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Tell USDA to IMMEDIATELY fine University of Southern Mississippi

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Originally Posted: December 10, 2012

Tell USDA to IMMEDIATELY fine University of Southern Mississippi

FROM Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN)

ACTION

Please contact the Director of the USDA's Eastern Regional Office to insist that they take immediate action against the University of Southern Mississippi for allowing rabbits and hamsters to literally be eaten alive by ticks.

In a letter to Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN states: “The level of abuse that this process is allowed to reach is astonishing to me, and I have been reading USDA inspection reports for over 20 years.”  

Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer
USDA/APHIS/AC
920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 2000
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 855-7100
Betty.J.Goldentyer@usda.gov

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

HATTIESBURG, MS – A University of Southern Mississippi research laboratory is apparently allowing ticks to feast on rabbits and hamsters – but the horrific research has led to gruesome conditions where test subjects are so infested they are being eaten alive, according to a horrific report obtained by a national research watchdog organization.

A recently obtained federal report discloses that holes were eaten in animals' ears, they bled from the rectum and eventually had to be euthanized – leading to multiple federal violations, charged Ohio-based SAEN, which has filed an official complaint with the USDA requesting a full federal investigation.

A scathing, four-page September, 2012, USDA inspection report reveals multiple federal infractions at USM. The facility is cited repeatedly for inadequate supervision of an experiment that literally feeds rabbits and hamsters to colonies of ticks. The animals have been so consumed by the ticks that they developed holes in their ears, bled from the rectum, and required euthanasia.

One animal is described: "...Rabbit 60RBJT was used to feed Ablyomma maculatum for 13 days . . . Lab staff noted that there was a tremendous damage to the animal's ears. At end of feeding on 2/6 animal has large holes in the ears, ear color was blue, and there was tip necrosis noted on 2/3. On 1/30/12 the animal was noted to be bleeding from the rectum.”

The inspection report indicates that USM administration suggested it knew about the employee, noting that: “Attempts to address this situation appeared to be unsuccessful based on facility documentation.”

SAEN has filed an official complaint with the USDA insisting on additional citations for improper animal handling, insufficient veterinary care and unqualified personnel. The complaint also insists on the maximum possible penalties.

In a letter to Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN states: “The level of abuse that this process is allowed to reach is astonishing to me, and I have been reading USDA inspection reports for over 20 years.” 

Visit University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.


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