the investigation phase. So far, different defendants have been called to testify in the process and expert reports have been presented based on the images obtained covertly by Carlota Saorsa. The next stage will be the preparation of the trial, in which the popular accusations and the public prosecutor will present their indictments taking into account the evidence practiced so far. Later, the lawyers of the accused persons will be able to present their defense briefs and, later, the date for the trial will be set.
Although after the publication of the images, many of us expected the closure of Vivotecnia, this did not happen. The community of Madrid cautiously paralyzed the activity of the laboratory, but the ongoing experiments continued. The only thing the company could not do was accept new orders. At this time it still seems unlikely that the closure of Vivotecnia will become effective. The companies lack criminal responsibility, so that, through the existing legal channels, the possible convictions would be directed against the people directly and physically involved in those events that appear in the videos and that the experts have considered possible indications of animal abuse. . The company discharges the responsibility on the workers that appear in the images. They thus try to send a message: the problem is not animal experimentation, but a few unruly employees who have not done their job well. Under current legislation, the crime of animal abuse can carry prison sentences ranging from three months and one day to a year in prison. If the people under investigation are finally found guilty, they would also face sentences of special disqualification, from one year and one day to three years, during which they could not perform work related to animals.
The person who had to ensure the welfare of the animals and check that the tests were carried out in accordance with current regulations was Andrés König, who, despite being director and CEO of Vivotecnia, was part of the company’s ethics committee. This is worrying not only because a person with obvious economic interests in the company is the one who determines whether the procedures are carried out under what the regulations dictate, but also because it seems proven that said committee was – being generous – lax when supervising them. How is it possible then that the directors of the company will not suffer any type of consequence?
When the controversy broke out, the defenders of animal experimentation closed ranks and defended the indefensible, to make society believe that despite the fact that their businesses are based on confinement and torture, that in their companies the animals cease to be individuals. to become mere instruments, we are faced with a necessary evil to ensure the health and life of human beings. However, Carlota, the activist who recorded the images, claims to have witnessed how Vivotecnia manipulated the results of animal experiments so that they could go on to the human trials phase. To clarify how this type of manipulation was carried out, we will give an example. Let us say that a drug is administered to ten animals and eight of them become ill. The reports do not state that eight animals suffered negative effects from the drug. Even in the event that they die, they are replaced by others who are healthy and the study continues. Those drugs that companies like Vivotecnia are testing, and that in the animal testing phase have not been successful at all, will end up being tested in humans as experimental treatments.
The investigating judge has validated the discourse of the vivisectors and has undermined the credibility of people related to animal rights. Apparently, she only attaches value to the testimonies of people in the scientific community who have participated in animal experiments. On the contrary, she does not take into account the testimonies of veterinarians who are critical of the animal exploitation industries. Here we are faced with a double conflict. On the one hand, she considers the opinion of animal advocates to be biased and, however, she considers the testimonies of those people who profit from this type of practice to be legitimate. On the other hand, she is not taking into account that the animal experimentation industry is an opaque and hermetic world, where it would be difficult for someone to testify against professional colleagues, closing doors at the work level or facing possible pressure from the company or in your professional environment.
In Carlota’s case, the investigating judge granted her protected witness status following a defense request. The figure of the protected witness grants and guarantees anonymity and protection. Of all the people involved in the process, only the judge can have access to the real name, address and other data of the protected witness to guarantee her physical and moral integrity, and prevent her from being the victim of pressure, threats, insults …, as well as to ensure that their declarations are made free of coercion. Although the status was ratified in the second instance, Carlota could lose it if circumstances change in the future. That would mean that anyone who is part of the process can access her real name and her personal data, with the harm and danger that this could entail for her. In addition, if it loses the protection that this status entails, Vivotecnia could take legal action against it. If that were to happen, the scenario in which Carlota could face civil or criminal proceedings for alleged damage to the image of the company, disclosure of secrets or other facts that the person in charge of handling the case may consider constituting crimes could not be ruled out. against intellectual and industrial property or confidentiality.
Vivotecnia has tortured, harassed and killed thousands of animals. She still does it to this day and continues to profit from it. Not only that, he has also lied, falsified his test results and flouted any hint of professional ethics. The Community of Madrid lifted the cessation of activity and, since then, various organizations such as the CSIC or, more recently, the CNIO, have continued to contract their services. In order to obtain some of these million-dollar tenders, Vivotecnia has had to present good practice reports. The height of cynicism.
Faced with this situation, the Madrid Antispecies Assembly has decided to launch the campaign ‘Cerremos Vivotecnia for the animals’. The campaign has mainly two objectives. The first of them is to revive the controversy that arose after the publication of the images obtained in the Vivotecnia laboratories. The second, to agitate and reactivate the fight against the company within the anti-species and animal rights communities, as well as to encourage activism and the participation of all those people who, like us, feel outraged at the situation that animals live in Vivotecnia.
We want to encourage all the people and groups that fight for other animals to go out on the streets for those who continue to be victims of the company every day. We refuse to let Carlota Saorsa’s work fall on deaf ears. For this it is important that we resume the protests against the company.
With this idea in mind and within the framework of the antispeciesist November, we convened a demonstration under the motto 5N Antispeciesist against Vivotecnia. As in previous calls, we will denounce the situation that millions of animals live in the different areas of animal exploitation: food, shows, clothing or experimentation, counting this year, in addition, with a header block focused on the reality of animals locked up in Vivotechnics.
The demonstration will begin in the Plaza de Cibeles and will end in Ópera. The center of Madrid will be filled for a few hours with antispeciesist chants and slogans and we will show Vivotecnia that we continue to stand against them and reject everything they do and represent.
See you on November 5. Let’s close Vivotecnia, for the animals!
When? Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Where? Plaza de Cibeles.
How to get? Meter: Bank of Spain.
 Although throughout the article the term “animal abuse” is used on different occasions, those responsible for its writing want to clarify that we only do it to use the legal term used in a case like this. However, we believe that in animal exploitation there is no “mistreatment” and “correct treatment”. The confinement and use of animals for human benefit in the different animal exploitation industries will never be correct, no matter how much it is carried out within the current regulations.