Warning: This article contains images some may find distressing
Animal rights activists claim a laboratory in Germany is keeping monkeys in metal harnesses and leaving dogs bleeding in their cages after uncovering a series of alleged abuses in an undercover operation.
Footage released on Monday by German campaign groups Soko Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International appears to show several animals suffering in squalid conditions.
According to newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the groups claim the shocking video was shot by an undercover activist who got a job at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) facility in the town of Mienenbuttel near Hamburg.
German TV station Welt said the district of Hamburg has launched an investigation following the allegations.
A spokesperson for the district reportedly told the news outlet they were working "to remedy grievances and prevent violations in the future".
The Hamburg District spokesperson said they would be working with the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (Laves) which also reportedly brought criminal charges against the laboratory last week.
The animal activists, meanwhile, say they have reported the case to police who are investigating.
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Soko Tierschutz and Cruelty Free International claim the laws in Germany protecting animals from experiments are not strict enough and call for the laws to be tightened.
Minister for Agriculture Barbara Otte-Kinast said: "If these allegations prove to be true, they would have to be punished and quick consequences be put in place.
"A possible revocation of the animal testing licence is being checked by Laves."
Friedrich Mülln, head of Soko Animal Welfare, claims the LPT facility tests chemical substances on animals on behalf of pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers.
The LPT’s website claims it conducts “contract research in accordance with national and international guidelines”.
Michelle Thew, chief executive of Cruelty Free International, said: “We are calling for the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) to be closed. We are also calling for a comprehensive review into the use of animals in regulatory toxicity testing in Europe, including the UK.
“Every investigation, without fail, shows a similar tale of misery and disregard of the law.”
Yahoo News UK has contacted both Hamburg Police and the LPT Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology for comment.