The battle over Covance continues to rage in Chandler despite the company choosing a site on Gilbert and Ryan roads that does not require approval by the Chandler City Council. Opponents and proponents took to the streets and city hall to get their messages across.

While dozens of anti-Covance demonstrators packed the Oct. 26 Chandler City Council meeting voicing their concerns, a huge sign-truck patrolled arterial streets in Chandler proclaiming the animal rights activist organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, being as guilty of mistreating animals as Covance stands accused.

The sign-truck advertised in huge letters "PETA Kills Animals," directing people to visit a Web site where graphic photos of dogs allegedly killed by PETA workers are displayed.

The site, created by the Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization claiming to support consumer choices, alleges two employees of PETA face a Nov. 13 felony trial on animal-cruelty charges in Hertford County, N.C.
PETA spokeswoman Dr. Alka Chandra said PETA began helping animals in North Carolina after being contacted by a police officer who was appalled by the conditions at a North Carolina pound, where animals were left to drown or freeze to death and dogs were suffering from contagious diseases and painful injuries that went untreated.

She said before PETA was invited to help in North Carolina, animals in the pounds were either shot or gassed in a rusty, windowless metal box or injected with a paralytic.
Jan McClellen, co-founder of Chandler-based Citizens Against Covance, criticized the impartiality of the Center for Consumer Freedom.

"The Center for Consumer Freedom, formerly called the Guest Choice Network, is a front for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries," Ms. McClellen said in an e-mail. "It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), calling them 'the Nanny Culture.' The fact is CCF is against consumers' freedom to arm ourselves with the truth. Now they're attacking us in Arizona on behalf of Covance and factory farmers."
Mayor Dunn said Chandler would remain vigilant over any facility coming into the city, including Covance.

"If there was an environmental issue in our city, don't you think we would be on top of it?" Mayor Dunn said. If we see smoke in the sky, we will investigate."

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