We just don’t think it’s a good idea. A man who spent decades subjecting thousands of animals to painful tests should not become the new director of a county animal shelter. But that’s what may happen in Orange County (Florida).
Orange County is hiring a Manager for its Animal Services Division. Unfortunately, one of the leading candidates for the job (according to the county) is Robert Ridgway, DVM. Since March 2006, Dr. Ridgway has been employed by the county as a shelter veterinarian. But between 1991-2001, Dr. Ridgway was Director of Laboratory Animal Medicine at Covance, one of the world’s largest animal testing companies. Covance is hired by pharmaceutical and chemical companies to test products on animals. Every day in Covance labs, thousands of animals suffer and die in painful tests. (Visit www.CovanceCruelty.com to learn more about this horrible company.) In his application for the Manager position, Dr. Ridgway boasted that at Covance one of his responsibilities was, “procurement of over 29,000 animals annually and coordination of animal use.” He was also personally involved in testing chemicals on animals. Before Covance, Dr. Ridgeway worked in animal research labs operated by the U.S. military.
An individual who can send thousands of animals to their deaths in cruel tests is the wrong person to manage Orange County’s Animal Services. There are other highly-qualified applicants for this position.
Another scary thought: unlike many states, Florida has no law prohibiting “pound seizure,” the sale or release of cats and dogs from a shelter to a research, testing or educational facility.
We do believe that vivisectors can change their ways. The best example of this may be Donald Barnes, who for more than 15 years experimented on monkeys and other animals at an Air Force laboratory in Texas. Today, Barnes is one of the finest voices in the anti-vivisection movement. But Mr. Ridgway has given us no indication that he’s had a similar change of heart.
Please contact the Orange County Commission and urge them to reconsider selecting Dr. Robert Ridgway as Orange County’s new Manager of Animal Services.
County Mayor Richard Crotty
Commissioner Teresa Jacobs
Commissioner Fred Brummer
Commissioner Mildred Fernandez
Commissioner Linda Stewart
Commissioner Bill Segal
Commissioner Tiffany Moore