US: Reports show animal welfare violations at 3 labs
Posted: June 13th, 2009 - 9:28am
WASHINGTON -- Government inspection reports cited three research laboratories for a host of animal welfare violations, ranging from problems with surgeries that forced researchers to euthanize a dog and a primate to leaving a live hamster in a walk-in freezer.
The reports, uncovered by an animal rights group, detail violations at BioReliance Corp., Charles River Laboratories Inc., and Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
The animal rights group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, based in Milford, Ohio, criticized the U.S. Agriculture Department for not taking tough enforcement action against the facilities.
"These facilities should face serious consequences," said the group's executive director, Michael Budkie.
The USDA, which is charged with enforcing the Animal Welfare Act's standards for research animals, said it did enter into an out-of-court $10,000 financial settlement with one of the institutions, Charles River. But that settlement was for a different incident, in May, 2008, when too-hot temperatures led to the deaths of primates.