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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 29 September 2008 Issue

Animal activists slam Loyola lab experiments

Chicago Sun Times
July 22, 2008
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO sesposito@suntimes.com 

Sloppy work at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine research lab in Maywood led to the deaths of five dogs and seven rabbits, according to an animal-rights group that reviewed 2006-07 federal inspection reports.

"If a medical school can't adequately supervise experiments involving dogs and rabbits, then those projects should be immediately terminated," said Michael Budkie, executive director of Stop Animal Exploitation NOW, based in Milford, Ohio.

Budkie said that based on his group's review of hundreds of federal inspection reports of labs nationwide, Loyola is "in the running to be one of the worst labs in the country."

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which conducted the routine inspections, downplayed the problems at Loyola, calling them "isolated incidents."

"We issued [Loyola] a letter of warning," Karen Eggert, a USDA spokeswoman, said Monday. "We went back, and there haven't been any further violations."

In a written statement, Loyola medical school spokeswoman Anne Dillon said lab researchers are "dedicated to socially responsible biomedical research."

Dillon also noted that "all situations have been corrected to the satisfaction of USDA inspectors."

In its report, SAEN noted 22 violations during three federal inspections. In one instance cited by the USDA in November 2007, a lab worker collecting bone marrow from a rabbit's leg apparently broke the bone, and the rabbit was found dead the next day. In another from January 2007, five dogs died after being left without care or monitoring overnight just after surgery.

The group also noted that one experiment involving dogs had a 44 percent death rate.

Budkie said he's contacted Loyola's administration to demand his group be allowed to inspect the university's research facilities, but hasn't received a response.

"If everything is OK there, then the folks at Loyola should have no problem whatsoever . . . in allowing me to tour their facility and inspect their animals," Budkie said.

Source:Michael Budkie, email: saen@saenonline.org

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