It is estimated that 115 million animals are used each year in laboratories around the world. Some are suffering daily and living in cages, never seeing the sunlight, other animals nor having any human friends. One lab piglet, now named Alba was released and given a second chance to have a pain free life.
Cailin Cimini is not allowed to talk about too many details of why Alba arrived with 18 burn marks on her back. That is part of the agreement when she accepts a lab animals into her Rancho Relaxo Sanctuary. She can tell us though that, “She spent eight weeks being tested on, from 1 week old to 8 weeks old. She was burn-tested on.” Cimini explains why she can’t say any more details of the trauma that this piglet suffered, “When you agree to take an animal from these laboratories, you’re basically agreeing to non-disclosure. I’m not allowed to say what kind of product was tested. I can’t say whether it was a cleaning product or medical-based. I’m not even allowed to say what state she came from.”
Alba had someone looking out for her or she wouldn’t have been released. Many animals are not so fortunate as this piglet. Most lab animals are euthanized when they can no longer provide a service to the testing agencies. In fact, two other pigs who suffered right along side Alba were put down when the testing session was over.
“Alba had a shining personality,” Cimini explains. “She was extra loving, extra wanting of people’s affection and the lab agreed to release her to live her life to the fullest. But normally that’s not the practice. It’s very, very rare.”
With her past behind her, Alba has made new animal and human friends at Rancho Relaxo. We Hope that Alba can now put her past memories behind her and begin a new life at the sanctuary.
“She’s obviously very, very excited about her new life — she won’t stop rooting, which is what pigs love to do so much,” Cimini said.