People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Germany
April 11, 2011
Countermotions at BAYER Annual Stockholders Meeting on April 29, 2011
I hereby notify you that I will oppose the proposals of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board as regards Item 2 and 3 of the Agenda, and will induce the other stockholders to vote in favor of the following countermotions. I request notification of these countermotions and the reasons for them pursuant to Sections 125, 126 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG).
Countermotion: The actions of the members of the Board of Management are not ratified
Reason: Following a recent undercover investigation in the Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. (PLRS) contract laboratory based in the United States, where animals were subjected to severe mistreatment and suffering far beyond the scope of the commissioned tests, Bayer admitted having commissioned PLRS to conduct a 3-month trial on dogs during the investigation period. In an e-mail dated September 15, 2010, Bayer Chairmen Liam Condon1 and Helmut Schäfers2 wrote to a concerned person: “In the period of time mentioned in the video, a three-month study in dogs was conducted from November 2009 to February 2010.
The Bayer policy on animal welfare and animal studies explicitly states that animals used by the company for experiments will be kept in compliance with “all national, international and local laws and regulations3, “under appropriate conditions4 and are treated “with respect5. The policy further confirms: “All personnel are well trained and competent to care for the animals and handle them during a study.6 In the paragraph on external laboratories, Bayers policy on animal welfare and animal studies states: “In the case of animal testing which we do not conduct ourselves, we employ only those contract laboratories which operate in a manner which is consistent with our principles.7
However, documentary and video materials8 from the investigation of PRLS show the following clear infringements of Bayers policy:
· sick and injured animals being regularly denied veterinary medical care;
· an inadequately anesthetized dog struggling while an untrained employee extracts a tooth with pliers;
· cats being thrown into cages;
· cats and dogs being sprayed down with high-pressure cleaners containing bleach, soap and water;
· employees abusing the animals with obscenities while grabbing, throwing and kicking them;
· one employee repeatedly attempting to rip out a cats claw by pushing the cat against a wire cage so that the cat grabs the wire with its claws and then tearing the cat away from the wire;
· the rooms in which the animals were kept were dirty and deafeningly loud.
An initial report on the investigation9 submitted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – the government body responsible for ensuring compliance with minimum animal welfare standards in U.S. laboratories – confirms serious health problems in the animals and the below-average conditions in which animals are kept at PLRS; a comprehensive investigation is currently still ongoing, the laboratory has since been closed.
Bayer has the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that no animal suffers from inadequate veterinary care, poor conditions or outright mistreatment. In addition, Bayer has an ethical and financial obligation to ensure that the minimum number of animals is used and that the best-possible research is applied in product development.
The Board of Management holds responsibility for the unacceptable situation described above and its actions should therefore not be ratified. Further information is available on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals website at www.peta.de.
Countermotion: The actions of the members of the Supervisory Board are not ratified
Reason: Bayer has not declared a global voluntary code of conduct to completely discontinue the use of obsolete animal studies in cases where validated, non-animal alternatives exist.
Dozens of modern, non-animal test methods have been validated by the responsible authorities in the United States, the European Union, Japan, Canada and other places around the world. The methods are recognized as fully replacing traditional, animal-based toxicity tests. These alternatives are generally faster, more sensitive, safer for the consumer and less expensive than traditional animal testing. In the EU countries in which Bayer is active, companies are legally obliged to use these alternative test methods instead of animal tests.
In the traditional animal tests used by Bayer, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits are shaved, fixed in place and have irritating chemicals applied to their naked skin. In another test, rabbits are fixed in special devices and injected with chemicals. They can suffer effects ranging from fever and breathing difficulties through to circulatory and organ failure, and even fatal shock. In Bayers oral toxicity tests, dogs, mice and rats are forced to swallow enormous quantities of a test chemical. The animals can suffer acute abdominal pain, diarrhea, spasms, convulsions, paralysis and bleeding from the nose, mouth and genitals before they finally die.
Accurate, humane, non-animal methods are available to replace these tests. The global introduction of non-animal test methods that have been scientifically validated and assessed as being relevant to human health toin all Bayer facilities and subcontracted laboratories will help the company to reduce the use of mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits and other animals in painful, obsolete tests and at the same time ensure the safety of Bayer products.
The Supervisory Board has not taken adequate steps to have the massive use of animals in painful and antiquated tests reduced by the company and its actions must therefore not be ratified.
Harald Ullmann, Benzstrasse 1, 70839 Gerlingen