Continuing with the goat theme.
Dozens of goats and sheep used by a Seattle medical research firm backed by a prominent food-safety expert were found in dirty, dilapidated conditions that endangered the animals’ welfare, a federal inspection found.
Many of the 42 goats and four sheep kept at a Redmond farm by Pi Bioscientific Inc., also known as Pi Biologique, suffered from “numerous medical ailments and severe health issues,” according to a March 3 report by the U.S. Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS).
“Lack of adequate staffing, equipment and facilities has adversely affected the care and well-being of the animals, prevented proper biosecurity and has led to the severe discomfort and pain and suffering in these animals,” veterinarian Diane Forbes found.
The animals had little protection from weather and there was no way to remove manure, the report noted.
In addition, staff members couldn’t account for 18 goats and one sheep that apparently went missing since a 2014 inventory that found there were 60 goats and five sheep on the premises.
Mansour Samadpour, the director of IEH Laboratories in Seattle — the firm hired by companies including Chipotle and Costco to improve their food-safety practices — said Tuesday he is a shareholder in Pi Bioscientific and the problems have been corrected.
“We had no idea this was happening,” Samadpour said, adding that staff who had been hired to care for the animals on the farm weren’t doing their jobs properly.
The animals are used for antibody testing for medical research, Samadpour said. Pi Biologique distributes test kits for common food allergies, according to a company website.