This morning I received a phone call from Keith Barker from Carolina Biological. He was the spokesperson I was told would respond to my request for information about thousands of skinned cats they supply to schools across the country.
I told him about the various charges leveled against Carolina that hey obtained the cats from Mexico.
He repeated that the country is awash with cats killed in shelters and that is where Carolina gets theirs. He said he had no reason to lie.
I then asked, o.k., if you have no reason to lie, which shelters do you get the cats from? Can you give me a contact person or phone number to verify his claim?
He stated that was proprietary information and he was not going to give me that information. We ran around this bush for awhile going nowhere on either side.
He repeatedly asked me who I was and who I was associated with. I told him I was a private citizen conducting an investigation.
He stated there was no reason for him to provide any information about the source of the cats to someone without a connection to some large organization.
I asked if he would be willing to talk to someone from the Daily News or LA Times. At this point, he went silent and stated he just was not going to provide this information.
Now we are talking about several hundred thousand of healthy cats a year supplied to schools across the country. I don't know how many are supplied by Carolina Biological, but they supposedly are the largest supplier.
Barker said the cadavers were of healthy cats killed in shelters.
To supply the 250,000 cats sold to schools across the country, would require at least 600,000 (very conservative) killed by shelter cats, including kittens and ill or very aged cats.
Actually, the number of dead cats would have to be much higher, as most shelters dispose of their dead cats through rendering companies and perhaps landfills as he alleges. I doubt if more than 20% of the healthy cats killed are sold to Carolina Biological or other vendors.
We are now talking about a couple of million killed shelter cats to be able to supply 250,000 cat cadavers to Carolina and other vendors.
Later I was talking to Tim from Ward's Scientific, who also sells skinned and unskinned cats and may be the #2 supplier, because other companies, such as Sergent-Welsh, another cadaver vendor gets their cats from Wards. Tim told me they get their killed cats from shelters too.
But Carolina Biological prides themselves in supplying cats that have never been frozen because freezing changes cadaver coloring and texture. This means Carolina must get their cats close by, unless they have someone standing outside of dozens of shelters waiting for kill day, grab the cats, put them in a cooler and truck them a 1,000 miles to Greensboro N.C. That is, procuring the cats from remote shelters without freezing is implausible.
No totality of shelters within a thousand miles of their North Carolina location kill that many animals a year in a way they are not frozen.
I talked to Jennifer at Sargent Welch in Western N.Y., who stated they get their cats from Wards.
I called Wards Scientific located in Rochester N.Y., and talked to Tim. Tim stated their cats are often frozen because the shelters they get their cats from mostly do freeze them before being sent to Wards where they are preserved in formaldehyde. he also stated the usual, that that also get cats from licensed USDA dealers. Of course where the dealers get their cadavers from is any one's guess, and most people guess from breeders or "bunchers."
Tim seemed credible compared to Barker at Carolina. Tim said cats are a sticky issue at campuses across the country and they offer other preserved animal cadavers, such as fetal pigs or rabbits.
For the life of me, I cannot see how anyone does not see this whole situation as both a moral issue and an ethical issue. Shapiro has written a whole textbook and teaches classes defending animal dissection and animal vivisection and research. Apparently he sees it as neither. It is even more remarkable that he likens vegetarians to be like Hitler and the Nazis.
I want to make a statement here. After all is said and done, it is groups like PETA, the ADL and ALF that strongly investigate biological houses, vivisectors and poorly performing shelters. I think they see the big picture and though wrapped up in specifics, also see the larger picture. It is PETA that exposed Carolina Biological 15 years ago with video showing live embalming of cats.