Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


USDA cites animal research center

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.

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