The United States Department of Agriculture cited University of Wisconsin Research Animal Resource Center in early 2007 with multiple violations of federal law regarding treatment of animals used for research.
According to USDA inspection reports dated June 20, 2007 obtained by The Badger Herald, UW violated a number of USDA regulations ranging from failure to repaint rooms to not providing animals with analgesics.
The documents state a USDA inspector found UW failed to report 59 dogs, six calves and two lambs it had purchased. The reports also say the university did not monitor animals often enough after showing disease, did not report all disease to staff veterinarians and provided overly vague descriptions of the experiments performed on the animals.
The report also finds UW provided no legitimate reason for not using painkillers on animals involved in painful experiments.
Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now, a group that fights experimentation on animals, said the UW Research Animal Resources Center needs more government surveillance. He added he was especially worried about UW�s failure to report all of its animals.
�They can�t even get the numbers right,� Budkie said. �It makes us wonder what else might be wrong.�
The reports show a variance in time allowed to resolve each situation from �immediately� to just requiring an overall change in wording of UW protocol. The reports do not mention any possible fines.
Budkie added UW has not been fined yet because the process of assessing and levying fines takes several years. He added the experiments were �just about useless to human health� because the entire program had lost its credibility.
�If they�re not following their own protocol, how do we know they�re following any part of the protocol,� Budkie said. �What else are they lying about?�
According to Budkie, the reports only cover the first half of 2007, and SAEN is in the process of obtaining the records for the second half of the year.
Terry Devitt, UW director of research communication, said he doesn�t know enough about the situation to comment at this time. It is unknown whether UW has addressed the problems. Eric Sandgren, director of UW Research Animal Resources Center, did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.